By July 2010, the new northbound Rt.65 to westbound Rt. 60 “flyover” bridge was nearing completion, as work progressed on the eastbound Rt. 60 to northbound Rt. 65 “flyover” bridge.
Two-directional “flyover” ramps and new bridges over the railroad tracks are the main features of a project that is easing congestion and improving safety at the busiest freeway-to-freeway interchange in Missouri outside of the St. Louis and Kansas City metro areas.
The 60/65 Interchange reconstruction is a major priority for the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT), Ozarks Transportation Organization (a group of local planning partners from nearby cities and counties) as well as statewide transportation planners. Statewide passage of Amendment 3 in 2004 made it possible to schedule the project sooner than otherwise would have been possible.
Construction of the $57.1 million project began in May 2009 and is scheduled for completion in October 2012. The prime contractor is Archer Western Contractors, a member of the Walsh Group. Walsh has locations throughout the United States; Archer Western is operating out of its Springfield, Mo., branch.
This project encompasses all facets of road construction and, therefore, requires a large team of subcontractors to assist Archer Western in its duties.
D + E Plumbing (Nixa) was contracted for pipe and dirt hauling; Hartman Construction (Springfield) is building bridges A7537, A7538 and A7539; Phillips Grading and Construction (Boonville) is building bridge A7550, and All-Pro Construction (Grandview) is implementing steel girder erection and precast erection.
Additionally, JLA Construction (Battlefield) is installing MSE walls A7545, A7548, A7549; Hayes Drilling Inc. (Kansas City) is in charge of caissons; James H. Drew Corporation (Indianapolis, Ind.) is providing signs and guardrail, and Iron Work is the rebar installer.
Archer Western is self-performing the grading, paving, substructure and super structure on bridges A7540, A7541, A7542, A7543, A20721, A12182.
“We have a Banut ’down the hole’ hammer drill at the job site,” said Kevin Kegebein, Archer Western project manager. “It’s a special machine we used for doing pre-bores on the piling. Almost all the columns sit on foundations with h-piles. Our equipment yard purchased the Banut in 2008.”
• Build two directional, “flyover” ramps — northbound U.S. 65-to-westbound U.S. 60 and eastbound U.S. 60-to-northbound U.S. 65 (completed and opened to traffic in 2011)
• Build four bridges over BNSF railroad tracks — two bridges as part of “flyover” ramps (completed and opened to traffic in 2011) and two bridges carrying U.S. 60 traffic.
• Replace northbound U.S. 65 bridge (completed in 2011) over U.S. 60 and rebuild southbound U.S. 65 bridge over U.S. 60.
• Replace westbound U.S. 60 bridge over Lake Springfield and widen eastbound U.S. 60 bridge over Lake Springfield.
• Install new highway lighting and storm drains.
“The four-way clover-leaf configuration of the interchange could not accommodate the volume of traffic it received,” explained Linda Bokel, MoDOT transportation project manager. The new flyover design will ease congestion and improve safety, she added.
The 4,000-ft. (1,219.2 m) long eastbound U.S. 60-to-northbound U.S. 65 directional ramp includes a flyover bridge totaling 2,019 ft. (615.4 m) long.
MoDOT is taking special measures to ensure trail safety during construction. Long sections of the recreational trails that encircle the U.S. 60/65 interchange will remain open during the reconstruction project. However, the trail segments underneath U.S. 60 remain closed as bridge work takes place over the trails.
The Galloway Creek Greenway on the west side of U.S. 65 and the James River Greenway on the east side of U.S. 65 are closed where each crosses underneath U.S. 60. Debris from bridge construction overhead, rough or deeply excavated areas near the trail and large construction machinery moving around present hazards for trail users.
Signs and electronic message boards on the trails carry trail status information.
While it is clear that closing trail segments underneath U.S. 60 is an inconvenience, the goal is to keep trail users safe while completing a much-needed highway and bridge project.
“The project is going on time and budget,” noted Kegebein. “It’s a very unique job for southwest Missouri.”
The project timeline, at a glance:
Summer 2009 to Late 2010
• The southbound U.S. 65-to-westbound U.S. 60 detour was built.
• The eastbound U.S. 60 bridge over Lake Springfield was widened to the south.
Early 2011 to Fall 2011
• The two new “flyover” ramps opened — eastbound U.S. 60-to-northbound U.S. 65 and northbound U.S. 65-to-westbound U.S. 60. New ramps carry traffic over U.S. 65, U.S. 60 and the railroad tracks.
• Westbound U.S. 60 traffic was shifted to widened eastbound U.S. 60 bridge over Lake Springfield.
• Westbound U.S. 60 bridge over Lake Springfield was removed and new bridge was built.
• Girders were set for building of new northbound U.S. 65 bridge east of existing northbound U.S. 65 bridge.
• Temporary ramp closing for relocation (3 to 6 months): westbound U.S. 60-to-northbound U.S. 65
• Relocated westbound U.S. 60-to-northbound U.S. 65 ramp was opened.
• New westbound U.S. 60 bridge over railroad tracks was built.
Fall 2011 to Spring 2012
• Eastbound U.S. 60 bridge will be built over railroad tracks.
• The new eastbound U.S. 60 bridge over railroad tracks will be constructed.
• New northbound U.S. 65 bridge and adjoining new pavement will be completed.
• Deck and girders will be replaced on existing southbound U.S. 65 bridge.
• Crews will dismantle southbound U.S. 65 bridge over U.S. 60 to replace deck and install new girders on southbound U.S. 65 bridge.
Spring 2012 to Fall 2012
• The new westbound U.S. 60 bridge over Lake Springfield will be opened and the trail segment underneath U.S. 60 at Lake Springfield is reopened.
• The new eastbound U.S. 60 bridge over railroad tracks will be opened and the trail segment underneath U.S. 60 near railroad tracks will be reopened.
• The southbound U.S. 65 traffic will be shifted to the rebuilt southbound U.S. 65 bridge over U.S. 60.