US-131 Howard City


Project Focus

This $15 million dollar consisted of 11.88 miles in total of concrete widening / reconstruction and ramp geometric improvements in both northbound and southbound directions. Also included in this project were bridge reconstruction, bearing replacements, pin and hanger, beam repairs, beam and column painting, hot mix asphalt overlay, earthwork, minor widening of carpool parking, guardrail, permanent signing, and pavement markings.

Project Details

Schedule and Complexity
This one year project started in April of 2012 with southbound installation of temporary traffic control and temporary barrier wall. In order to maintain schedule the bridge work started at the same time as the temporary barrier wall started under single lane closures. Roadway work started after barrier wall was in place and traffic was detoured. The in-line bridge near the middle of the project controlled access for all other operations when the overlay was being set up and poured. Traffic was shifted from being all on the northbound side to the southbound side in mid-July. The northbound reconstruction was similar in nature as southbound with the exception that the in-line bridge near the middle of the project was totally reconstructed with a full deck and beam removal and replacement. Working on both sides of the bridge while maintaining schedule created the greatest part of the complexity. The roadway work had to be completed when the bridge work was completed.

Construction & Innovation
Construction began by switching southbound lanes over to the northbound side, separated by temporary concrete barrier wall. This allowed the total reconstruction of the southbound lanes north of Cannonsville Road to south of M-46. The existing concrete pavement was removed and crushed on site and then was used for both base material under the new concrete pavement and as aggregate for shoulder gravel. After completion of the southbound lanes, the lanes of traffic were switched to the new southbound travel lanes and shoulders; and the northbound side was reconstructed.

Quality Control
The Contractor was required to provide a 5 year material and workmanship warranty on the PCCP. To provide assurance and documentation per the Contract requirements, a project-specific Contractor Quality Control Plan, including testing and inspection, was administered by a full-time CQC manager. Additionally, the placement of embeds and the thickness of the pavement was checked continuously during placement, and non-destructive verification tests were performed the following day. The ride was tested continuously with a Gomaco GSI real-time instrument and every morning with a lightweight profilograph and adjustments were made as necessary. Optimized Gradation was performed on a daily basis and adjustments were made to the concrete mix design to maximize the workability, strength, air. Since the mix was adjusted almost daily the plant operator and paving foreman had work closely together to insure that a good uniform mix was delivered and put into place. The "New" Optimized Gradation was put into place with the new PWL requirements, which required the owner to perform all QA testing. This required daily coordination between the contractor QC personnel and the owner QA personnel to insure that the test result were with in a percentage on one another. If not then adjustments were made to insure that they were. We achieved 93% of the full PLW incentive.

Traffic Control
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 of any major changes to traffic control and traffic patterns.