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Union Paving Tackles Second Hyperbuild Job

Mon June 25, 2007 - Northeast Edition
David S. Chartock

The New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) has introduced a project delivery method called “hyperbuild.”

“As defined by NJDOT, hyperbuild is a fast project delivery system for a ready-to-go project with no right of ways or environmental delays,” explained Lou Tomasello Jr., chief engineer of Union Paving & Construction Co. Inc. of Mountainside, N.J.

Union Paving & Construction performed one of NJDOT’s first hyperbuild projects on Interstate 280 in Essex County in 2005, Tomasello said. Now, the company is working on its second hyperbuild project, a reconstruction of 2.3 mi. (3.7 km) of I-78 from Route 24 to the Garden State Parkway in Springfield and Union, N.J.

The project, “Route 78 Roadway Improvements, Contract A,” is a $33 million project that began in June 2006. Since that time, NJDOT “issued major changes and plans to widen two bridges, install an Intelligent Transportation System [ITS],” increasing the cost of the project by $9 million to $42 million in an effort to save costs and time for the future Route 78/GSP Interchange,” Tomasello said.

A NJDOT spokesperson said that hyperbuild results in safer travel conditions and that “more than $600 million and 48 construction years are the projected savings in the first hyperbuild projects to get off the drawing board.

Union Paving’s project team includes company President Gerard Burdi, Project Superintendent Frank Buzar, Project Engineer Dan Crum, and Tomasello.

The scope of work for Contract A consists of a complete reconstruction of the roadway, new roadway base, surface courses, new curbs and median barriers, new lighting, new signage, installation of sign structures and installation of fiber optic cable. All of which required extensive traffic control operations.

“The existing roadway in this strategic corridor for New Jersey, Pennsylvania and New York was seriously deteriorated and in need of a complete rehabilitation. Daily traffic is 145,000 vehicles,” the spokesperson added.

The reconstruction consists of two east-west express lanes and three local lanes. The existing roadway was 10 inch concrete surface course on subbase. This is being replaced with a dense grade aggregate base made from the existing crushed roadway (RCA) using an on-site crushing plant to recycle and reuse the existing crushed roadway.

“NJDOT is using a new technique called ’rubblization.’ In general, rubblization uses a multi-head hammer that breaks existing roadway slab into one-and-a-half inch plus/minus pieces, which remain in place as new base course,” said Tomasello

Hyperbuild has reinforced Union Paving’s aptitude on “how to better minimize the impact of construction to the traveling public and how to better schedule projects for completion,” said Tomasello.

For I-78 Contract A, the hyperbuild schedule necessitated the “simultaneous construction of numerous operations,” he added.

Hyperbuild requires the meeting of interim schedules and milestones. To accomplish this on I-78, Union Paving is working multiple shifts and weekends with a crew of up to 80 workers at any one time.

Project plans also call for deck repairs on two bridges on Springfield Avenue and for the installation of drainage and underground utilities. To facilitate the installation of underground utilities the coordination of work by multiple crews and subcontractors was required.

Work is two 10-hour shifts daily and work on weekends is on an as-needed basis.

New Jersey-based development team members of the I-78 Contract 1A include Union Paving & Construction Co. of Mountainside, general contractor; Stavola Contracting of Tinton Falls, paving subcontractor; Berto Construction of Rahway, concrete subcontractor; Unions 472 and 825; and NJDOT of Trenton, owner.

The grading operations were performed by automated GPS control systems installed on the graders and dozers, Tomasello added.

According to Jeff Merle, Foley’s vice president of machine sales, some heavy construction equipment was sold to Union Paving specifically for this project, which included Caterpillar 345B, 325C and 320C excavators; Caterpillar D4G and D6R bulldozers; and a Caterpillar CC5563 dirt roller.

Merle added that Foley has been providing heavy construction equipment to Union Paving & Construction for 25 years.

Contract A is scheduled to be completed in November 2007. CEG

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