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In This Issue...

Jurgensen – Getting It Done Right On The Ronald Reagan Highway Project Work on former Cross County Highway not just another job

The Jurgensen Company knows a thing or two about asphalt. It is well known for being able to get asphalt down quickly and smoothly. But the Ronald Reagan Highway Project in Hamilton County is putting even this respected company’s abilities to the test.

Project Superintendent Wayne Smalley and up to sixty Jurgensen employees are currently repairing a section of highway between Interstate 71 and Galbreath Road, working six days a week with some double shifts. The work does not involve just routine repaving.

Jurgensen Vice President Dwight Stutz points out that while they are widening and upgrading the roadway, the project involves breaking and seating procedures. Breaking and seating is the process of mechanically breaking the old concrete into twelve foot and eighteen foot pieces and then seating them with a fifty ton proof roller to insure settlement.

"We don’t see too many jobs involving this process anymore, even though we believe it has been very successful procedure in the past, " Stutz said.

"There is also some fairly substantial asphalt overlays required to level and reprofile the surface on this project. We have anywhere from four and a half inches to eleven inches of 301 bituminous aggregate base plus three inches of surface courses involved."

The pavement breakdown can be attributed to one major factor - age. Although sporting a recent name change, the highway was constructed in the 1950s and was showing wear and tear of time. While the major repair portion of the project began in earnest just last March, Jurgensen was actually required to place a 1 ¾ inch temporary asphalt overlay to the road in the fall of 1999 to insure that the deteriorating roadway would hold up through winter.

"The pavement repairs and asphalt overlay were intended to prevent the extensive potholes that we previously experienced," said Mike Flynn, deputy director for ODOT’s District 8 office when announcing the initial repair work.

"Our overlay held together pretty well," Stutz said, which kept the road surface in excellent condition until the major work could begin last spring.

"In fact, I imagine some of the motorists were wondering why we were tearing up what now looked like good pavement. They have to realize that the true problems were deeper, and even this new overlay wouldn’t have lasted too many years."

Along with repairing and resurfacing, the 17.6 million project includes:

  • Constructing an eight foot wide shoulder

  • Replacing the existing median guardrail with concrete barriers and installing four foot wide shoulders

  • Lengthening exits and entrance ramps for safer acceleration and deceleration

  • Repairing bridges

  • Installing new lighting, signage, pavement markings, drainage and retaining walls

Jurgensen’s efforts, however, don’t begin and end with the work at hand. The company’s value engineering on the Ronald Reagan helped change traffic control plans for the better.

"Original traffic control methods called for one lane in each direction, both east and westbound, to be closed to motorists while one remained open," Stutz said. "We suggested we move all traffic to one set of lanes, either eastbound or westbound, while the other side was closed for repair."

"Our experience has shown this method saves time and money, while creating a safer working environment for our employees and motorists. In this case it also resulted in a substantial cost savings to ODOT."

This experience and efficiency are reasons Jurgensen continues to be a leader in the road construction industry. Well on its way to a scheduled completion date in June 2001, the reconstruction of the Ronald Reagan Highway can only strengthen the company’s reputation.

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National Board News

National board members met for a regular board meeting on October 27, 2000, at the Clarion Hotel Airport West, Middleburg Heights, Ohio. National President Dominic M. Piccolomini. P.L.S. presided over the meeting. The following are highlights of the committee reports and board actions:

Total ASHE membership stands at 5,083 as reported by Secretary Conner. This count is a decrease of 105 members since the July 2000 board meeting. The decrease is attributed to year-end drops and represents a normal trend for October.

Presidents’ Report:
President Piccolomini attended many section and region functions including Region 3’s first formal regional meeting, Pittsburgh Section’s Annual Past Presidents Banquet and Region 6’s Third Annual Regional Seminar in New Jersey. He also announced that Tallahassee Florida would likely charter a new section in January or February, which he plans to attend. New Sections:
Director Tracy Hill presented Goals and an Action Plan for the New Sections Committee to help increase the number of sections as identified in the updated Strategic Plan. The content of the plan included: Marketing Materials - in the form of a power point presentation and brochure; and, Identify Potential Sections and Actions – by prioritizing their effort based on a ranking status, potential membership, and geographic infill.

A database was established having potential new sections identified for Regions 1, 7, 8 and 9. All proposed sections were prioritized and action items identified for follow-up by specific national board members and others. This list included fourteen potential sections with two of them being of Priority 1 - Tallahassee, Florida and Columbia, South Carolina.

Public Relations:
First Vice President Cooper Curtis asked sections to send him ASHE informational materials such as power point presentations, brochures, photos of events, and materials for promotion and development of student membership.

Curtis also noted that the Altoona Section plans to promote ASHE on a billboard during Engineers Week 2001. Southwest Penn Section will promote ASHE with a booth at the Annual APC/PennDOT Fall Seminar which attracts over 1,100 members of the transportation industry.

Conference Committee:
Dave Jones presented and discussed a draft "National Conference Guideline" which all directors were asked to review and comment on at the January 2001 national board meeting. The intent is to modify the current National Conference Guidelines contained in the Sections Operating Manual to be consistent with the new Strategic Plan. The overall direction is to formalize the approval process leading up to hosting the national conference, to provide direction to the conference committees, to set some guidelines for approval of the conference, and to establish some tools to assure national that the conference planning is on track toward success.

Web Site Committee:
Dave Jones reported on the Committee’s August meeting with John Wanner of Wanner & Associates and Wayne Kessler of Kessler-Freedman to discuss proposed enhancements to the web page. Some of the proposed enhancements include: FAQ Page to reduce the number of questions that are personally responded to by Past President Pat Dougherty; Consultant/Supplier Link Page which will be available for sale; Section Operating Manual Page to post the manual for access to all members as well as ease of update; Organizational Link Page to link to other sites of industry significance; and, Strategic Plan along with Vision, Mission and Values.

Strategic Plan:
Second Vice President Sandy Ivory discussed the final draft of the ASHE 2000-2003 Strategic Plan. Upon some minor comments, the national board approved the plan. Copies will be provided to the national board members and sections to update the Section Operating Manual.

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President’s Message

At the National Board meeting held on October 27, 2000 held in Cleveland Ohio, the "American Society of Highway Engineers 2000-2003 Strategic Plan" was approved. Distribution to the sections for inclusion into the Section Operating Manual will be forthcoming in the next few weeks.

One of the goals of the Strategic Plan is to increase total membership. To achieve this goal, I am requesting the support of each section and each individual member to work towards achieving a 5% net increase this coming year.

There are many ways to work towards this goal. We all know someone who would benefit from belonging to ASHE. Therefore, I encourage each of you to do what you can. Ask a friend to come to an ASHE meeting; introduce them to the section’s members; explain the benefits and reasonable cost of belonging to ASHE; and let them know about the endless networking opportunities with other transportation employees made available through ASHE golf outings, dinner meetings, technical seminars and other activities. Members are also encouraged to participate in at least one activity per year. The strength of section activities and committee functions depends on everyone’s active involvement.

Another goal to increase total membership challenges the National New Sections Committee to add an average of two new sections per year. This includes adding an average of one new state every three years. I’m very proud of the accomplishments to date of the New Sections Committee for aligning its focus and strategies to meet the challenge. Please refer to their report in the National Board News for more specific details.

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The Route 895 Connector Pocahontas Parkway Project


John A. Stuart, PE - Moffatt & Nichol Engineers
President, Old Dominion Section
An exciting project is under construction in Richmond, Virginia demonstrating a successful partnership between the Virginia Department of Transportation and the private sector. The 895 Connector, now named the Pocahontas Parkway, project, has come to fruition due to the foresight and dedication of individuals from the public and private sectors who are working together to improve transportation in the Richmond area. Once completed, the benefits to the area’s economy are almost immeasurable.

This is the first construction under Virginia¹s Public Private Transportation Act (PPTA) of 1995. It is being developed by FD/MK LLC, a joint venture of international engineering and construction giants Fluor Daniel and Morrison Knudsen, in partnership with the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT). Through the PPTA, a comprehensive agreement was signed in June 1998 to provide for the public/private financing needed to accelerate the project. Groundbreaking took place in October 1998. The Old Dominion Section sponsored a field trip to the site in the summer of 2000 to witness the massive amount of construction taking place.

A nonprofit group, the Pocahontas Parkway Association, is managing the $330 million financing, which will be repaid by tolls. Virginia will provide a total of $27 million ($18 million in loans from the State Infrastructure Bond and $9 million in design cost). The remaining $297 million will be generated by private bond investors. The investors and the state will be repaid solely by tolls from users of the parkway. This innovative partnership means motorists will be driving on the road in 2002 instead of waiting 10 to15 years for federal and state funds to be available.

This 8.8 mile connector will be a four-lane roadway connecting Chippenham Parkway at I-95 in Chesterfield County with Interstate 295 south of the Richmond International Airport in Henrico County. The project will include a high-level bridge over the James River so that ocean going ships will have access to the Port of Richmond’s Deepwater Terminal and an interchange at Laburnum Avenue. The clear span of the main bridge is the third longest for this type bridge (cast in place segmental) in North America. It is 672 feet or over two football fields long. 60 miles of piling will be used to support the foundations. The Pocahontas Parkway will provide a shorter, quicker and easier route between major portions of the greater Richmond area. Employees and citizens will be able to get to and from their destinations in the eastern and southern portions of the Richmond area more efficiently.

The Pocahontas Parkway has long been recognized as a priority in the Richmond area¹s transportation plan by the Counties of Chesterfield and Henrico, the City of Richmond, the Metropolitan Planning Organization, the Greater Richmond Chamber of Commerce, the Capital Region Airport Commission and the Henrico Business Council. The project will provide a much-needed commuter transportation alternative for those who live in one area, but work in another on the other side of the James River. Most importantly it will provide increased economic development opportunities throughout the greater Richmond area by enhancing access that will complement the efforts of Richmond, Henrico and Chesterfield to attract new businesses and strengthen existing employers. Another example of the Virginia Department of Transportation’s efforts to improve the lives of citizens of the Commonwealth.

Pocahontas Parkway Construction Quantities

  • Excavation 3,115,000 Cu. M
  • Asphalt 230,000 M Tons
  • Pipe Culverts 13,000 M
  • Piling 91,000 M
  • Structural Concrete 132,000 Cu. M
  • Reinforcing Steel 13,600,000 KG
  • Post Tensioning Steel 1,960,000 KG
  • Structural Steel 6,750,000 KG

(Special thanks to the Pocahontas Parkway Association, VDOT, and FD/MK LLC for the project information)

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Story by: John Coy, President Western Reserve Section

The AMERICAN SOCIETY OF HIGHWAY ENGINEERS (ASHE) is an organization that I have been proud to be associated with over the past five years. Their ideals and goals as it relates to the highway industry, are of high standards, second to none.

The WESTERN RESERVE SECTION was chartered September 14, 1976. The first president was Mr. Dan Bittler P.E. who later went on to become National Director of ASHE.

Since the time of their charter in 1976, the WESTERN RESERVE SECTION has enjoyed hearing from outstanding speakers discussing technical issues as well as hearing from local congressman, ODOT directors, city and county engineers.

A number of our members have been involved in the national conferences and have brought back new ideas to our members. One highlight came in 1986 when, along with the Cuyahoga Valley Section, we hosted the national conference in Richfield, Ohio.

Several members have been active from the start of the Western Reserve Section, and remain active today. Those dedicated to ASHE include past national directors and past section presidents Don Soldatis P.E. and Fred Appel.

Another organization that I have been proud to be associated with is the company I work for, ms consultants, inc. This year, ms consultants suffered a great loss in the passing of its founder—and the heart and soul of the company—Mr. Thomas F. Mosure.

Mr. Mosure, like the ASHE organization, was a leader and innovator in the engineering field. Mr. Mosure started his own firm in 1960 with just two employees and a dream.

That dream 40 years later has produced one of the top 500 engineering firms in the country. ms consultants, inc. now has offices in eight different cities located in five different states. The heart and soul remains at the home office in Youngstown, Ohio, where Mr. Mosure first started and remained until his untimely death this year.

Mr. Mosure served his community with pride, honesty and above all trust. He passed those qualities on in his business to his employees as well as the clients he served. He was a man who made you feel you were his friend. He earned your respect very easily, because you knew that when he said something he was a man of his word. That is a quality that is very hard to find, but Mr. Mosure definitely had it.

ms consultants, inc. is a very diverse, multiple-discipline firm that has worked on various projects of all sizes, ranging from site work for Bob Evans restaurants to the expanding of interstate I-270 outerbelt in Columbus, Ohio.

Through it all one thing that the employees have is pride in knowing that they work for one of the best firms in the industry that will continue to grow in the 21st century.

Thank you Thomas F. Mosure for a dream 40 years ago that today is a reality for 245 proud employees of ms consultants.

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The Ford City Veterans Bridge

Pennsylvania Department of Transportation
Engineering District 10

Written by James B. Struzzi II, Community Relations Coordinator

Armstrong, PA – Throughout the history of civilization, architectural and engineering feats have stood as monuments to the intellectual and creative energies of a particular time period and culture. There is the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco; the Brooklyn Bridge in New York; the Tower Bridge in London; the Coos Bay Bridge in Oregon . . . and now there is the Ford City Veterans Bridge in Armstrong County, Pennsylvania.

Completed in July 2000, the new, 1060-foot, $17.9 million state-of-the-art bridge carries Pennsylvania State Route (SR) 128 over the waters of the Allegheny River. The prime contractor for the bridge project was the Trumbull Corporation of Pittsburgh, PA.

Named through legislation the Ford City "Veterans" Bridge to honor the region’s men and women who faithfully served the United States in foreign wars, a ribbon cutting ceremony with a distinctly red, white and blue theme was held on July 28, 2000.

Though known for the diligence and work ethic of its people, the local community near the new bridge, Ford City Borough, had recently experienced an unemployment rate twice that of the State. The new bridge is expected to improve and ensure economic viability for the area for many years to come. Many local leaders consider the new bridge to be an investment in the area’s future because it will not have a posted weight limit. The old bridge had an 11-ton weight limit, which meant trucks carrying loads above this limit could not access Ford City Borough via the old bridge.

"You have plenty of reason to celebrate. This bridge symbolizes a new beginning for Ford City Borough," said Pennsylvania Secretary of Transportation Bradley L. Mallory to a crowd of several hundred people gathered for the ribbon cutting ceremony. "What you have created here in this new bridge is the future for this region."

A Design For The Future
Standing as one of the premiere structures in the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation’s (PennDOT) Engineering District 10, the 40-foot wide, three-span bridge is one of the largest applications of curved, high-performance weathering steel (HPS 485W) in the nation. The new bridge, funded by the $1 Billion Bridge Bill, replaces the existing 19-foot wide structure that was built in 1914. The old structure was demolished in August after traffic was channeled onto the new structure, built 75 feet upstream from the old bridge.

This spectacular structure combines engineering wizardry with new, technologically advanced 70 ksi (kips per square) high performance weathering steel rolled and melted by Bethlehem Lukens Plate in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

After considering several alternatives, engineers from Michael Baker Jr. Consulting Engineers of Coraopolis, PA, the project’s final designer, opted to use a combination of grade 50 steel with the new high performance steel. This innovative combination created an efficient, hybrid design that significantly reduced the size of the girders over the piers.

High performance steel provides a 40 percent increase in strength over 50 ksi. The new steel is also more corrosion resistant and can be welded using standard techniques. In addition, using 70-ksi steel allowed project engineers to reduce costs by approximately $1 million less than using standard designs. Weathering steel does not require painting, which will also save PennDOT additional money in the future. Weathering steel instead turns a dark rust color that will allow the new bridge to blend aesthetically with the scenic, natural terrain of Armstrong County.

The combination design contained four 14-foot deep girders consisting of 44 girder sections using 70-ksi steel over the piers while grade 50 was used for the remainder of the structure. Engineers used this combination design because, at the time, the availability of 70-ksi steel was limited.

Project engineers estimate that as the availability of 70-ksi high performance steel increases, costs for building bridge projects that utilize this new product will be reduced.

One of the unique aspects of the new bridge is the curved girders utilized to improve safety by eliminating six sharp curves on the roadway approaches. The bridge features the largest curved girder span, to date, in Pennsylvania. The girders were fabricated by PDM Bridge, of Eau Claire, Wisconsin. By using a curved design, engineers were also able to limit the project’s impact on local property owners by decreasing the amount of right-of-way acquisitions needed. If the bridge had been built without the curve, more right-of-way would have been necessary and homeowners would have been displaced.

"We wanted to eliminate those curves by design for a number of reasons," said Richard H. Hogg, District Engineer. "But the most important reason was to improve the safety of the bridge approaches by removing a 90 degree turn on the west approach."

In addition, curving the bridge greatly reduced the amount of environmental impact the project would have had on the surrounding area.

The Ford City Bridge Project is the largest of the $1 Billion Bridge Bill projects to be constructed in the five-county Engineering District 10 area. The Bill program dedicates funding specifically for bridge projects, using 80% Federal funding and 20% State funds.

Building a bridge for tomorrow
With much enthusiasm, ground was broken for the project in June 1998. While the steel used to construct the bridge may have a revolutionary potential for the construction industry, the bridge itself and how it came to be have also established new precedents for PennDOT.

The Ford City Bridge Project is one of the first projects in the State to use "partnering" to provide local input by all partners directly into the design of the new bridge. The project is setting a new standard that will be utilized across the state. Before the Ford City Bridge project, partnering was only used during the construction phase of projects. Community input during the design phase allowed PennDOT to deliver the best project possible to meet the community’s needs. In addition, the new bridge is lighted thanks to a cooperative agreement with PennDOT, Ford City Borough, North Buffalo Township and Manor Township.

In addition, the Pennsylvania Southwest Planning Commission, the Federal Highway Administration, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and PennDOT worked closely throughout the project’s development to advance and complete the bridge.

"The project is a perfect example of what can be accomplished when PennDOT, its partners and the communities it serves can meet and work together on common ground to achieve a common goal," said Rick Hogg, District 10 Engineer. "This bridge wouldn’t be here today if not for the help of the local community."

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