A major reconstruction of the Pennsylvania Turnpike is currently under way in Somerset, PA. The $94.3-million project, funded entirely by the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission, involves the total reconstruction of a 13-mi. (20.9 km) long section of the original turnpike built in 1940.
Trumbull Corporation and Lindy Paving are serving as joint general contractors for the job, which began in the fall of 2001. The original completion date was set for November 2004, but was changed to the summer of 2005 because of design changes.
According to the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission, the project involves the reconstruction of 17 bridges, complete reconstruction of the roadway, a new overhead bridge to serve Interchange 10/110, expansion and resurfacing of the two Somerset service plazas, a new concrete median glare screen barrier, a new drainage system, and a new guiderail. The roadway shoulders and median also will be widened.
“The project will be constructed in 10 stages while maintaining two lanes of traffic east and westbound for customer use,” a spokesman said. “Each stage of work will be limited to six miles in length, affording traffic a suspension of traveling through the construction work.”
Mehmet Akinic, project manager of Trumbull Corporation, noted that the work is currently 60-percent complete.
“The project has posed significant challenges to both the owner and the contractor due to the climate,” Akinic explained, and added that it even recently snowed. “We always have hard winters here, heavy snow, very cold temperatures and rain.”
Another difficult area of the project is in temporary shoring for stage construction, drainage, lime cement stabilization, and paving. The soil also presented a challenge.
“Because of the soft soil condition, we had to undercut more areas,” Akinic said. “We quadrupled the undercut tab number on Stage 3.”
To date, 600,000 cu. yds. (458,733 cu m) of dirt has been moved for the project, and 25,000 cu. yds. (19,114 cu m) of concrete has been used in the bridges.
Akinic noted that a maximum of 250 people worked on the project last year.
Major subcontractors are ALL Crane Rental of Pennsylvania for cranes; Brayman Construction, drilling and tie-backs; Bruce & Merrilees Electric, highway lighting and miscellaneous electrical; CH&D Enterprises Inc., drainage structures; Concrete Coring Company, roadway and bridge deck sawcutting; Douglass Pile Co. Inc., pile driving; Green Acres Contracting Co. Inc., guiderail, right of way fence; Highway Marking Inc., line painting; Howard Concrete Pumping Inc., concrete pumping; Plum Contracting, underdrain; Structural Services Inc., steel erection, SIP’s, shear studs; Swank Associated Companies Inc., soil stabilization; Terra-Firma, soil stabilization, and The “U” Company, seeding and landscaping.
Major equipment for the project includes a Cat D8 dozer, a Cat D5 dozer, two Cat IT 28 rubber-tired loaders, one Cat IT 38 rubber-tired loader, one Cat 12G grader, two Komatsu PC300 excavators, one Cat 312 excavator, one Cat 320 excavator, one Cat M318 rubber-tired excavator, one Cat M320 rubber-tired excavator, one ABG paver, two SD100 Ingersoll-Rand rollers, three Volvo A35 35-ton (31.5 t) rock trucks, one Sterling 4,000-gal. (15,142 L) water truck, one Ford lube truck, one Ford boom truck, one Peterbilt tractor and lowboy and one Link-Belt 50-ton (45 t) crane.