PA I-80 Project Continues in Columbia County

The $50 million job, which began in August 2010 and has an estimated completion date of June 2015.

Tue March 10, 2015 - Northeast Edition
Mary Reed

A causeway was built halfway across the river for the cranes to have access at all times.
A causeway was built halfway across the river for the cranes to have access at all times.
A causeway was built halfway across the river for the cranes to have access at all times. New Enterprise Stone and Lime Company Inc. (NESL), based in New Enterprise, Pa., is serving as general contractor for the $50 million job, which began in August 2010 and has an estimated completion date of June 2015. Equipment utilized included 165-ton (150 t) P&H crane and 200-ton (181 t) Manitowoc cranes, both track-mounted. Between 50 and 100 NESL employees were working on site at the peak of construction.

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) project to rehabilitate I-80 between Exits 241 and 242 continues in the Mifflinville area of Columbia County.

New Enterprise Stone and Lime Company Inc. (NESL), based in New Enterprise, Pa., is serving as general contractor for the $50 million job, which began in August 2010 and has an estimated completion date of June 2015.

“The project was mostly bridge work, consisting of constructing a new 17 span bridge — the new westbound — approximately 1,700 feet long over the Susquehanna River. Once completed, both east and westbound traffic was put on it, and at that time the old westbound bridge was removed and the existing eastbound bridge rehabbed,” said Steve Zelanko, NESL bridge superintendent.

The rehabilitation included modifying the footers, abutments, parts of the piers, and caps. New beams, deck and parapet also were constructed.

“The job was fairly complicated, but with the help of PennDOT’s District 3 construction inspectors it went smoothly and no significant problems were encountered,” Zelanko said.

“However, the especially rainy year of 2011, topped off by the flood in September, caused minor issues. A causeway was built halfway across the river for the cranes to have access at all times, and any time there was significant rainfall, the cranes and other equipment would have to be moved off the causeway because of flooding and over-topping. This happened approximately 15 to 20 times.”

Between 50 and 100 NESL employees were working on site at the peak of construction. Equipment utilized included 165-ton (150 t) P&H crane and 200-ton (181 t) Manitowoc cranes, both track-mounted. The pair were utilized for constructing cofferdams, footers, piers, caps, setting the beams, and supplying material for the decks, and also were used to remove the existing steel.

Currently (February 2015), the eastbound lanes have been completed except for pavement tie-in work to be carried out during this year’s construction season. Westbound traffic will however continue to use a temporary wearing course until spring, when the permanent surface will be laid. This year also will see completion of pavement reconstruction on Route 339 where it passes under I-80 and the milling and paving of a stretch of Old Berwick Road under the new structures.

Rehabilitation on the other bridges involved in this project included installation of new bearings and strip seals and construction of crash walls on east and westbound bridges over Route 11, construction of crash walls, cap jackets, deck, and parapets for the east and westbound bridges over the Canadian Pacific Railroad, and deck and parapet work on east and westbound bridges over Route 339. These bridges, plus two river bridges, all received an epoxy overlay by Polycarb Inc., of Cleveland, Ohio.

New Enterprise Stone and Lime engaged a number of subcontractors for the I-80 project, including Protection Services Inc. (PSI), based in Harrisburg, Pa. (traffic control), Eastern Industries of Towanda, Pa., (paving), and Swank Construction Company LLC, headquartered in New Kensington, Pa. (sawcutting services). Inlets and curbing are by Kee-Ta Quay Construction of Hustontown, Pa., and SIP forms (decking) by Carl Weber Construction of Kutztown, Pa. The Bloomsburg and Berwick plants of Central Builders Supply Company, based in Sunbury, Pa., is providing concrete for the job, and Jim Knorr Construction of Bloomsburg, Pa., is responsible for trucking services.

NESL has similar ongoing projects in Pennsylvania in Lehighton and Allentown, the common factor being the construction and rehabilitation of bridges in and over water.

The company’s current projects include a $110 million contract for the Pennsylvania Turnpike between Mile Posts 220 and 226 in Cumberland County. The job involves full depth construction and widening of the turnpike from two to three lanes in each direction and the removal of three reinforced concrete rigid frame bridges, three reinforced concrete T-bridges, and a steel girder bridge. These structures will be replaced by six single span prestressed concrete spread box beam bridges, two single span composite steel multi-girder bridges, and two precast concrete arch bridges. Other work covered by this contract includes the elimination of a reinforced concrete T-beam mainline bridge as well as construction of sound barrier and retaining walls.

About New Enterprise Stone & Lime Company

One of the largest suppliers of aggregates in the United States, New Enterprise Stone & Lime Company Inc. is now a fourth- and fifth-generation business. It was founded in 1924 by J. S. Detwiler and his son, Paul. The brothers of the latter, Galen, Dale and Emmert, came on board five years later. Incorporated in 1950, NESL owns quarries and ready mix concrete, precast and prestressed concrete, and concrete pipe companies. A number of NESL projects have been honored with awards, including those recognizing its safety record, erosion control efforts. With third- and fourth-generation employees, NESL was named by the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (PDCED) as one of the 50 best places to work among companies with 250 or more employees.