Winder, Ga., revitalized its main downtown thoroughfare by combining the design and resources of a streetscape enhancement effort with those of a roadway maintenance project. Collaboration between the project team and the Georgia Dept. of Transportation (GDOT) led to the selection of a unique, long-lasting system of reinforced precast concrete pavement slabs, which are rarely used in congested urban settings.

Based on the project team’s 3D imaging of the route collected using LiDAR mobile laser scanning surveying technology, GDOT prepared plans and bidding documents for 348 precast panels. With each specially shaped for a specific location, the project team needed to manage a host of complicated, highly variable geometries. Among them were non-parallel edges alongside structures, emergency access to buildings, crowns of intersecting streets and specific cross-slopes for control of storm drainage. Panel-to-panel fit tolerance measured only 1/8 in.  for both linear gaps and vertical elevation differences.

Prior to construction, the project team relocated all utilities from the planned locations of the slabs and used ground-penetrating radar to identify several previously unknown coal chutes, stairs and other voids beneath sidewalks adjacent to historic buildings. Crews also took special measures to protect the slabs during transport and delivery to the staging area and during installation.

To minimize disruption to Winder’s downtown businesses and residents, as well as travelers on the three state routes that converge on Broad Street, construction crews placed the slabs one lane at a time during the overnight hours and other off-peak travel periods, which kept the street fully accessible to vehicles during the day. The precast concrete pavement is expected to last for 50 years—more than three times the typical life expectancy for conventional asphalt. Along with providing long-term maintenance savings, the technology reduces the likelihood of significant construction-related disruption along the corridor for decades to come.

Following installation of the panels, the project’s contractors enhanced the streetscape with sustainable features such as LED street lighting and xeriscape landscaping for minimal water use. Overall, the North Broad Street redevelopment project corrected major infrastructure deficiencies, reduced congestion and enhanced downtown Winder’s livability and business climate with significant improvements to sidewalks and pedestrian access. Construction was substantially complete two months ahead of schedule and within budget.

North Broad Street Redevelopment

Winder, Ga.

Key Players
City of Winder
Lead Design Firm Keck & Wood Inc.
Contractor G.P.’s Enterprises Inc.
MEP Engineer Engineering Consultants Services Inc.