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Whirlwind of Upgrades for S.R. 9 in Hurricane, Utah

Wed October 06, 2010 - West Edition
Jennifer Rupp

The busy shopping and business district of Hurricane will soon be easier to navigate due to the lane widening of SR 9 (State Street) from 300 West to 800 North. At both ends of the 1.464 mile stretch, the road was already five lanes, but the bottle neck in the middle has been the source of much traffic congestion for years.

In addition to local traffic, SR 9 is a main route for tourists traveling to Zion National Park. Zion is Utah’s oldest and most heavily used park, with approximately three million visitors per year. Hurricane is located just 20 miles west of the Springdale entrance to the park.

The widening project consists of adding an additional travel lane in each direction, with a center turning lane at the intersections. A raised median for safety and roadway beautification will also be installed as well as wider sidewalks with ADA compliant pedestrian ramps on street corners. Traffic signals are being upgraded. Street lights and utilities, including sewer, water, storm drain and power services will all receive improvements. A new “firehouse light” will be installed in front of the Hurricane City Fire Department to stop traffic when emergency vehicles need to leave the firehouse.

“We used the CMGC process, which was fairly new when this project began,” said Tamerha Maxwell, project manager for the Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT). According to UDOT, in the Construction Manager General Contractor (CMGC) process, the design consultant and the contractor form a partnership. This team relies on the expertise of the contractor to deliver a better product in less time and often at a lower cost than a design-bid-build construction process. Though cost is an important factor, project priorities may place more emphasis on schedule and innovation at reasonable value. During the design process the contractor works with the designer to reduce risk, continuously update cost, and achieve a guaranteed maximum price at the end of design.

In this case, the team consists of Horrocks Engineers of St. George, UT for design and Hurricane-local Interstate Rock Products, Inc. (IRP) as the prime contractor. Horrocks began their design work in August of 2007, after a three-month delay caused by state funding issues. Approximately 30 percent of the design work was complete when Interstate was brought aboard.

“Interstate was very helpful in keeping the process and materials within the budget,” noted Maxwell. The construction bid was $10.2 million, though the state has reserved $14 million of state funds for total costs, including design and right-of-way acquisition.

The project began in December 2009 and is set to be complete in July 2011.

“We’ve already had a handful of changes orders to date,” said Lief Condie, UDOT resident engineer. Most of the change orders were for water line and utility work. “One of the water lines was not in the location it was supposed to be in. When we located it, we discovered that the pipes were in bad repair and placement was too shallow. We replaced the pipe with C900, which is of better quality and longer lasting.” Despite a few unknowns related to sub-surface utility issues, the project is still on track.

IRP is performing the bulk of the work, including excavation, earthwork, utilities, irrigation and road bases. They have their own on-site hot plant for paving. Subcontractors assisting on the project include Raintree Landscaping, LLC of St. George, and Straight Stripe Painting of Washington for road markings.

Besides increasing traffic flow, the town of Hurricane has the additional goal of beautifying the area with landscaped medians and specialty lighting. Hamilton Brothers Electric, based in Springville, is installing the conduits and foundations for Holophane decorative light poles. Once the foundations are in, the Hurricane City Power Department will install and pull the wire for the North Yorkshire decorative aluminum posts with black powder finish, topped off with acorn-style GranVille Premier Lighting.

Hurricane City is footing the bill for black powder coating on the intersection signal systems to match the ornamental street lights.

Excavation for the project totaled 46,000 cu. yds. (35169.5 cu m) of earth removed. IRP will be laying down 13,000 cu. yds. (9,880 cu m) of roadbase, 20,000 tons (18,143.7 t) of .75 inch HMA and 4,500 tons (4,082.3 t) of SMA. They will also used 16,000 cu. yds. (12,160 cu m) granular borrow to strengthen the subgrade.

“We’ve maintained one lane of traffic in each direction from 100 E to 800 N,” said Condie. “The water line required our crews to work at night in the beginning of the project, but the majority of the work is now being performed during the day.”

With consideration to the business district along SR 9, UDOT enlisted “block captains” to keep the public informed.

“The block captains are contacts along the corridor that represent home and business owners. The captains attend meetings for information updates, including a monthly contractor meeting,” explained Maxwell.

“As an incentive to the contractor for their conscious cooperation with the local public, IRP can receive a Community Coordination Incentive,” said Condie. The total incentive amount is $100,000. The block captains will vote at four separate intervals during the length of the project as to whether or not the contractor is addressing their needs and assisting with accessibility. During each voting period, the contractor can receive up to $25,000. The voting has occurred twice so far and they have received their full bonus both times.

The general public is also invited to attend the monthly contractor meetings at Interstate Rock Products. Citizens can contact the project agent, Mike Madsen, directly at 435/635-2628 with their questions or concerns.

In addition, UDOT has set up a 24 hour project hotline at 435/680-2199.

For more information on the project visit,

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