This $46 million MDOT Design-Build project reconstructed 9.43 miles of I-94 in Jackson County from the Washtenaw County Line to east of Sargent Road. The Eastbound lanes and 3.6 miles of Westbound I-94 were reconstructed with non-reinforced PCCP. MDOT specified the remaining westbound roadway to be cold milled and asphalt resurfaced. Design also included reconstruction of the bridges carrying I-94 over Race Road and the Whipple Road flyover, widening the bridges to FHWA standards. Both Grass Lake weigh stations were improved with new scales, lighting, expanded ramps and parking areas. Ramp reconstruction at four interchanges, Portland Cement-Treated Permeable Base, major drainage improvements, signing, traditional and cable guardrail, fencing, plantings and erosion control completed the main project scope.
Schedule and Complexity
Let in January, 2010, project design was expedited for construction to begin on March 15. Design for 2010 directed completion of the eastbound lanes and reconstruction of the bridges, with a November 15 open-to-traffic deadline. 2011 construction would complete the westbound roadway and weigh stations. Scheduling of 21 subcontractors and 17 major suppliers was demanding in order to meet the substantial completion deadline of October 8, 2011. Adding to the complex coordinating were the extremely heavy traffic volumes during Michigan State University and University of Michigan home football games, and the Michigan International Speedway NASCAR races. November, 2011 project acceptance will be 5 months ahead of the May, 2012 schedule.
Construction & Innovation
Construction began with temporary concrete pavement affording two lanes of traffic in each direction and segregating the majority of the construction area. Temporary crossovers were built to maintain ramp traffic at all interchanges and the Westbound Rest Area. The existing reinforced concrete overlay, bituminous separation course and original 9" reinforced concrete were removed and the concrete was recycled for the aggregate separator course and permeable base. Traffic was placed over the rehabilitated westbound Race Road bridge, allowing reconstruction of the eastbound bridge, while rerouting traffic permitted closure and rehabilitation of the Whipple Road Flyover. After completion of the EB roadway, traffic was returned to the original configuration for the winter. In Spring 2011, traffic was relocated to the Eastbound lanes while the Westbound roadway was completed. Westbound traffic was returned to the new roadway on September 7, and the project was substantially completed on October 5.
This was the first project in Michigan to place the FHWA safety edge on the concrete shoulders, using the westbound 3.6 miles as a test section for MDOT appraisal. Construction of permanent pavement utilized High Performance PCC, while all temporary pavement, maintenance crossovers, and weigh station pavement were also placed using concrete pavement.
The project required a 5 year material and workmanship warranty on the concrete pavement. To provide assurance and documentation, a project-specific Contractor Quality Control Plan, including testing and inspection, was administered by a full-time CQC manager. The ride was tested every morning with a lightweight profilograph and adjustments were made as necessary. Shilstone blended high performance gradation testing monitored the mix and adjustments made to the concrete mix design to maximize the workability and strength.
Traffic was maintained on one roadway in a head-to-head configuration separated with the use of temporary concrete barrier wall. Changeable message boards in conjunction with temporary signage kept travelers apprised of conditions. The contractor informed MDOT and the Michigan State Police of any major changes to traffic control and traffic patterns. In addition, MDOT used a mass email system to inform local agencies, police departments, and the media of any major changes in traffic conditions.