Ga. highway fixed and improved with concrete saws

Concrete saws

The weight of traffic, especially freight, can take a toll on highways and roadways. This is the case with I-16 in Laurens and Treutlen counties in central Georgia. I-16 is a major transport highway linking ports in Savannah along the Atlantic Ocean to Macon and Atlanta. The highway had been deteriorating and the joints failing due to age and poor joint design. The Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) decided to not only fix the failing roadway, but also add improvements on the 32-mile stretch to support the anticipated increase in freight traffic.

GDOT awarded the work to general contractor APAC Tennessee Inc., who subcontracted with Dan-Kel Concrete Core Drilling & Sawing, based in Myrtle Beach, S.C., for all of the concrete sawing and sealing, as well as demolition sawing. This project includes repairing the left lane and replacing the right lane as well as installing new, wider shoulders on each side. Large projects involving heavily trafficked roadways always mean time and production are big factors, and this project is no different. To ensure pace is kept up with APAC, Dan-Kel is using Husqvarna Construction Products flat saws including FS 6600s, FS 8400s, an RS 8500 riding saw and two new Tier IV emission-compliant models.

The right lane is in worse shape than the left and has to be completely removed. Sixty miles of the old concrete road are being cut into 6- x 10-ft sections for APAC to remove. With the help of Husqvarna’s flat saws, the 10-in.-thick lane is being removed at a rate up to 1 mile/day. After the new 11-in.-thick jointed concrete lane is laid, Dan-Kel seals the joints. Unlike the original design, dowel bars are inserted in the joints to hold the panels together more effectively. This will enable the lane to last longer than its predecessor.

Another part of the project is the green sawing and sealing of the shoulders. APAC Tennessee is replacing the 4-ft-wide asphalt shoulders with 9-in.-thick, 10-ft-wide jointed concrete shoulders. For the green sawing applications, Dan-Kel used one of the new Tier IV-compliant flat saws from Husqvarna. The 50-hp diesel saw supplies enough power for high-production green sawing and is easier on the operator than the bigger saws, which decreases fatigue. The shoulders were built much stronger than the original asphalt ones, which will facilitate future enhancements to the road. If needed, the shoulders can actually be used as a roadway if or when I-16 needs to be widened instead of having to replace them with stronger materials.

With the use of the high-production flat saws, Dan-Kel will be able to meet the projected finish date in 2015.

Conlon is an estimator at Dan-Kel, Myrtle Beach, S.C.

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