Missouri I-44 Resurfacing, Reconstruction + Bridge Rehabilitation Within a Demanding Schedule
- Public Sector
- State Agencies
- Bridges + Structures
- Roadways + Interchanges
- Phelps and Crawford County, Missouri
Challenge: The Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) faced a critical issue involving the condition of Interstate 44 in Phelps and Crawford Counties. The 28-mile section of pavement between Sugartree Road (near Doolittle) and Route F (near Cuba) was deteriorating and in need of maintenance. MoDOT wanted to use an expected surplus of federal funding prior to the end of the fiscal year to resurface the corridor, which required the project to be negotiated, designed, and let within a span of just five months.
Before the engineering services contract was even executed, MoDOT added the rehabilitation of two bridges within the corridor, and changed 8-miles of pavement within the project limits from resurfacing to complete reconstruction because of lingering subgrade failures. This was a significant amount of work to complete in this timeframe, which was the primary risk identified prior to the design phase.
Solution: To overcome the challenges associated with delivering a large project meeting our quality standards within the timeframe, HR Green employed various strategies over the course of the project. Given the time constraints, surveys were unavailable, necessitating design decisions based on aerial data and on-site assessments of seasoned professionals.
The Team leaned on a former MoDOT Resident Engineer and former MoDOT Area Engineer to drive, walk, and inspect all 28-miles of the corridor and determine locations of concern – both for mainline, shoulder, and ramp pavement conditions as well as guardrail compliance. As field check reports were coming in daily, a team of engineers in the office were taking the information and evaluating lengths of need for guardrail, as well as putting pavement information on the plan sheets to expeditiously keep the project moving.
The field professionals also looked to identify areas where non-compliant guardrail could be removed to reduce future maintenance. One notable instance involved guardrail that was bolted onto a culvert under I-44. This is no longer an acceptable method of guardrail installation, so the team worked with MoDOT to compare the costs of extending the box culvert outside the clear zone and eliminating the guardrail against other options such as barrier installation. The box culvert extension was proven to be the most economical and safest solution and the Team implemented the findings by designing the extension.
The project’s eastbound reconstruction phasing presented a significant challenge, demanding the maintenance of two lanes of traffic in each direction throughout the process. To maintain collaboration between the design team and various decision-making departments at MoDOT (design, materials, traffic, utilities, construction and management), weekly design status meetings were implemented.
The meetings proved to be critical in the eventual solution, which incorporated crossovers and full-depth shoulder reconstruction / widening on westbound lanes, to accommodate two westbound and one eastbound lane. Simultaneously, a single lane of eastbound pavement was retained for traffic flow. This intricate strategy required advance signage, consideration for various traffic types, and provisions for different vehicles.
Benefit: The strategically phased reconstruction minimized disruptions, maintaining crucial traffic lanes and facilitating smoother travel experiences for commuters. Overall, the project showcased HR Green’s commitment to delivering infrastructure development within demanding schedules and its ability to create lasting positive impacts on both the transportation network and community well-being.