With excellent planning and coordination, the Segment F-1 team is on track to complete the segment in fourth quarter 2015, according to Segment Manager Satya Guduru.
The 11.9-mile segment, which runs between U.S. 290 and State Highway 249, is one of three segments that make up the new Grand Parkway (SH 99) Segments F and G, which is being built by Zachry-Odebrecht Parkway Builders for the Texas Department of Transportation.
The team has already completed most of the earthwork, structures and drainage and are nearing 100% completion on mainlane paving.
Each segment has its own unique characteristics. For F-1, it’s the extensive drainage system to manage storm water and the large number of overpasses.
Guduru said that the two biggest challenges were beginning construction before all the right-of-way was secured and dealing with near-record rainfall of 35 inches in the first half of 2015.
To tackle the huge design-build project, the segment was divided into five work zones, which allowed the team to work in different areas as right-of-way was obtained. Securing all the right-of-way and having full access to the project area at the end of 2014 was a major achievement.
Superintendent Jerry Johnson, who oversaw earthwork, said that the large amount of low-lying area and clay subsoil contributed to the drainage challenge.
This year’s heavy rains tested the team and F-1’s drainage system.
Guduru said, “The entire system worked and minimized the impact of heavy rains on the surrounding areas. The rain slowed down our work, but advance planning minimized further and more extensive delays.”
Guduru said, “A major milestone was near-completion of most bridges and drainage construction by mid-2015. We set that target and achieved it.”
Field engineer Jack Paillant attributed the project’s successes to teamwork. He said that the team is known as the “United Nations” unit because members come from diverse backgrounds and nationalities, but they all work well together.
“As a new engineer working on my first project, I’m learning every day,” Paillant said.
F-1 Fast Facts
- 11.9 miles long
- 37 bridges
- 25.9 miles of paving
- 1.25 million square feet of elevated roadway (28.7 acres)
- 3 million cubic yards of dirt (enough to fill 2 Astrodomes)
- 75 feet (highest bridge)
- 31,000 linear feet of concrete drainage culverts (almost the cruising altitude for passenger planes)
- 20,000 linear feet of drainage pipe (3.79 miles)