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Webber Working to Complete $300M Texas Interchange Project

Wed May 15, 2024 - West Edition #10
Irwin Rapoport – CEG Correspondent


Webber LLC achieved substantial completion on the Irving Interchange Project, which consisted of reconstructing four interchanges and rebuilding 32 bridges.
Photo courtesy of DFW Freeways
Webber LLC achieved substantial completion on the Irving Interchange Project, which consisted of reconstructing four interchanges and rebuilding 32 bridges.
Webber LLC achieved substantial completion on the Irving Interchange Project, which consisted of reconstructing four interchanges and rebuilding 32 bridges.   (Photo courtesy of DFW Freeways) The immense and transformative project in Irving, part of the Greater Dallas Area, includes the reconstruction of several interchanges, which include SH 183, SH 114, Loop 12 and Spur 482.
   (Photo courtesy of DFW Freeways) There are a total of 32 bridges are being constructed — 10 direct connectors and 22 overpass bridges along Loop 12, SH 183, SH 114 and Spur 482.   (Photo courtesy of DFW Freeways) In addition to 41 retaining walls, crews drilled more than 700 shaft foundations and built more than 500 columns.   (Photo courtesy of DFW Freeways) Excavation and demolition operations generated 92,000 tons of concrete, 80,000 tons of asphalt and 32,000 tons of steel.   (Photo courtesy of DFW Freeways)

The Texas Department of Transportation's (TxDOT) $301 million Irving Interchange Project, which began in late 2020, is months away from completion as crews from Webber LLC are racing to deliver the major highway upgrade to improve traffic flow and safety for motorists.

The immense and transformative project in Irving, part of the Greater Dallas Area, includes the reconstruction of several interchanges, which include SH 183, SH 114, Loop 12 and Spur 482.

Photo courtesy of DFW Freeways

The overall length of the project is approximately 9.6 mi., including bridges and direct connectors.

"Traffic congestion was high with capacity beyond the old cloverleaf ramps which led to excessive weaves and merges," said Brenan Honey, TxDOT director of construction, Dallas District. "This project has been in the planning for about 20 years including the first phase. The work has been fast paced."

Crews from Webber have been busy on stretches of Texas highways. The work also includes:

  • Loop 12 is undergoing a complete transformation as crews are widening it from six to eight lanes for 1.2 mi. from the south end of Union Bower Road to the north of Texas Plaza Drive;
  • Crews are widening SH 114 from Loop 12 to SH 183 and Spur 482 with direct connectors;
  • Reconstruction of Spur 482 from west of Century Center Boulevard to the interchange and tie into SH 183 with direct connectors.

The complexity of the project is based on the many elements and amounts of materials being used. For example, 32 bridges are being constructed (10 direct connectors and 22 overpass bridges along Loop 12, SH 183, SH 114 and Spur 482.) In regard to the road construction, 4.6 mi. of concrete lanes are along stretches of roadway and. 4.8 mi. of concrete lanes are on bridges.

In total, 261,000 sq. ft. will be covered by concrete. According to TxDOT, this includes 1.2 million sq. ft. of reinforced concrete slab, 170,000 linear ft. of concrete bridge beams (3.2 mi.) and 200,000 cu. yds. of concrete. As for other materials, 90,000 lbs. of hot mix asphalt will be placed and 2.8 million lbs. of steel beams will be installed.

In addition to 41 retaining walls, crews drilled more than 700 shaft foundations and built 500 plus columns.

"The Loop 12 Diamond Interchange project is a very complex project located in a very congested area of the DFW subject to multiple challenges," said Fernando Pellico, a Webber official. "Through collaboration and innovation, Webber and TxDOT have worked together to deliver the project ahead of schedule, prioritizing the safety of the crews and the traveling public while minimizing the impacts to traffic."

Photo courtesy of DFW Freeways

"Utility issues were minimal due to planning early," said Honey. "We also ran into some extremely sandy soils that had a lot more groundwater than expected along LP 12, but we were able to adjust the pavement design and add several hundred feet of underdrains to get the paving completed. The work zone access was difficult in the early phases and getting equipment in place to get the substructures of all the bridges going was a challenge. Webber did a good job of creating access in tight areas and getting out ahead of the bridgework as early as possible. We have worked well together to deliver the job we are all proud of."

Bridge demolition took place at night, with sections of the highway closed. The bridges, some of them more than 120-ft. long and more than 40 ft. above the ground, were taken down by excavators, including Cat 352F hydraulic excavators with drills, based on the ground. The debris fell to the ground and was quickly placed on loaders to clear the lanes.

With many types of new bridges being built (different lengths), crews followed tried and true methods of drilling and installing columns and supporting beams to hold lanes above, which held up the concrete lanes. After the base of the bridges were constructed, rebar was placed and concrete was often poured at night with the help of pumps and lines attached to cranes. Several bridge decks were poured last February.

Many of the new connector bridges (three lanes) are elevated and rise more than 60 ft. above the ground. Similar methods to construct the standard bridges were employed for the connector bridges and sections of elevated highway. This work was not easy as they stood high above the lanes on the ground and elevated sections above them. Equipment operators had to be careful to ensure that materials being moved around did not fall. As has been pointed out, this project required vast amounts of concrete.

New lanes were placed on the medians, with crews that excavated the areas performing site prep and poured the concrete lanes. For the excavations, excavators with shovels worked hand-in-hand with loaders to remove debris rapidly. As the pace increased, different crews were working simultaneously. The median sections allowed for the construction of four new lanes. A combination of fencing, k-rail and cones were used to separate workers from traffic.

Manlifts with longer ranges were a necessity for inspection teams to reach the areas where the concrete beams had been placed to hold the decks. The work site itself had lanes crisscrossing in several directions, but there was space for vehicles to move about the individual work sites.

Peak days had more than 120 Webber employees and more than 100 subcontractors on-site. More than 20 regional and local subcontractors are helping with the project.

"Both Webber's and subcontractors' crews have made an outstanding effort to perform the work safely, efficiently and on schedule," said Pellico.

Photo courtesy of DFW Freeways

Excavation and demolition operations generated 92,000 tons of concrete, 80,000 tons of asphalt and 32,000 tons of steel.

"TxDOT leased the 77-acre site of the old Texas Stadium from the city of Irving, which sits in the middle of the project, to allow for a massive yard for the contractor to utilize during all phases of the construction from Phase 1 that started in 2009 to present," Honey said

"Concrete, asphalt and steel have been taken to off-site recyclers, but not used on-site," said Pellico, who noted that "Webber's concrete supplier has a concrete batch plant on-site."

Having equipment in solid working order is crucial for Weber to meet production goals.

"The equipment on this project is generally in very good working condition," said Pellico. "One of the most frequent wear and tear issues are flat tires and hydraulic leaks. Those typically can be repaired on the same day. Some repairs might take longer when parts need to be ordered. With the exception of the severe damages, the majority of the repairs are completed in less than two days."

Webber has a local crew of mechanics in the DFW area within 30 mi. of the project that can respond to equipment issues quickly.

"In the same way, third-party rental companies can dispatch mechanics to repair their equipment in a timely manner," said Pellico.

Webber purchases and rents equipment from local and regional dealerships. This project has required more than 1,500 rental work orders of equipment.

Project Background

This is a Texas Clear Lanes project, a statewide strategic plan to provide congestion relief through non-tolled roads in the five largest metro areas in Texas

Photo courtesy of DFW Freeways

Phase 1 of the project was completed by a joint venture of Zachry Construction and Sinacola Construction, which rebuilt the interchanges at SH 114 and Loop 12. The SH 183 Midtown Express design-build project, completed in 2018, took care of interim improvements in the area.

The project reached substantial completion a month early from the contractor's original bid time, as well 12 months early from the maximum allowed bid time when the final DC's were opened to traffic in early April 2024. In addition, the contractor met the previous milestones for the work in the HOV lanes.

On a daily basis, close to 400,000 cars and trucks use the interchanges and highway lanes. The project was designed by Bridgefarmer and Associates and other firms. CEG




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