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SR 22 Now Four Lanes Throughout District 10

Mon January 03, 2011 - Northeast Edition
Jennifer Rupp

The State Route (SR) 22 Clyde Project in Indiana County, Pa., began construction on June 25, 2007. The roadwork portion wrapped up at the end of November and the highway is now fully open to four-lane traffic.

The project encompassed around 5 mi. (8 km) of new concrete lane-lane highway with jug handles for turn-arounds and turning lanes. Approximately 19 lane mi. (30.6 km) of roadway were constructed to provide access for local traffic. With the completion of construction, SR 22 is now four lanes throughout Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) District 10. The design also included a concrete retaining wall, truck inspection areas for the PA State Police, and other safety and drainage improvements.

Landscaping will be completed in by May 2011.

New Enterprise Stone and Lime of New Enterprise, Pa., was the prime contractor of the $51.2 million project. The company’s responsibilities included excavation, concrete paving, drainage, sedimentation control, stormwater basins, grading the road bed and bridge work.

In addition to New Enterprise, 24 subcontractors worked on the project including Quaker Sales Corporation of Johnstown for asphalt paving; Terratech of Virginia (Berryville, Va.), which provided temporary shoring for the bridge; Williams & Willman Line Painting of Kittanning painted all roadway lines and Strongstown’s B&K Enterprises provided and installed concrete median barrier, delineation, and permanent signing. The U Company, based in Confluence, provided seeding and erosion control; and Interstate Enterprises Inc., of Canonsburg installed guiderails.

This project was a joint effort between PennDOT District 10’s Design Squad 1, Sucevic, Piccolomini, & Kuchar Engineering Inc. of Uniontown, Pa., and GAI Consultants of Homestead. This coordinated effort incorporated design components from each of the partners into this three-and-a-half-year project. Construction phasing was used to continuously maintain two lanes of traffic on mainline SR 22 over the duration of the project.

Approximately 2 million cu. yds. (1.5 million cu m) of dirt were excavated.

“The majority of this excavated material had to be drilled and blasted to breakup the rock before removal,” said Warner Barate, PennDOT project engineer.

Much of the material was recycled into an 18-in. (45.7 cm) thick subgrade to provide structural support and drainage under the newly constructed four-lane mainline roadway and shoulders.

New Enterprise used a GPS grading system for the roadway excavation. With this method, no grade stakes are used. The system creates a 3-D map of the job site in the cab of each machine. This allows the operator to get a clear picture of what the final grade should look like.

Approximately 65,000 cu. yds. (49,696 cu m) of concrete was placed on the roadway. The project was originally designed and bid to be asphalt.

“During construction, the price index for diesel fuel and asphalt rose so steeply that it made sense to evaluate constructing the project in concrete instead of asphalt,” said Barate. “When analyzing the material’s life cycle costs, concrete pavement was less expensive.”

Below the roadway, crews constructed an 18-in. rock cap subgrade from excavated rock material on the project. The subbase course for the concrete road is a 3-in. (7.6 cm) thick cement-treated permeable base instead of a typical asphalt-treated permeable base, again due to asphalt price escalation

Asphalt did make its way into the project to pave the interchanges and side roads that connect to SR 22. Approximately 38,000 tons (34,473 t) were used for the tributary roadways.

The bridge structure on this project, carrying SR 22 over SR 259, is 84 ft. (24.6 m) wide and 120 ft. (36.6 m) long. It was constructed in two seasons while constantly maintaining thru traffic on mainline SR 22. The structure contains approximately 1,600 cu. yds. (1,223.3 cu m) of concrete along with 216,000 lbs. (97,976 kg) of rebar.

A retaining wall was constructed to support a high-tension power line that runs across SR 22. According to Barate, to move the high tension/high voltage power line, it would have cost the taxpayers of Pennsylvania about $1.8 million, so a retaining wall with caissons was designed for $477,000 to keep the tower in its original location.

The designs for this project also called for a traffic recording station. This station has sensors installed in the roadway and is wired to a control cabinet on the side of the road. The traffic data can be accessed via a telephone line from a remote location. This equipment is advanced enough to obtain vehicle classification and count as well as motorcycle usage.

“PennDOT has a similar station, though not as sophisticated, in place on SR 22 west of SR 119. A major benefit to this system is that crews do not have to risk their safety installing temporary counting devices on the highway to collect data,” said Barate.

Pyretic rock, residual waste and hazardous material were all part of the excavation. The pyretic rock was placed as fill but had to be neutralized with an alkaline material prior to being encapsulated in clay. The residual material also was placed as fill and encapsulated in clay under the new roadway. The hazardous material was removed by an environmental subcontractor and properly disposed of offsite.

A separate contract was designed in-house by the PennDOT District Maintenance Unit before the project could start due to the discovery of a rare species of bat on the site. The Indiana Bat (“Myotis sodalis”) inhabited the trees on parts of the project area. The trees in the project limits could only be cut down from November through March. To include this work in the main contract would have caused a one-year delay.

This stretch of SR 22 has an ADT of 11,000, with 16 percent trucks. Two-way traffic was maintained throughout the project at all times, except for limited work-area flagging, with a reduced speed limit of 45 mph. The speed reduction provided increased safety for workers and the traveling public.

“Thanks to the initial and ongoing efforts by every unit in PennDOT’s Indiana District Office, New Enterprise, and support from various units in Harrisburg, the Clyde Project will rank up high on the list of achievements in District 10,” said Barate. CEG

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