Sain Associate’s Riverchase Drive Project
By Shawn Calhoun, Design Engineer/CE&I Inspector, Sain Associates
Last year Sain Associates prepared the design plans for widening Riverchase Drive in Phenix City, AL to improve the traffic flow in that area. The design added a right turn lane to the eastbound US 80 entrance ramp and additional lanes from the westbound US 80 exit ramp. The plans included drainage modifications, reshaping of the back slope (the lateral area beyond the ditch line) which contained a water line and several large transmission line towers, new curb & gutter, pavement, and a barrier wall to protect the bridge piers under the US 80 overpass.
In April, the project moved into the construction phase, and Sain Associates provided Construction Engineering and Inspection (CE&I) services. These services are provided to ensure that projects are built according to the design plans and client’s specifications.
Through an advertised bidding process, Robinson Paving Company was awarded the construction contract and began work April 4th. The construction plans expected to encounter some poor soil material under the area where the roadway widening was to occur and there were plans to remove it. As is sometimes the case in construction, the volume of poor soils was larger than anticipated. We also found that a water line located in the back slope was shallower than expected and had to be avoided. Even with a few setbacks, construction was completed well ahead of schedule. Good planning, adequate manpower, and equipment allocation helped the contractor perform several items of work simultaneously which sped progress.
The additional lanes on Riverchase Drive have improved traffic flow in that area tremendously. It is very satisfying to design a project that will benefit a community and see it completed through construction into a high quality finished product.