Contractor finds key ingredient for barrier-wall job

Equipment Article July 06, 2012
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JBI Construction faced a barrier challenge on I-65 in Louisville, Ky.

They were a subcontractor to Hall Contracting of Kentucky Inc. on the project, which required the removal and replacement of approximately 12,000 linear feet of barrier in just nine days. The project took place on a 4.2-mile section of I-65 that stretched from downtown Louisville to the I-264 Watterson Expressway interchange.

JBI, based out of Evansville, Ind., used three GOMACO slipform pavers—including a Commander III three-track, a Commander III four-track and a GT-6300—to create three barrier walls for crews to work on I-65. Going into the start of the project, JBI knew it had to average 1,800 ft of wall per day to complete on time.

“To make a project of this size a success, you need a good concrete supplier, good equipment, good people and a lot of patience,” said Tim Sigler, vice president and general manager of JBI Construction.

The Commander III three-track was paving on the north end of the project and featured a new GOMACO-built barrier mold. The profile of the wall was 52 in. tall, with a 12-in. top width and 30 in. wide across the bottom. No steel reinforcing was used in the new concrete barrier.

The only reinforcing was in areas requiring drainage inlets. In those areas, the mold had a hinged door on the front of it that could be hydraulically raised to allow slipforming over the steel. Once the mold had cleared the steel, the operator simply hydraulically lowered the door again, never having to stop the forward progress of the paver.

The barrier was slipformed over a trench that was left from the removal of the pre-existing 32-in.-tall wall. The interstate remained open during the entire project.

JBI was only given the two left lanes in each direction to work in. It was challenging working conditions to say the least, with minimal space to get ready-mix trucks in and out as thousands of vehicles passed by the JBI slipforming crews.

JBI was allowed seven of the nine days to slipform all of the 52-in.-tall, single-slope barrier wall. Failure to complete on time could have incurred hourly penalties up to $690,000. The penalties were not a factor at all, though.

JBI did not just complete the barrier wall on time; they finished their portion of the project one day early.

It was an impressive project accomplished with multiple machines with matching barrier molds. R&B

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