I-76 Julesburg

 

Project Focus

Constructed in the late 1950's as I-80S, I-76 was renamed for the nation's Bicentennial celebrations. As part of the Colorado Department of Transportation's efforts to upgrade the aging highway, this project reconstructed the section from Sedgwick to the Nebraska state line. The major scope included 250,000 sy of PCCP, asphalt bond breaker, drainage and erosion control improvements, 83 acres of seed and mulching, 37 miles of fencing, electrical, guardrail, pavement marking and traffic control.

Project Details

Schedule and Construction
The Notice to Proceed was issued on July 13, 2009, with a September 30, 2010 completion. As construction progressed, CDOT discovered more panels requiring fast track replacement and additional necessary cross slope correction. Super-elevation correction required PCCP thicknesses up to 17". Eighteen days were added to allow for the extra work. The first phase began in August, 2009 with concrete patching, right-of-way fencing, drainage improvements, erosion control, detour construction, bond breaker placement, temporary striping, seeding and electrical. Rain and snow in September and October delayed progress, but construction shut down for the winter on schedule. Stockpiling of materials during the winter set the stage for paving in spring, but Eastern Colorado's propensity for heavy spring storms weighed in with rain and snow accompanied by high winds in April, and continued rain in May and June. Despite this, the concrete paving was completed on July 1. Weather delays continued to plague the seed and mulching, but the project was accepted on September 23, 7 days ahead of schedule.

Innovation
CDOT approved a Contractor proposal to pave the final fifteen loads at the slip ramps with high early concrete. This allowed traffic to cross the high early paving the following morning, with the mainline paving continuing without gaps. This eliminated the need for hand paving while improving the quality and rideability of the pavement.

Quality Control
The Contractor Quality Control Program provided process control testing and inspections by ACI-certified employees and technicians, while an independent certified testing laboratory was responsible for quality assurance. The project achieved 81% of the ride quality incentive, notable because of the difficult paver set-up needed for the super-elevation correction, and 100% of the thickness and strength incentives. Two surprise erosion control inspections passed with no problems. Public Relations One of the nicer benefits of working in a rural area is the opportunity to closely interact with the local residents. The Contractor's representative was able to personally visit the businesses affected by the construction and keep them updated on the project schedule and any circumstances that might impact their customers. Concurrent with this project, CDOT was planning to fabricate a maintenance building, so the Contractor was able to provide the 55' by 70' pad for the structure.