Featured in IQ: 2012 Volume 4 Issue 2
Although widening Brockington Road in Sherwood, Ark. faced several construction challenges, the city worked with Garver's construction engineering and inspection (CE&I) team to complete the project on time and under budget.
After a different engineering firm designed the three-quarter-mile widening project, Sherwood contracted with Garver for independent CE&I services. Working with Garver's transportation engineers, the CE&I team recognized and corrected potential issues with the drainage design and maintenance of traffic plan.
The corrections required multiple change orders, which expanded the project scope. Redstone Construction Group was contracted to complete construction on the $3.84 million project by March 20, 2012. With help from Garver, the project was completed last November for $3.48 million, nearly $400,000 under budget.
"Garver personnel were very instrumental in keeping the project moving," said City Engineer Ellen Norvell. "The project was substantially complete three months ahead of schedule."
The project widened Brockington Road from two to four lanes and included a divided median and a center turn lane. The project also added sidewalks for pedestrian safety and improved drainage structures to reduce flooding.
"With 18,000 vehicles per day traveling on Brockington Road, the roadway experienced severe congestion, especially during peak times," Norvell said. "This widening project benefits Sherwood and Pulaski County residents who drive this route on a daily basis."
As initially designed, the stormwater system aimed to correct an ongoing drainage problem by employing parallel pipes on both sides of Brockington Road. The pipes tied together after one road crossing and discharged into a small ditch in Brookwood Village.
"When we looked over the plans, we knew the drainage design was inadequate to handle the stormwater," said Garver Resident Engineer Blake Martin, PE, SI, CFM. "We worked with the city and redesigned portions of the system to give Brockington Road a functioning drainage network."
Garver added a 700-foot-long reinforced concrete box culvert to circumvent Brookwood Village and reduce flooding potential. Garver also corrected grade elevation issues and added a second storm drain crossing along Brockington to keep the pipes from overfilling during rain events.
"Garver provided design services that not only allowed the city to improve drainage conditions, but also prevented the downstream situation from becoming worse," Norvell said.
Garver also discerned that the maintenance of traffic plan prompted safety and schedule concerns. The phasing originally called for the two outside lanes to be built in separate phases followed by reconstructing the interior lanes and median. Due to the roadway's new profile, this phasing plan meant that two-way traffic would temporarily move along parallel lanes with an 18-inch pavement height difference.
"With the way the construction plan was designed, it wasn't going to get the road completed on time and it would fall behind schedule," Martin said. "In addition, it only left about 22 feet of width to work in the middle, and with 18,000 cars going by a day, there just wasn't enough room for crews to safely work."
Garver worked with the city, Redstone and the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department (AHTD) to prepare and update the maintenance of traffic plans. "This allowed the contractor to work in a more efficient manner and minimized inconveniences to the traveling public," Norvell said.
The Brockington Road project was funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) and involved Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department oversight.
Garver's CE&I team diligently filled out the required forms, which included pay estimates every two weeks for 18 months.
During the project, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) National Review Team chose six ARRA-funded projects in Arkansas and inspected the documentation. They concluded that Garver's documentation should be the standard for these types of projects.
"The Review Team was impressed with the way this project is being administered and documented, and actually included a 'Good Practice' observation in their final report for the initiative of AHTD to provide a material testing schedule," said Moises Marrero, FHWA field operations team leader. "This 'Good Practice' will be shared with other FHWA Division Offices around the country."