- Client Name: HDR
- Project Location: Louisville, KY
The Louisville-Southern Indiana Ohio River Bridges project will cost over $2 billion dollars when complete. The project is in two parts with Kentucky overseeing Downtown Crossing and Indiana directing East End Crossing. S&ME is a member of the design-build team providing quality control and quality assurance services to the Commonwealth of Kentucky for Downtown Crossing. Financed through Federal Highway Administration dollars, this ambitious project is designed to improve safety, ease traffic and promote economic development in the industrial Midwest.
Downtown Crossing, located in the heart of Kentucky’s busiest urban area, connects traffic between Louisville, Kentucky, and Jeffersonville, Indiana. With daily traffic of about 250,000 vehicles it is one of the worst traffic messes in the country. The project calls for construction of a new I-65 bridge with six northbound lanes, rehabilitation of Kentucky Bridge (I-65) with six southbound lanes, reconfiguration of Spaghetti Junction (I-64, I-65 and I-71) on the Kentucky approaches, and reconfiguration of the Indiana roadway and bridge approaches. Construction of roadway improvements is complicated by prohibitive right-of-way issues that requires traffic lanes to remain open during construction.
Construction on Downtown Crossing started in 2013. S&ME is performing construction engineering and inspection (CEI) and so is responsible for acceptance and approval decisions as well as construction materials testing. We have established a 4500 sf materials testing laboratory that is accepted by both Kentucky and Indiana as a highway district materials testing laboratory and operates under their certifications. S&ME staff have met the same training and certification procedures as highway district staff.
S&ME is providing materials testing, density testing and precast/pre-stressed plant inspections. Our materials testing role encompasses traditional concrete testing as well as approvals for both asphalt and concrete mix designs. We are performing volumetric acceptance testing on the asphalt and evaluating density through cores. The volume of asphalt on this project exceeds the total amount produced from all other Kentucky roadway projects in a year. We are performing all density testing on the project, and are approving all fill materials. Working in a heavy urban area means that waste areas are non-existent, so evaluating mixtures of good and bad fill materials to determine their suitability for use and properties is constant. The project will have 40 acres of MSE wall panels and 17 miles of precast concrete beams. In addition, we are providing welding and bolting inspections, NDT testing and coring to determine if some existing structures can be saved and incorporated into the new structures, performing traffic inspections and striping reflectivity, and maintaining time and material records for extra or disputed work. All our testing results are recorded in each state’s database.
The construction project will bill an average of a million dollars a day for the next 3 years. Estimated completion date is December 2016.