Triangle Expressway Breaks Ground
Raleigh-Durham Roadbuilders, a joint venture between Archer Western Contractors and Granite Construction, won the largest contract in this massive project.
Construction has begun on the Triangle Parkway of the North Carolina’s Triangle Expressway, an 18.8-mi toll road that will create a regional loop around Raleigh.
“The Triangle Expressway represents a new paradigm for financing transportation infrastructure in North Carolina,” David Joyner, executive director of the North Carolina Turnpike Authority, says in an e-mail. He adds that by tolling the road, “we will offer drivers a congestion-free alternative decades sooner than otherwise possible.”
The state expects the new road, which is scheduled to start opening in 2012, will save drivers up to 20 minutes per trip to travel the entire 18 mi. The project is the first in the nation to be originally designed and built as an all-electronic toll road.
“The greatest challenge will be to finish it and open it to traffic on time and get customers out there paying off our debt,” says turnpike authority spokesperson Beau Memory.
S.T. Wooten Corp. of Wilson, N.C., broke ground late this summer on the $137.6-million Triangle Parkway segment of the project. Work includes eight new bridges, seven box culverts, grading, storm drainage, water and sewer work, signage and road-tolling infrastructure. The road will run from Interstate 40 at NC 147 in Durham County south to NC 540 in Wake County.
The project is scheduled for substantial completion in 2011 and will wrap up in 2012.
“We’re happy to be on one of the projects,” says Jonathan Biven, vice president of S.T. Wooten. “We believe it’s an important project for North Carolina and its transportation system.”
The largest contract, however, was awarded to Raleigh-Durham Roadbuilders, a joint venture between Archer Western Contractors of Atlanta and Granite Construction Co. of Watsonville, Calif.. The team’s $446-million design-build contract covers the 12.6-mi, six-lane Western Wake Freeway segment. The project came in at 12.2% below the engineer’s original estimate of $508.6 million. The road will run from NC 55 near Research Triangle Park to NC 55 Bypass near Holly Springs in Wake County.
The LPA Group of Raleigh serves as lead designer for the joint-venture team. Preliminary engineering, design and right-of-way acquisition was proceeding this fall. The team must coordinate with cities along the route and obtain ecological permits. Scope includes construction of 34 bridges and installation of noise and retaining walls, drainage systems, lights and signs. Five of the mainline bridges will pass through wetlands.
“We will make sure we are responsible stewards,” says Dave Moyar, project manager with Archer Western.
Raleigh-Durham Roadbuilders expects construction to begin this year and complete in 2013.
“It’s a large amount of work and a tight schedule,” Moyar adds.
The turnpike authority selected the contractors in fall 2008, but held off on construction, waiting for the bond market to improve. Both teams agreed to hold their bids until the summer to give the...