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Slew of Intersections in Ga. Get Much-Needed Makeovers

Thu July 02, 2009 - Southeast Edition
Betsy Mordecai

Overall improvements involving resurfacing and widening of various intersections on State Routes 9 and 20 in Forsyth County, Ga., are proceeding on schedule, according to Jeff Shropshire, roadway division vice president of C.W. Matthews Contracting Co. The Marietta-based construction company’s low bid, totaling $8,262,902.42 was accepted by the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) in April 2008.

GDOT chose seven intersections, all on SR 9, for renovations: Hambry Road, Mullinax Road and Post Road, Castleberry Road, Shilogh Road and Majors Road, Spot Road, AC Smith Road, and Post Road and Tribble Road.

All of the intersections are receiving similar improvements: leveling asphalt to even the ride for the side roads that cross the mainline, adding right turn lanes from the mainline to side roads in each direction, and improving signals to correspond with the new turn lanes.

Benefits from these improvements include better visual distance and a smoother traffic flow from SR 9 to its side roads, resulting in less backed-up traffic along the roadway during peak times.

“These intersection improvements are helping the overall flow and operations of each intersection,” said Teri Pope, district communications officer. “We are reworking the intersections that don’t currently intersect at 90 degree angles to improve sight distance for motorists. The addition of turn lanes will get turners out of the flow of traffic so drivers on the mainline can flow through without waiting on turners.”

When asked if there had been any outstanding problems with any of the improvements being made to the intersecting areas on SR 9, Shropshire said there had been none.

“The most common problems a road crew can encounter deal with utility conflicts and environmental issues,” Shropshire said. “We have not had a major problem with either of these. There were some utilities such as overhead power, overhead telephone and underground waterlines that had to be relocated, but they did not have a major impact on project completion.”

Environmental aspects of the job have gone smoothly as well.

“There were erosion control items on the project, but they have proven to be manageable with normal inspections and maintenance,” Shropshire said.

C.W. Matthews is performing the majority of the work, with only a few jobs, such as installing traffic signals, erecting guardrails, and building drainage structures, bid out to sub-contractors. A total of eight individuals make up the current work crew. The construction superintendent is James McBrayer.

The job involves 14,813 linear ft. (4,515 m) of curb and gutter work; 48,500 cu. yd. (37,081 cu m) of earth movement; 1,671 cu. yd. (1,278 cu m) of concrete flatwork; 27,730 tons (25,156 t) of aggregate base; and 43,272 tons (39,256 t) of asphalt.

C.W. Matthews uses Caterpillar equipment, because, Shropshire said, it is reliable and because the machinery standardization is cost-effective.

“We are a dedicated Caterpillar customer for any equipment we use that they manufacture,” Shropshire said. “Yancey Brothers is our local dealer and we’ve had a very good relationship with them for many years.”

Equipment being used on the job includes a 2006 Cat CS423 roller, a 2007 Cat 321C zero tail swing backhoe, a 2007 Ford F750 dump flatbed and a 2007 Cat IT38G front end loader.

“The IT loader has interchangeable attachments and that makes it very useful,” Shropshire said. “It can be used with a loader bucket, broom attachment or forks.”

The motorgrader being used on the job is a 2006 Cat 12H. At 14 ft. (4.3 m), its moldboard is 2 ft. (0.6 m) wider than the standard blade for that model, which increases its capacity for holding pavement.

“It’s an efficient way to grade a road like this,” Shropshire said.

Completion of the work on SR 9 is expected to be done by December 2009; two other intersections on SR 20 were finished earlier this year.

About C.W. Matthews

The C.W. Matthews Co. started in 1946 with two dump trucks and a handful of employees. The company rapidly rose to become a large asphalt manufacturer. Its roster of jobs range from helping to ready Atlanta for the 1996 Olympic Games (completing all work at night to maintain regular daylight traffic flow) to being managing partner on the construction of the 5th Runway at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, the largest public works project ever undertaken in Georgia. CEG

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