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PA’s Route 491 Project Reaches Second Stage

Wed August 29, 2012 - Northeast Edition
Mary Reed


RCI will have Phase 2 completed by August 20l2. The work to be carried out during this phase is essentially the same as for the first, except that the stretch of highway involved is a little longer at approximately 3 mi. (4.8 km).
RCI will have Phase 2 completed by August 20l2. The work to be carried out during this phase is essentially the same as for the first, except that the stretch of highway involved is a little longer at approximately 3 mi. (4.8 km).
RCI will have Phase 2 completed by August 20l2. The work to be carried out during this phase is essentially the same as for the first, except that the stretch of highway involved is a little longer at approximately 3 mi. (4.8 km). During this second phase, Route 491 will be reconstructed, milled, and paved between Bethel and Lower Chichester townships. Equipment working on the job includes a Case 580 SM loader backhoe and Caterpillar D4H and D3 XL series 3 dozers as well as Gradall XL 4100, Komatsu 228 USLC-3, and Volvo ECR88, ECR 145 CL and ECR 235 CL excavators. Completion of the entire 5.5-mi. (8.8 km) project will result in a fully reconstructed roadway featuring improved pavement marking, drainage, turning radius, signage and sight distance.

Phase 2 of the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) Route 491 (Naamans Creek Road) improvement project in Delaware County got under way in early March 2012 on the approximately 3-mi. (4.8 km) long stretch from Faulk Road to the Delaware state line.

Both phases of the job are being performed by heavy and highway construction company Road-Con Inc. (RCI) of West Chester, Pa., which is serving as general contractor for the state-funded $9.8 million project.

Phase 1 of the project saw 2 mi. (3.2 km) of the two-lane highway reconstructed, its profile realigned and the addition of a 4-ft. (1.2 m) shoulder on both sides of the road. Work on the first phase began on March 2010 and was carried out between U.S. 202 and Route 261 (Foulk Road) in Concord and Bethel townships. Reconstruction lasted until mid-December 2011, when the road was reopened to traffic.

RCI will have Phase 2 completed by August 20l2. The work to be carried out during this phase is essentially the same as for the first, except that the stretch of highway involved is a little longer at approximately 3 mi. During this second phase, Route 491 will be reconstructed, milled, and paved between Bethel and Lower Chichester townships.

Completion of the entire 5.5-mi. (8.8 km) project will result in a fully reconstructed roadway featuring improved pavement marking, drainage, turning radius, signage and sight distance.

As a result of ongoing construction activity, Route 491 is closed between Route 261 and the Delaware state line. While detours are mandatory for most traffic, residents who live along the affected stretch of highway were issued special vehicle tags allowing them to reach their homes. Similarly, emergency vehicles, trash trucks and school buses are permitted to enter the restricted part of Route 491.

“However,” said Road-Con Project Manager Steve Rubino, “through vehicles still tried to travel through the project. During working hours we had to hire a police presence to restrict access to unauthorized vehicles.”

Even so, he added, “There was nothing out of the ordinary on this job except the state incorporated a year of utility work into our time schedule. This caused a problem of holding costs and materials after a year of utility work.

“Although RCI had a shorter amount of time to complete the larger phase, the warm weather through the winter and early spring helped us maintain our schedule. The state mobilizing the utilities before the job was bid has helped us to maintain our schedule although it did burden the residents with patched roads and construction crews along the route for a four-year period,” he added.

With up to 24 Road-Con employees working on the project — a general superintendent, three foremen, and 15 to 20 operators and laborers — the company is fielding an impressive fleet of equipment.

“Equipment working on the job includes a Case 580 SM loader backhoe and Caterpillar D4H and D3 XL series 3 dozers as well as Gradall XL 4100, Komatsu 228 USLC-3, and Volvo ECR88, ECR 145 CL and ECR 235 CL excavators,” said Rubino.

“We are also utilizing a Volvo L80F loader, Wirtgen 190 milling machine and a Blaw-Knox MC 330 blacktop material transfer buggy, while our Volvo PF 4410 and CedarRapids 452 asphalt pavers are working with Volvo SD-77 and Caterpillar 334E rollers.”

Road-Con Inc. is employing a number of Pennsylvania companies as subcontractors for the job. These include Guidemark Inc. of Souderton (line painting); Morgan Rail Inc., based in Temple (guiderail and fencing); Armour Electric Company of Langhorne (traffic signals); Chester’s Roto Mill Inc. (milling); Eddystone-based CoCCO Contracting Corporation (concrete placement); Ram-t Corporation (landscaping) of Thorndale; Protection Services Inc. (signage), based in Oreland; and Aston’s Knight Brothers (clearing).

Founded in 1994, Road-Con Inc.’s current projects include work on:

• SR 202 (65 N). For this project the company is handling sound wall installation, using many items of equipment that worked on the PA Route 491job.

• SR 100 (NW1). Here, RCI is using a Bay Shore Lo-Drill attached to a Komatsu PC 3080 excavator to drill caissons for sound walls.

• SR 3001 (02B). On this job the company is working with a Bauer B620 drill rig to drill through rock for installation of concrete encased piles.

• Completed Phase 1. #8, 9, 10 and 11 are of Phase 2 nearing completion with only the wearing course and line markings needing to be installed. #12 is RCI crews doing driveway blacktop adjustments. #14 is of a completed portion of Phase 2 closer to the Delaware State Line portion of the project.