UMA Geotechnical Construction’s work on the NCDOT I-26 Exit 40 to I-40 Interstate Expansion Project is on track to become the largest square footage of soil nail walls done under a single contract in NCDOT history.
UMA Geotechnical Construction, a North Carolina-based geotechnical contractor serving the Mid-Atlantic Region, is working on a project that will become the largest square footage of soil nail walls done under a single contract in North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) history.
The contractor is on track to construct roughly 115,610 sq. ft. of wall along Interstate 26 by April of 2022.
UMA is working as a geotechnical subcontractor to A Fluor-led joint venture (JV) with United Infrastructure Group Inc.
The project, formally known as NCDOT I-26 Exit 40 to I-40 Interstate Expansion Project, will help to alleviate traffic congestion and improve the safety and operational efficiency of this vital stretch of interstate in the Asheville area.
UMA commenced work in September 2020 and will ultimately construct 15 soil nail walls of varying heights, ranging in square footage from less than 1,000 to more than 25,000. All are permanent walls consisting of epoxy-coated soil nails, bearing plates and a decorative cast-in-place concrete finish.
The magnitude of the project required UMA to rely on several local material suppliers. The I-26 project was subject to the Federal Highway Administration's (FHWA) Buy America policy, so UMA secured nearly a half million pounds of domestic structural steel for the epoxy-coated soil nail bars from Skyline Steel. Reinforcing steel is being sourced from Guaranteed Supply Company. Roanoke Cement is supplying nearly 2 million pounds of Portland Cement required to bond the reinforcing tendons to the surrounding soil and rock, and enough shotcrete to cover a football field with an 8-in. layer.
The widening project also required a wider, taller and more aesthetically pleasing Blue Ridge Parkway Bridge over I-26. UMA was tapped to install 35 rock anchors for the new three-span precast segmental bridge.
"UMA is proud to play an integral part on the Fluor-United JV for the I-26 project," said President Brian DeSpain. "Our combined efforts will help to improve traffic flow in the area while also retaining the natural beauty of Asheville."
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