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Planning Ahead: Kendall Drive Job Combats Future Traffic Woes

Mon April 27, 2009 - Southeast Edition
Zoie Clift

The Kendall Drive (State Road 94) widening project is under way in Miami-Dade County in Florida.

Work began on the project last summer and construction is slated to be complete by this summer. Downrite Engineering, whose headquarters are based in Miami, is the prime contractor on the project.

“The improvements we are providing are required due to [the] impact the onsite job [Kendall Town Center] will have on Kendall Drive and the adjacent roadways,” said Eddy Hernandez, vice president of estimating, Downrite Engineering.

Hernandez said the scope of the project includes widening the existing Kendall Drive from a four lane to a six lane divided highway with landscaped medians, curbing and sidewalks along 1.125 mi. (1.8 km) the job spans.

Kendall Town Center is a mixed-use project owned by General Growth Properties (GGP). The company is based in Chicago and owns, manages or operates shopping malls in 44 states.

Hernandez said their contract with GGP is for $9,354,000 and they have incurred about $140,000 worth of change orders since the beginning of the job.

The project was initiated to combat increased traffic from Kendall Town Center, a 120-acre development whose construction began in December 2007. The work is being performed by Redland Company, which is based in Homestead. The company, which is FDOT certified, is handling site work and infrastructure construction on the project including utility (water, sewer, storm drainage and lighting) and roadway construction.

The Kendall Drive widening project is being performed by Miami-Dade County under a permit with the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT). According to the FDOT, the project includes adding one lane in each direction from SW 151st Avenue to SW 162nd Avenue, replacing curb ramps to meet Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards, replacing sidewalks, curbs and gutters and repaving and re-striping the roadway.

Equipment includes Caterpillar bulldozers, excavators, rollers, graders, milling machines and a paver. The company also is using Volvo 18 cu. yd. (13.8 cu m) dump trucks and a LeeBoy paver. He said the first phase of the job took place along the proposed center median and included installing drainage piping and structures. The work was completed in November of last year. The second phase of the job (which is taking place right now) includes installing drainage, subgrading, rocking, grading, curbing, sidewalks and paving the north side of the road.

The company has subbed out the signalization to Magesco and landscaping to Dixie Landscaping.

The project is slightly behind schedule due to the challenges of the job.

“There were some unforeseens such as conflicts with existing utilities and having to match existing roadway at intersections due to the existing road being crowned and work under our contract being mostly inverted crown,” said Hernandez.

Hernandez said the number of workers on the job fluctuates. At one time they have had as little as 10 workers on the project and they also have had as many as 40 workers. At times they work to make a specific deadline.

Hernandez said the project is affecting the surrounding community minimally and is being coordinated harmoniously between businesses, residences, the FDOT, and Downrite Engineering. CEG

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