THU APRIL 06, 2023 - NORTHEAST EDITION #8
BRENDA RUGGIERO – CEG CORRESPONDENT
A Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) project to construct the George Washington Boulevard Overpass in Ashburn, Va., is set to be completed nearly six months ahead of schedule.
The contract was awarded to Fay, S&B USA Construction (Fay) in November 2021. The completion date of this project at the time of award was originally May 24, 2024.
"The current finish date is November 16, 2023," said Senior Project Manager Chris Pietrzyk.
This allows Fay to meet an important milestone, and the contractor will potentially receive a monetary incentive for being substantially complete by Dec. 23, 2023 — a deadline it is on target to achieve.
Prior to 2010, Richfield Way and Route 7 in Ashburn were connected with a traffic signal, but the intersection was closed upon the completion of the Route 7 interchange with Loudoun County Parkway. This cut off the northern areas along Route 7 from their southern counterparts, so when the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors met to decide how to improve the connectivity between these areas, they proposed the George Washington Boulevard Overpass, which will extend Route 1050 over Route 7.
"When complete, the project will provide access from Russell Branch Parkway to Research Place by installing a new bridge," Pietrzyk said.
This will serve to reduce congestion issues the area is currently facing. George Washington Boulevard reportedly sees an average of 12,000 vehicles per day, and Route 7 sees an average of 93,000.
According to Katie Spear, vice president of marketing of Shikun & Binui USA, the project will involve the installation of a new two-span bridge over Route 7 and will include the construction of two abutments, a pier, steel girders, a concrete deck and parapet, MSE walls and embankment fill, sidewalks, roadways, waterlines and drainage.
The lanes for the overpass will be 11 ft. in width, with a 10-ft. wide shared-use path on the northbound side, and a 6-ft. wide sidewalk on the southbound to allow for pedestrian traffic.
These improvements will help mediate the congestion on George Washington Boulevard, as 8,500 vehicles per day are expected to use the overpass as an alternative by 2031, and 11,500 vehicles per day by 2041.
According to Pietrzyk, one of the challenges Fay faced during the construction of this project included "coordinating structural steel installation with traffic control along Route 7, which is a very busy three-lane highway."
Due to the severe congestion of the road, at least one lane in each direction has been kept open at all times, meaning construction is working around highly trafficked areas, and workers have to proceed carefully.
Pietrzyk said the preparation of the superstructure for concrete placements during the winter months and following winter curing specifications has also proved challenging.
Spear reported that the equipment being used to complete this job is typical equipment for bridge construction. According to Matt Holl, one of the project engineers, Fay is using Komatsu and Caterpillar excavators, Link-Belt cranes, Caterpillar dozers with GPS and Volvo loaders and rollers. However, Holl also mentioned one specialized piece: a Terex Bid-Well for paving the decks on the bridge.
Pietrzyk said that in the upcoming months "remaining work includes the superstructure deck concrete, parapets and bridge sidewalks."
The roadway work between Russell Branch Parkway and George Washington Parkway, along with their respective curbs and sidewalks, remains as well.
Fay has contracted several subcontractors to help complete the construction of this project. These include Tavares for curbs and sidewalks; Commonwealth Paving for paving; Muller for environmental work, pipe and underdrain sections; L.S. Lee for guardrails; Interlock for rebar; and JenSpy for pavement marking.
Founded in 1947, Fay, S&B USA Construction is a general contractor and solution provider operating in the Mid-Atlantic region.
Fay is a recognized leader in design-build, value engineering and accelerated construction.
"Our innovative solutions, combined with a customer-focused approach, allow us to excel on complex projects with tight schedules and provide our clients with unmatched value," Spear said.
Fay is part of S&B USA Construction and ultimately S&B USA, all of which are headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pa.
"On a national basis, our family of construction companies build complex infrastructure projects and specializes in P3s and other alternative delivery projects where the contractor is responsible for the management of mega projects," Spear added.
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