PRODUCT & EQUIPMENT MARKET: Fast-track interchange

September 07, 2010

It sounds simple enough: Widen a couple of roads and clean up an interchange.

In the case of the I-64/Battlefield Boulevard project in Chesapeake, Va., the challenge and work is far from simple. Where the two roads meet, the heavy traffic on the interstate flows between Suffolk and Virginia Beach, and the crossover road is a busy local artery. The aerial view of the new interchange looks like a Celtic cross with circle-loop on-ramps and exits. It is no surprise that the project has garnered notice and awards for its elegant engineering.

The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) commissioned the project and hired the construction-consulting firm McDonough Bolyard Peck, Fairfax, Va., to manage it.

“The VDOT project’s goal is to improve traffic and reduce congestion,” said Kyle Myers, GPS manager with E.V. Williams, Norfolk, Va. “We’re widening a 2-mile stretch of I-64 from six to 10 lanes total (four single-occupancy vehicle lanes and a high-occupancy vehicle lane in each direction), widening of the Battlefield Boulevard bridge from one to three lanes in each direction, adding five newly constructed bridges and adding new braided exit ramps to separate merging traffic from oncoming traffic.”

Since 1941, E.V. Williams has been engaged in site development and highway construction. The company is the prime contractor responsible for this massive I-64/Battlefield project.

“We completed all the underground utilities, did all the dirt work, brought in all of the stone and managed the bridge-building and concrete subcontractors,” Myers said. “In addition, we also had a $2 million change order, which was to add a barrier wall on the westbound side of I-64 to separate the collector/distributor lanes from the mainline traffic flow to reduce congestion.”

With an approximately 24-worker crew and six to seven subcontractors working on the job at any time, E.V. Williams was able to complete the three-year project, including the additional change order, in 21?2 years—a half-year ahead of schedule.

“A key to the efficient production and coordination of this project was our ability to perform dirt work quickly, accurately and complete tasks in between the work our subcontractors needed to do,” Myers said. “Our use of GPS grade-control technology was major.”

E.V. Williams acquired Trimble GCS900 grade-control systems for its motor grader and several dozers a few months before the I-64/Battlefield Boulevard project began. Myers, who had joined E.V. Williams less than a year into the startup of the project, was instrumental in helping the company take full advantage of the technology’s capabilities. Myers had more than five years’ experience working with Trimble systems. All of the Trimble-equipped machines were used on the project.

“Perhaps the biggest challenge we faced was the location of our base station, since the project was roughly 2 miles long, and we were trying to get our radio signals through high-tension power lines in order to reach the entire project,” Myers said. “We ended up erecting a 90-ft tower topped with a high-gain antenna in the lay-down yard about a mile way.” The base station was a Trimble SPS850 modular GPS receiver.

E.V. Williams used a series of repeaters to reach the project site, and Myers took it a step further and put the base station on the Internet, so that the company could use it on a rebroadcast basis for at least four other projects during the life of the I-64/Battlefield Boulevard project.

In looking at the completed project, Myers recounted that everyone who worked on the I-64/Battlefield Boulevard project is proud of the fact that they were able to keep traffic flowing throughout the whole project.

“The rideability is unmatched,” he said. “When you come down the highway and hit that new section, it’s completely silent in your vehicle; there are hardly any bumps. The sub-base is dead on. With the Trimble GPS systems, our average error on each break point and edge of pavement for 4 miles of roadway (2 miles each way), times five lanes wide, was a quarter-inch.”

Mixing station

CS Unitec’s new HIPPO PortaMix PMH70X mixing station is the ideal unit for mixing, transporting and pouring mortar, concrete and patching materials at the jobsite. Air-filled tires navigate over rough, uneven terrain. This unit mixes up to 15.5 gal of material with an 1,800-watt, two-speed motor (140 and 470 rpm). Its balanced, easy-tilt cradle allows accurate placement of material. It also features reverse motor mounting for “alongside” mixing in smaller containers. An optional pneumatic-powered mixer also is available.

Star power

Mettler Toledo announced the use of new power supplies for NewClassic balances that are fully Energy Star compliant. These new power supplies are lighter, smaller and more efficient, saving energy and money for end users of Mettler Toledo balances. The introduction of these new power supplies on a worldwide scale illustrates the company’s ongoing commitment to the global environment.

Safety harnessed

MSA’s EVOTECH full-body harness offers advanced design features that improve user comfort, ease of use, durability and user safety. The EVOTECH harness is RFID-enabled, offering the Field ID Safety Network with Field ID access to provide a reliable, online inspection and safety compliance management system. It meets OSHA, ANSI Z359.1/ANSI A10.32 and CSA approvals.

Prime time

The new QAC 800 from Atlas Copco delivers 800 kVA of prime power at 50 Hz to meet increasing demands from generator users in the market—the QAC 750, delivering 750 kVA with 50 kVA, has now been modified. It has a MWM engine of model type TCD 2016 V12. The QAC Series generators are built to withstand the most extreme temperatures, and designed to work in all weather conditions.

Extra sensory

Campbell Scientific announced a new high-accuracy version of its CS450 and CS455 submersible pressure transducers. They consist of a piezoresistive sensor housed in a metal case. The CS450 has a 316L stainless steel case that can be submerged in most canals, wells, ponds, lakes and streams. The CS455 has a rugged titanium case that allows it to be used in saltwater or other corrosive environments.

Hard working

Hyster Co. has introduced the new E30-40HSD2 series of electric stand-up lift trucks. The three-wheel lift truck series delivers lifting capacities of 3,000 to 4,000 lb and significant performance and versatility for a wide variety of material-handling operations. With the ergonomic philosophy of operators making the lift trucks work harder—not the other way around—these lift trucks feature suspended floor plates with antifatigue mats that absorb and reduce the transmission of vibration and shock to the operator by 25%.


Inertia Machine Corp. introduced its new 5066 Tracker Primary HSI Crusher, a mobile track-mounted model engineered to deliver higher capacities (up to 700 tons per hour) at lower costs per ton, while also offering unique trailer-free transport. From material feed through product stockpiling, this product is sized for top-capacity performance. While most conventional units offer 8-cu-yd hoppers and may require hopper extension wings, the 5066 Tracker features a 14-cu-yd nonheaping hopper.

Prismatic improvements

Sokkia Corp. released the Series 50X total stations with increased measurement range and speed as well as an array of new features. The new total station series extends measurement range to 13,120 ft with a single prism and up to 16,400 ft with three prisms. This represents a 20% increase over previous models while reducing the measurement time by 40%.


Atlas Copco’s HB 3100 is the newest model in its heavy hydraulic breaker line. With a service weight of 6,944 lb, the HB 3100 is suitable for carriers in the 66,139- to 114,640-lb class. It has all the proven features of Atlas Copco’s heavy-duty breaker range and also features the PowerAdapt system, which shuts down the hydraulic breaker when oil pressure exceeds the maximum input value. Self-preservation features such as PowerAdapt protect your investment against costly mistakes from improper setup or incorrect operating mode choices made in the cab of the excavator.

Custom made

Superior Industries, a manufacturer of conveyor systems and components, announced its new Core Systems design program, which offers drive and tail pulley assemblies custom-engineered for a specific application. It creates cost efficiencies for customers by ensuring that drive components are ideally suited for the particular job specifications, while also making sure that power requirements are met. Each custom-engineered drive assembly is delivered as an assembled package, which eliminates the costly labor involved in on-site assembly and reduces installation time.

Safe ease

The Hammar 151 sideloader provides a lifting capacity of 72,600 lb. It can lift or stack two containers high and transport, or lift and transfer to or from the ground and to or from other vehicles. Support legs can be tilted from horizontal to vertical position to be placed on the ground under or on another chassis. Support legs have an outreach of 73 in. for maximum safety. These cranes also have extra support legs on the nonlifting side.

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