For the second time in three years, contractors will go into overdrive on an Indianapolis highway project. In November, the Indiana Dept. of Transportation announced a fast-track, $175-million reconstruction project on a 6-mile stretch of Interstate 70 in Indianapolis that is expected to be completed in 10 months—nearly a third of the time of a conventional project.
The project, dubbed Super 70, includes 75 miles of new pavement, 28 new bridge decks, widening of shoulders from 7 ft to 14 ft, a new overpass and new signs and lights. Three interchanges will be shut down. In February, all traffic will be diverted to the eastbound lanes while work on the westbound lanes is completed. Then, traffic will shift to the westbound lanes for eastbound lane work. Completion is scheduled for November 2007.
A design-build team of Chicago-based Walsh Construction's Laporte, Ind., office and Janssen and Spaans Engineering, Indianapolis, will tackle the job. Walsh built the state's original "Hyperfix" project, which included 33 bridge decks and 35 lane-miles of paving on I-70/65 in Indianapolis. Crews shut down the entire roadway and completed the $33-million job in 55 days.
The Super 70 job is split into two contracts. Each offers incentives of $60,000 per day for early completion with a maximum bonus of $1.8 million. Conversely, the team can be penalized $60,000 per day for missing deadlines.
J.R. Collard, project manager for Walsh, says that site access issues will be the biggest challenge as traffic on I-70 squeezes into half the normal number of lanes. The team is looking at creating access roads exclusively for the project. Collard adds that movable barriers will be used to create up to three lanes of traffic in one direction to handle heavy congestion.