Elm Street construction pushed back

Published 4:00 am Friday, August 7, 2015

Despite hopes to complete the project before school started, the resurfacing and repairing of a bridge on Elm Street Road likely won’t be completed until Oct. 1.

Tim Ramsden, engineering consultant for the City of Troy, said a later-than-expected start date for the resurfacing and repairing project means the completion date has also been pushed back well into the start of the fall semester.

“Well, the contract is a Department of Transportation contract, and when we work with DOT we have to do it in working days, not in calendar days,” Ramsden said. “When the contractor has a rain day, that isn’t counted against them. If there is a major amount of work going on, or minor work, 90 days ends up being more like four months, maybe a little more depending on weather.

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“The contractor got started a little late and we’ve had some few issues just with how wet it is out there. It hopefully won’t take any more days to construct as far as working days.”

Ramsden said the work completed so far has gone well, including the elevation leading up to the bridge culvert, which was raised approximately five feet to fix flooding issues in the area. Crews had faced some issues with the amount of water in the area.

“The work went quite well as far as bringing the new elevation up to the approaches, but then once we go to the bridge work and the side slope work it’s slowed down some just because of the water that’s out there,” he said.

Ramsden said that while he had not been to the construction site this week, he believed both the approaches for the bridge are at grade and would be ready for the pre-surfacing base material to go down soon.

“I believe that both approaches are at grade, and they are ready for the base material to be put on,” Ramsden said. “We’ve put stone on the slopes right now, and we have the subgrade on right now. We’re ready for the base to be put on, but that won’t be done until the bridge is finalized.”

Ramsden said most of the piles, or structure for the bridge, had been driven down, and the bridge cap would be ready to be installed next week.

“The piles for this bridge are steel beams driven into the ground until they hit refusal,” Ramsden said. “Those piles are probably 40-50 deep into the ground until they hit something hard enough to keep the bridge up. They’re out there with a very heavy train to drive them into the ground.”

Ramsden said it was difficult to have piles all driven in at the same level, so a concrete bridge cap would be placed on them to level it all off to ensure a perfectly level bridge.

Ramsden said the city is still encouraging drivers who typically utilized Elm Street Road to continue to be patient.

Since the road is expected to be closed until Oct. 1, through traffic is encouraged to still use the marked detour routes.

Drivers traveling west on Elm Street into Troy are encouraged to take Barron Road and they may either come into town on Three Notch Street, Gibbs Street or U.S. Highway 231. Travelers are also encouraged to use Gibbs Street to Butter and Egg Road to Barron Road and come back on to Elm Street Road on the way out of Troy.

“We had hoped that the contract would have come in a bit quicker and it would have gone faster and built in less than the 90 days, but there have been some slower days,” Ramsden said. “Should there be anymore problems, rain days that we have to give them, that completion date will be pushed back. But I would hope that by Oct. 1 it should be built.”

W.S. Newell & Sons, Inc. and Newell & Bush, Inc., both of Montgomery, were awarded the bid in early April. The project began in mid-May.