Crews working on the three phase project to improve and repave Henderson Drive believe they are a month out from completing Phase 1.
The project was delayed by Hurricane Florence, extended by unexpected finds underground, and challenged by the need to keep traffic flowing. Construction crews have worked at night, made utility changeovers for residences in the early morning hours to minimize disruption, and have dealt with design changes -- in some cases, 20” deep pavement overlaps.
The first phase was to fix or replace the utilities under the road so the new pavement would not have to be disturbed. The next phase was to let the disturbed ground settle. Then NC Department of Transportation would pave the road consistent with their funding schedule. When complete, the road should provide years of service to the community.
First Phase Issues
The City and the first phase contractor have worked together to overcome many challenges and obstacles leading to construction delays on the Henderson Drive Infrastructure Improvements Project or Phase 1. The project was originally scheduled to begin in November of 2018 with a completion timeline of six months. With the impact of Hurricane Florence, the start was delayed and did not begin until January 2019.
“At the beginning, the contractor found that the location of the existing storm drains, a cable duct bank, and unknown buried utilities prevented installation of the new waterline as planned,” said Public Services Director Wally Hansen. “The City then considered options with the Engineer and a redesign was completed shifting the waterline to the Northwoods Elementary School side of Henderson Drive. These redesign efforts required change order negotiations, utility locating, and additional work by the contractor which resulted in extensive schedule delays.”
“Once the waterline installation was underway, the varying depth of the existing asphalt pavement, with some areas containing 20” of asphalt, slowed the contractor’s expected construction rate,” said Andrew Kassell, Project Manager. “Additionally, the contractor encountered other unknown underground obstacles such as abandoned storm drains, junction boxes, and curb and gutter from the old roadway which impacted the schedule. Also, during the course of the project, additional sanitary sewer failures were discovered that were not originally identified in the scope of work. Several of these failed sewers necessitated immediate repairs with two additional repairs still to be made.”
The contractor has finished the installation of the new waterline, including meeting all local and State testing requirements. However, tying the water lines in from all of the surrounding side streets and abounding the old water line have proven be another obstacle. Valves on existing water lines outside the scope of the project have been found to be more than 50 years old. This has delayed and complicated the completion of connecting these existing lines to the new water main. The normal timeframe for connecting the existing system to this type of work is around one week. Working with the aging system and trying to minimize the area and duration of the outages pushed this this process is taking closer to a month to complete.
The Contractor is currently working to complete the waterline connections to the existing water mains. The contractor plans to make the two sewer line repairs and completely abandon the existing water main over the next two weeks. Once the underground work is completed the contractor will place asphalt patches in any areas that need to be repaired. City Engineering Division Project Managers expect that outstanding items such as patching, trenchless manhole repairs, and dressing up around meter boxes and other disturbed areas will be completed in the next month or so.
Phases 2 and 3
Once the contractor has finished, the road will operate normally giving everything time to settle before they completely resurface the roadway. The settling time could be long or short depending on the funding cycle and available resources from the NC Department of Transportation.
Signs about the project were installed last summer in anticipation of the project’s start. They note that the project is three phases long and that the settling phase could last some time.
A portion of the work to rehabilitate Henderson Drive utilities is underway and traffic patterns are affected. The work is part of a major project that will also eventually repave the street.
This contract is part of the first of three phases of work which will span a multi-year period. The Henderson Drive improvement project will be shared between the City of Jacksonville and the NC Department of Transportation (NC DOT).
Motorists might want to find alternate routes particularly during school times and other heavy use times.
During Phase One, construction crews will replace and improve the structure of manholes. Older or undersized water, sewer and stormwater lines along the route will be repaired or replaced as well. Some residents in the Northwoods neighborhood along Henderson Drive may experience periods of water interruption during the first phase of the project, but residents will be alerted to the interruption through City messaging.
Following the rehabilitation of infrastructure beneath the roadway, the NC DOT will require a certain amount of time for the area to settle to ensure everything is properly compacted for paving. Phase Two of the improvement project could take 6 months to a period much longer all depending on the funding schedule of NC DOT.
NC DOT will repave Henderson Drive in Phase Three of the project. That date is unknown.
A construction sign indicating the different phases and progress of the project will be positioned along Henderson Drive.
Anyone with questions about the improvement project can contact City Engineering at 910 938-5330.
Work is expected to begin on Monday, October 1, 2018 to rehabilitate Henderson Drive utilities. The work is part of a major project that will also eventually repave the street.
This is the start of the first of three phases of work which span a two-year period. The Henderson Drive improvement project will be shared between the City of Jacksonville and the NC Department of Transportation (NC DOT).
Following the rehabilitation of infrastructure beneath the roadway, the NC DOT will require a certain amount of time for the area to settle to ensure everything is properly compacted for paving. Phase Two of the improvement project could take 6 months to a year, depending on the funding schedule of NC DOT.
NC DOT will repave Henderson Drive in Phase Three of the project. Paving could take place during spring of 2020.