I-85-SR 316 Interchange Reconstruction Raises The Bar For Highway Construction
When the Georgia DOT set out to correct two major problems with the busy I-85/316 interstate interchange, C.W. Matthews was awarded the contract.
- The contract for $147 million was the largest Georgia DOT contract ever awarded at that time.
- The massive project involves building 13 bridges and moving a million yards of dirt.
- The project includes 23 retaining walls, 350,000 tons of asphalt, 54,000 LF of storm drain pipe, 33 new overhead signs, 55,000 LF of guardrail and 45,000 LF of concrete barrier walls.
The interchange project is being constructed to correct two problems. The first is a safety issue. Presently, cars traveling westbound on SR 316 merge into the left or fast lane of I-85 southbound. Accidents in this interchange are averaging 90 every 120 days.
To alleviate this problem, two bridges will be constructed to carry mainline and HOV traffic over I-85 and traffic merges on to a westbound collector distributor road prior to merging with I-85.
The second purpose of the project is to provide congestion relief for the 263,000 drivers who use the interchange daily. This is achieved by constructing collector distributor roads on the both sides of I-85, which allow local traffic to travel without entering the I-85 mainline.
As with most large jobs, this project will be constructed in phases. All five phases have to be completed within the scheduled 36-month time frame, integrating the work of the prime contractors and twenty other subcontractors. As managing partner C.W. Matthews is charged with keeping the phases and entire project on track.
Other project challenges include construction constraints by GA Power and Gwinnett Department of Public Utilities. 15 parcels of property have time sensitive construction durations.
Work on these parcels has to be complete in a specified duration, and carried up to $1,000 daily penalties for failure to comply. Another parcel has a $24,000.00 per day penalty for blocking their loading dock.
Despite these considerable hurdles, this tremendous project is what C.W. Matthews looks for to utilize its ingenuity and managerial skills.