Annapolis, MD – During the 54th Annual Convention of the International Slurry Surfacing Association awarded Strawser Construction Inc. & Ohio Department of Transportation with ISSA’s President’s Award for Excellence during their Recognition Breakfast held on February 25, 2016 at the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort & Spa in Bonita Springs, Florida.
Part 1 of this project may only be 3.88 miles long, but it was hands down the most difficult and complex section of roadway Strawser Construction Inc. have ever paved. This section of I-670 varies from 3 to 4 lanes in both the east and westbound directions. There are also numerous on/off ramps that service other major thoroughfares. These include Neil Ave (which carries traffic to the Arena District and Columbus Clippers stadium), OH-315, I-71, Dublin Rd, Grandview Ave, and US-33. The off and on ramps for US-33 were each over a mile in length.
With an ADT of 191,663, this is easily one of the busiest and most congested roads in the Greater Columbus area. Due to the large traffic volumes, ODOT mandated extremely restrictive working hours in the original plans. The allowable working times varied depending on the location within the project, direction of traffic and the number of lanes being restricted. However, the majority of their operation would require a double lane closure which was only permitted between the hours of 9:00 pm and 5:00 am. Any traffic restrictions outside of these times would be subject to a $200 per lane per minute penalty.
With such a short window of working hours and the complexity of the traffic control setups, this only left a handful of hours each night for actual production.
If the work were to be completed per the original traffic control restrictions, SCI and Strawser Construction Inc.’s subcontractors would have had over 125 nighttime lane closure.
ODOT has a program called “Valued Engineering Change Proposals” or otherwise known as VECP. This program encourages contractors to submit a value engineering proposal to ODOT by splitting with the contractor all recognized savings.
After a thorough review of the project in December of 2014, and with the guidance of the ODOT inspection team, Strawser Construction Inc. decided to develop a VECP for this project.
In March of 2015, Strawser Construction Inc. submitted their VECP to ODOT, in which they proposed 2 weekend closures of I-670 eastbound and 2 weekend closures of I-670 westbound. They proposed closing of I-670 on Friday evening at 9:00 pm and having the road open to traffic by no later than 6:00 am Monday morning. The following is a breakdown of the proposed closures and work to be completed during each closure.
As a part of the VECP, Strawser Construction Inc. included a cost savings to ODOT in the amount of $121,932.00. The majority of the cost savings was due to the increase in productivity.
In early April of 2015 the VECP that had been submitted was approved by ODOT and the City of Columbus.
On April 17th, 2015 at 9:00 pm, Strawser Construction Inc. initiated their first full closure of I-670 eastbound. Bridge deck sealing and line removal were completed during the evening shifts, and during the daytime shifts the HMA patching, spray patching, and crack sealing (utilizing 3 crews) were completed. Eastbound was reopened to traffic by Monday April 20th at 2:00 am.
On April 24th, 2015 at 9:00 pm, they initiated their first full closure of I-670 westbound. Bridge deck sealing and line removal were completed during the evening shifts, and during the daytime shifts the HMA patching, spray patching, and crack sealing (utilizing 3 crews) were completed. Westbound was reopened to traffic by Monday April 20th at 2:00 am.
On May 1st, 2015 at 9:00 pm, they initiated the 2nd full closure of I-670 westbound. During the evening shifts Strawser Construction Inc. had a small continuous crew complete the leveling and surfacing of all on/off ramps, and during the daytime shifts they utilized two continuous crews to complete the leveling and surfacing of the mainline. By Sunday at 11:00 pm all Micro Surfacing and temporary striping was completed and the road was open to traffic.
On May 8th, 2015 at 9:00 pm, they initiated the 2nd full closure of I-670 eastbound. Strawser Construction Inc. had the same crew and shifts as used on the westbound side, and by Sunday at 7:30 pm all Micro Surfacing and temporary striping was completed and the road was open to traffic.
The project was to be completed in two phases with “Part 2” being completed in 2014 and “Part 1” completed in 2015.
In August of 2014, Strawser Construction Inc. began working on Part 2 of the project on I-71. Due to daytime traffic volumes on this section of I-71, no daytime lane closures were permitted. All crack sealing and Micro Surfacing work was completed by mid-September 2015 without any issues.
This section of I-71 is classified as “rural” with an average daily traffic (ADT) of 41,000. There was only one set of exit ramps included in the project and the roadway was fairly straight.
Was there anything difficult or “special” about this part of the project? Not really, this was a fairly “easy” section of roadway and not unlike many other sections of highway Strawser Construction Inc. have paved in the past.