I-295 In New Jersey Gets Rehabilitated

By Christina Fisher. Pictures provided by the New Jersey Department of Transportation. | September 28, 2010

A 10.3-mile section of I-295 from Repaupo Road/Exit 14 in Logan Township to Route 45/Exit 24 in West Deptford is being rehabilitated on a project that includes complete pavement removal and replacement. The scope of the work includes concrete rubbilization; milling existing asphalt and resurfacing with an asphalt overlay; lengthening substandard acceleration/deceleration lanes; reconstructing pavements under overpass structures to increase substandard vertical clearances; replacing guide rails and deteriorated or inadequate signage; and increasing inside shoulder widths where feasible and prudent.

The joint venture of R.E. Pierson and South State began the $85-million project in May 2007 and was divided into four segments. Segments one, two and four are complete. Segments one and two were concrete roadways that were either completely removed or rubbilized. To rubbilize the roadway subcontractor Antigo Construction, Inc. used an MHB Badger Breaker to do two types of breaking – rubbilizing the concrete prior to an asphalt overlay, and breaking concrete for full-depth removal and reconstruction. The Badger Breaker uses a series of hammers that are lifted and dropped. By controlling the height of the lift, the frequency of the hits and the speed of the machine, the operator can control the size of the broken concrete pieces and the depth of the breakage.

Segment four was an asphalt roadway that was milled and repaved.

In the areas where the concrete was entirely removed, the roadway bed required aggregate and multiple layers of Hot Mix Asphalt. This created a challenge with material production and delivery. On a few occasions many of the dump trucks in this area of New Jersey were on the I-295 project.

As with most projects, traffic coordination was also a challenge. The lower traffic volumes through this area of I-295 enabled the NJDOT to pursue some innovative methods of construction. The traffic counts indicated that this area of I-295 could handle the reduction of one lane in each direction for an extended period of time. With traffic now only two lanes in each direction, there was the opportunity to take the two lanes in one direction and cross them onto the other side of the road.

However, this meant that access to some of the ramps would be closed and local detours implemented. During the design phase of the project, NJDOT obtained the approval of the local municipalities and Gloucester County for the traffic shift and detours. Working without any traffic or time restrictions allowed the contractor to complete one side of a 2-mile section of road much faster. This process was implemented elsewhere on the project.

The majority of the roadwork will be completed by the end of October 2008. At that point there should no longer be a need for the crossovers and detours. Miscellaneous work will continue up until May 2009 but will only require short-term lane closures.