Studies on economic growth showed an increase in population and housing in Wichita which would impact East Kellogg, exceeding the expressway capacity. This led to the redesign of the freeway and the East Kellogg Expansion and Improvement project. This project was a vital route through Wichita, along the US-54/400 highway.
Originally planned as two separate projects – the first being the Webb Road Interchange and the second the Greenwich Road Interchange – the bid for the second project came insignificantly over the engineers’ estimate, so the team thought they could reduce the cost by redesigning the interchange with US-54/400 and the Kansas Turnpike Authority connections. It was also crucial to expedite the design of the Greenwich Interchange Project so both projects could be constructed concurrently. This saved the project approximately $50 million while also accelerating the construction by five years.
TranSystems led the design team, completing the design in 12 months. The design took Kellogg from a signalized expressway to a full freeway section with continuous frontage roads and several interchanges and U-turns. Along with managing the project, TranSystems was responsible for the concept development, freeway, ramp, frontage road, signing and traffic control designs, and some individual bridge designs.
WSP led the design of the revised Webb Road Project and had TranSystems as a major subconsultant. The design of the revised Webb Project included the design of the freeway expansion of East Kellogg and the design of the roadways, retaining walls, a bridge at Webb Road, a drainage system, utility relocation/coordination, and project management. TranSystems was responsible for the concept development, traffic control, and frontage road designs.
There were several challenges throughout the design and construction of the project. In the early stages, the road drainage system was believed to require a storm water pump station at Webb Road, however, it was determined that this section of the project could be gravity drained without a pump station. The elevated sections of Kellogg eliminated the need for a storm water pump, which saved construction and long-term maintenance approximately $2 million.
“While there were many challenges faced throughout the East Kellogg project, collaboration played a key part in getting the project off the ground and seeing it through to completion,” said Brett Letkowski, Principal and Senior Vice President at TranSystems.
Bi-monthly construction meeting were held as the project moved into the construction phase. The team coordinated everything that was happening and reviewed an ongoing 45-day projection provided by the contractor.
The contractor requested a redesign of the soldier pile wall system at one point. Luckily, the project team was able to reduce the number of tiebacks, which lead to less soldier pile walls being needed. In doing this, the team not only saved time, but $1 million.
Another change the contractor proposed was the phasing of the project to pave all the mainline at one time, instead of between two projects. The team got it done, and in the end saved time on the project, as well as made the construction smoother.
The project was delivered five years earlier on September 23, 2021 thanks to accelerating the Greenwich construction to coincide with the Webb Road Interchange. In doing so, the team not only finished the project early, but also saved approximately $50 million. R&B
Project: East Kellogg Expansion and Improvements
Location: Wichita, Kansas
Owners: Kansas Turnpike Authority
Designer: TranSystems Corporation, WSP
Contractor: Wildcat Construction
Cost: $171.5 million
Length: 2.4 miles
Completion Date: September 23, 2021