Reconstructing 28th Street

By Aram Kalousdian, Editor | September 28, 2010

An approximately half-mile section of 28th Street between Division Street and US-131 in Grand Rapids and Wyoming is being reconstructed with full-depth concrete. Work on the five-lane road includes storm drainage improvements and signal upgrades. The project began in April and it will be completed in August. The cost of the project is approximately $2.8 million. Florence Cement Company, Inc. of Shelby Township is the prime contractor.

There are multiple stages to the project. The first stage included the temporary widening along the north side of the project. "Then we switched traffic to the north and constructed two lanes for part of the project and three lanes for the other part of the project, including two quarters of the intersections. Then we switched over and constructed the other two quarters of the intersections," Tony Cardillo, project manager for Florence Cement Company, said.

Cardillo explained the site preparation process on the project. "We're milling the existing pavement, breaking and removing the pavement, excavating, and installing storm sewers and edge drain," Cardillo said. The existing pavement was 3-inch to 5-inch-deep asphalt over 8-inch concrete pavement.

"This is a very old pavement and there were a lot of unforeseen existing utilities. The road had been widened over the years. Our subcontractor, Bultema Brothers Road Contractors, Inc., removed the unforeseen utilities and abandoned them," Cardillo said. Abandoned utilities included duct banks and abandoned gas mains.

Cardillo said that there were some challenges on the project that had to be overcome. "There was some dewatering. The challenge has been the amount of traffic," Cardillo said. He pointed out that 28th Street is a very busy road. "It's very congested between US-131 and Division Street. There is a constant flow of traffic and maintaining westbound traffic, eastbound traffic, plus turn lanes as we build the project is challenging," he said.

Florence Cement is using a GOMACO 2600 paver for the slipform paving operation. The GOMACO 2600 paves 22 feet or 33 feet in one pass, according to Cardillo. Paving has been done at night. "Florence chose to pave at night, due to the high traffic volumes. We did our major pours in the evening, from approximately 8 p.m. to 7 a.m.," Cardillo said. Florence Cement has had its own portable batch plant located two blocks away from the project.

There are two major intersections on the project. One is a five-lane intersection at Division Street, and the other is a five-lane intersection at Buchanan. Traffic signals at both intersections are being upgraded.

The project includes 28,000 square yards of pavement removal; the placement of 25,000 square yards of 6-inch aggregate base; the placement of approximately 11,000 feet of underdrain; and the placement of 21,000 square yards of 10-inch high performance shilstone concrete pavement.

Cardillo said that the shilstone mix appears to cure faster. The first pours were at traffic-load strength in two days, and a second section was at traffic-load strength in three days. "This helped us with the schedule," Cardillo said.

Subcontractors on the project include Martin J. Concrete (curbs, walkways and driveways); Strain Electric (electrical and signals); Give 'Em A Brake Safety (traffic control); P. K. Contracting (pavement markings); A-1 Asphalt (asphalt transitions and points of entry north and south of the major intersections); Weyand Brothers (guardrail and restoration); and M&K Construction Supply, LLC (which is providing class 2 fill sand, 6AAA limestone, 26A limestone, and hauling out spoils and milling materials). Fleis & Vandenbrink Engineering, Inc. is the consulting engineering firm for the project.


Project: Reconstruction of 28th Street from Division Street to US-131 in Grand Rapids and Wyoming

Prime contractor: Florence Cement Company, of Shelby Township

Cost: Approximately $2.8 million