Work Progresses on $30.8M Interchange

Tue August 20, 2013 - Southeast Edition
Brenda Ruggiero

Crews place concrete for the spread footer on the NB Jaxport RR bridge.
Crews place concrete for the spread footer on the NB Jaxport RR bridge.
Crews place concrete for the spread footer on the NB Jaxport RR bridge. Crews set 36 in. (91.4 cm) Florida I-beams on NB ramp B bridge. Crews place 10.5 in. (26.7 cm) PCCP on ramp A.

A new interchange is being constructed in Jacksonville, Fla., at SR 115, or Martin Luther King Jr. (MLK) Parkway and 21st Street. The full dollar amount of the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) project is $30.8 million and the contract went to Archer Western Contractors based in Chicago, Ill. The project manager is Heath Bunn.

Work began in February of 2012, and is currently on schedule for completion at the end of 2013. The scope of work is to provide a direct interchange between 21st Street and MLK Parkway. The new interchange will include five bridges, six ramps, six retained earth walls, six ponds, and three signalized intersections. In addition, JEA water and sewer services will be upgraded.

"Traffic control restrictions require the new SR 115 mainline to be constructed in three phases," said Douglas Cox, assistant project manager of Archer Western Contractors. "This is required in order to maintain two lanes of traffic in each direction. All bridge substructures are built with spread footing foundations on retained earth walls. There are no pre-cast concrete piles. This was done to reduce noise impact to the surrounding neighborhoods."

The new interchange will reportedly allow for easier access to Jacksonville Port Authority facilities, and will improve safety along the parkway.

Material quantities include 27,000 cu. yds. (20,642 cu m) of ready mix concrete, 350,000 cu. yds. (267,594.2 cu m) of embankment, and 4,965 linear ft. (1,513.3 m) of pre-stressed Florida I-beams for the new bridges.

"The new Jaxport Railroad Terminal bridges claim the longest 78-inch pre-stressed Florida I-beams in the state," said Cox.

Archer Western is self-performing most of the contract, according to Cox. Subcontractors include Atlantic Coast Asphalt for all the asphalt paving; the Haskell Company for the JEA utility scope; Safety Contractors for drilled shafts, signage, and guardrail; and Hinson for lighting and signalization.

"Archer Western uses a wide variety of equipment and boasts one of the largest equipment fleets in the industry," Cox said. "Examples of major equipment used include Kobelco CK2500, American 9299, Grove GMK7550 cranes; Cat 336, Cat 329, John Deere 350 excavators; John Deere 650, 550 and 450 dozers; and Volvo L90G loaders."