Work Begins on Phase II of I-40 Interchange

Tue October 20, 2009 - Southeast Edition
Angela B. Hurni

Bell & Associates Construction is the prime contractor for the $32 million project. The company has all-terrain cranes by Lorain hard at work on the job site.
Bell & Associates Construction is the prime contractor for the $32 million project. The company has all-terrain cranes by Lorain hard at work on the job site.

On July 9 officials in Nashville, Tenn., broke ground on Phase II of the Interstate 40 White Bridge Road Interchange Improvement Project. Phase I was finished during the summer 2005. Since then, the project has been stalled for four years because of lack of funding. Now, the $32-million project is being totally funded through money from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, which the President signed into law in February.

Many dignitaries, including Gov. Phil Bredesen and Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) Commissioner Gerald Nicely, were on hand for the groundbreaking ceremony.

“This project will enhance Nashville’s already excellent transportation system,” said Bredesen at the ceremony. “It will improve access to Interstate 40 and Briley Parkway and will contribute to continued economic development in West Nashville.”

Bell & Associates Construction LP, Brentwood, Tenn., is the prime contractor for Phase II, which includes a new interchange at I-40 and Briley Parkway/White Bridge Road/Robertson Road. The company also constructed the $43-million Phase I.

The contract also includes construction of two flyover ramps to and from I-40 and Briley Parkway, plus the replacement of the White Bridge Road Bridge over I-40. In addition, three noise barriers and five retaining walls will be built and a pedestrian bridge located just west of the interchange will be replaced.

“The project is just over a mile long,” explained Jeremy Mitchell, project manager with Bell & Associates. There will be “three lanes west and three lanes east on I-40 and two auxiliary lanes for the new ramps.”

The Interstate will be constructed of asphalt, and the ramps will be concrete paving. There will be more than 20,000 cu. yds. (15,200 cu. m) of concrete used on this project.

The two major bridges being built are the White Bridge Road Bridge and the pedestrian bridge. The White Bridge Road Bridge, measuring just over 1,500 ft. (457 m) long, is being constructed of single-column hammerhead piers and structural steel plate girders. The pedestrian bridge is approximately 230 ft. (70 m) long and will be built using bulb-tee beams with a concrete deck and an architectural steel fence along both sides of the bridge.

“This bridge provides access from a residential neighborhood across six lanes of I-40 to a commercial neighborhood,” Mitchell stated.

So far, progress on Phase II consists of work on the bridge substructure, drilling and blasting and mass excavation. Roughly 200,000 cu. yds. (152,000 cu. m) of earthmoving will be performed. Of that, about 170,000 cu. yds. (129,200 cu. m) will be hauled off site. Furthermore, water, sanitary sewer and storm sewer work is moving ahead. Soon, the contractor will begin constructing the retaining walls and the sound absorptive noise barriers. Beam erection also will start before long.

Bell & Associates is self-performing approximately 40 percent of the work and there are close to 30 subcontractors on the job site. Sunrise Contracting Inc., LaVergne, Tenn., is performing the grading and LoJac Enterprises Inc., Lebanon, Tenn., was hired to complete the asphalt and concrete paving.

According to Mitchell, various pieces of equipment are being used on the project. On hand are all-terrain cranes by Lorain and Terex. There are Cat trackhoes consisting of a Cat 330, Cat 314 zero tailswing and a Cat 321 zero tailswing with quick couplers. Additional trackhoes include the Volvo 330 and 360 plus the Hitachi EX270 and EX135. Cat dozers on site consist of a D8T, D6R, D5 and D3. Morbark 1200 tub grinders are being used as well as Topcon machine control GPS.

The project’s scheduled completion date is summer 2011. As a result of the Phase II project, traffic flow will improve in the area, and the bridge will be a safer, more modern structure. The flyover ramps will help ease congestion along White Bridge Road. What’s more, the noise barriers will improve quality of life by providing peace and quiet for residents and businesses alike along this stretch of I-40, according to the developers.

One of the most-anticipated Phase II improvements, however, will be putting to use a 57-ft. (17 m) long concrete bridge pier that has stood near I-40 since Phase I was finished in 2005. The structure will finally be used to support one of the flyover ramps. CEG