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Rogers Keeps Ala. Project on Track Despite Incessant Rain

Fri May 22, 2009 - Southeast Edition
Kerry Lynn Kirby

Rain has been a nagging nuisance for Rogers Group Inc., during construction of an interchange for a new rail car plant east of Cherokee in Colbert County, Ala.

The Nashville, Tenn.-based firm — prime contractor on the $6.3 million interchange job — has been dealing with wet weather on a regular basis since November, according to Tom Kenley, communications specialist for Rogers Group.

“The only real delay on the project thus far has been the weather,” Kenley said. “Rain started around … Thanksgiving of ’08 and has continued each week on and off up to now.”

The cost in lost days on the project is exacerbated by where the job is and by the material Rogers Group is working with.

“Being in northern Alabama, we do not have shot rock fill material, we have good, old-fashioned Alabama dirt,” Kenley said. “So when it rains, you not only lose the day it rains but, depending on the volume of the rain, you can lose a day or two after the rain has stopped.”

Still, the job — which includes construction of a new 313-ft. (95 m) long, 67-ft. (20 m) wide bridge that crosses over U.S. 72 — is running ahead of schedule.

“Even with the rain delays, the project is currently five weeks ahead of the CPM schedule completion date of August 1, 2009,” Kenley said. “We have a target date of mid-June 2009 for project completion.”

The project began on July 18, 2008, with the pre-construction conference with the Alabama Department of Transportation. And the project is on a “drop dead” date of Aug. 1, 2009.

The job is 0.644 mi. (1.036 km) long, covering approximately 20 acres, and will provide a new interchange from U.S. 72/AL 2 to County Road 312, so traffic will be able to move freely from U.S. 72 onto and off of CR 312 without stopping.

The project includes grading, drainage, pavement, bridge construction and lighting.

The new National Alabama Corporation rail car plant is being built about 1 mi. (1.6 km) north on CR 312, and the interchange is being constructed for the plant.

The job entails 141,602 cu. yd. (108,262 cu m) of borrow excavation and 23,602 cu. yd. (18,045 cu m) of unclassified excavation, as well as 1,086 tons (985 t) of lime stabilization, 57,773 tons (52,411 t) of crushed aggregate base course, Type B, and approximately 17,788 tons (16,137 t) of bituminous concrete wearing surface (upper binder, base layer).

Materials used for construction of the bridge include 158,500 lbs. (71,894 kg) of bridge reinforcement steel, approximately 830 linear ft. (253 m) of 4.5-ft. (1.37 m) and 3.5-ft. ( 1.07 m) drilled shafts, 390 cu. yd. (298 cu m) of bridge substructure Class A concrete, approximately 720 cu. yd. (550 cu m) of bridge superstructure concrete and 2,779 linear ft. (847 m) of prestressed concrete girders, Type BT-54.

Other materials on the job include approximately 1,408 linear ft. (429 m) of 18-, 24- and 30-in. (45.72, 60.96 and 76.2 cm) roadway pipe.

Equipment Rogers Group is using on the job includes a Link-Belt RCT-8070 70-ton (63.5 t) hydraulic crane, a Komatsu WB-150 rubber-tire backhoe loader and a Bid-Well 4800 bridge paver, with work bridges.

Excavation subcontractor E.O. Byars is using a Cat 140G grader, a Cat 325 C track excavator with a 52-in. (132.08 cm) bucket, a Cat D5 N dozer, a Cat D5 G dozer and an Ingersoll Rand 110 roller.

Most of the equipment is owned by the contractor and subcontractors.

In addition to the excavation work, E.O. Byars, of Sulligent, Ala., is doing retaining wall structures.

Other subcontractors on the job include: Shoals Electric Company Inc. of Muscle Shoals, Ala., project lighting; Rutherford Construction Inc. of Courtland, Ala., catch basins, fence and miscellaneous concrete; Russo Corporation of Birmingham, Ala., bridge substructure drilled shafts; Gilley Construction of Manchester, Tenn., reinforcing steel work on the bridge; Interstate Concrete Construction Inc. of Cleveland, Tenn., traffic barrier walls; Statewide Grassing Inc. of Joppa, Ala., temporary seed and mulch, matting and seed; and Alabama Barricade Inc. of Trussville, Ala., project signs.

Additional subcontractors are: R.N. Ferguson Company Inc., of Ashland, Tenn., bridge Tex-Coat painting; Protection Services Inc., Birmingham, Ala., temporary project signs; Penhall Company of Austell, Ga., bridge deck grooving; Alwood Fence Company Inc. of Kosciusko, Miss., project guardrail; Pozzolanic Contracting & Supply Company Inc., of Knoxville, Tenn., roadway lime stabilization; Ozark Striping Company Inc. of Ozark, Ala., project striping; Instituform Technologies Inc. of Bessemer, Ala., pipe rehabilitation (liners); and Jackie Steward Surveying Inc. of Muscle Shoals, Ala., project engineering.

Rogers Group Inc. (RGI) of Tuscumbia, Ala., is doing the base and paving on the job.

Rogers Group Inc.’s ICU division has one bridge crew on the project and had mobilized an additional two employees from the Nashville area to help for about three months.

“The RGI employees on the crew are local hires and are doing very well,” Kenley said. “We hope to retain the local employees for future RGI projects.”

The project was a low-bid contract.

Rogers Group was attracted to the work because it was in an area serviced by one of its asphalt plants and “was just a good job to start with in the Alabama market,” Kenley said.

The company has nothing but kudos for how ALDOT has worked with them on the project, said Kenley, noting ALDOT’s District Construction Manager Kevin Evers and Project Engineer Derrick Simpson by name.

“Rogers Group Inc. has developed a great partnering, working relationship with ALDOT on this project, and we hope this relationship will continue on future projects with the department,” Kenley said. “ALDOT has answered all our requests for information in a timely manner and the submittal process has been a smooth one.”

“We have project meetings every week where the CPM schedule is reviewed along with any outstanding issues or delay impacts. Communication between RGI, subcontractors and ALDOT has been outstanding from the beginning of the project,” he said. “We are striving for a very successful, safe project, one that RGI, the subcontractors, ALDOT and the surrounding community can be proud of.

The project is not impacting the surrounding communities much, Kenley said.

“We have had some lane closures and stopping of traffic due to our construction activities, but not much impact on the businesses or the community in the area.”

The project is expected to be completed in August. CEG

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