I am one member of a five person board. The opinions I express on this forum are mine only, and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the Escambia County Staff, Administrators, Employees, or anyone else associated with Escambia County Florida. I am interested in establishing this blog as a means of additional transparency to the public, outreach to the community, and information dissemination to all who choose to look. Feedback is welcome, but because public participation is equally encouraged, appropriate language and decorum is mandatory.

Thursday, January 31, 2019

The Latest from FDOT on Segment 6 (Beulah Rd. to I-10) of the Project to 4-Lane 9-Mile Road

Although we all wanted it completed earlier--the Beulah portion of the 4-lane project on 9-mile road will be completed this year!

Many folks in Beulah have been asking about the lack of progress on the project to 4-lane 9-Mile Road from Beulah Road over to Interstate 10.

I know the completion date has slipped due to numerous factors--but folks want to know what's up with this project so I asked FDOT for an up-to-the minute update and status of where we are, and I will cut and paste it below for folks who want to read it all.

But the good news is this:  Segment 6 (from Beulah Road to the Interstate--where all the gridlock is for us Beulah residents) is slated to be done this year, in late 2019.

This is fantastic news because I heard persistent rumors that it would not be complete until as late as August, 2020.

But I confirmed, today, that the Beulah portion will be 4 lanes and open to traffic by the end of this year.

From the report:

Financial Project ID (FIN): 218605-6-52-01; Road Construction Project from a point just west of Beulah Road to Below Interstate 10
FIN: 218605-7-52-01; Road Construction Project from Below Interstate 10 to a point just west of Surrey Drive (west of Pine Forest Road)
FIN: 218605-6-56-01; Utility Construction Project (relocate ECUA water and sewer mains and services) from a point just west of Beulah Road to Below Interstate 10
FIN: 218605-7-56-01; Utility Construction Project (relocate ECUA water and sewer mains and services) from Below Interstate 10 to just west of Surrey Drive (west of Pine Forest Road)
Contract time began: 3/31/16
Design began: 3/31/16
Released for Construction Plans stamped: 2/1/17
Revision #1 stamped: 3/8/17
Revision #2 stamped: 4/14/17
Revision #3 stamped: 4/25/17
Revision #4 stamped: 5/3/17
Revision #5 stamped: 7/3/18
Revision #6 stamped: 8/17/18
Revision #7 stamped: 12/26/18
Revision #8 stamped 12/7/18

Both Utility Projects FIN 218605-6-56-01 and FIN 218605-7-56-01 were completed in May 2017. The relocation of the utilities was necessary to begin the road construction. Please note that clearing and grubbing operations began in September of 2016 to advance the utility relocation projects.

Storm water drainage, unsuitable soils removal and bridge construction began in February 2017. Bridge construction was completed in November 2017.

On October 3, 2017 the Contractor implemented their Maintenance of Traffic (MOT) plan and closed the inside lanes in the existing four (4) lane section to begin construction of work beneath Interstate 10 (I-10). Due to the volume of traffic on westbound Nine Mile Rd. and exiting westbound I-10 traffic backed-up past Pine Forest Road (on Nine Mile Road and on I-10). To mitigate traffic backing up onto westbound I-10 as well as Nine Mile Road the Department directed the Contractor to remove the MOT and reopen the lanes. This started the delay to the critical path. The Contractor was directed to redesign the MOT to maintain the two (2) westbound lanes on Nine Mile Road. As the Engineers worked to modify the MOT they discovered that the limited right of way would not allow them to design a plan that would maintain both westbound lanes and allow for the lowering and increase in elevation/grade. There are specific requirements for slopes, drop-off, barrier wall, and work space. There was not enough space to meet the requirements. It was determined that a full redesign of the roadway was necessary to maintain the existing two (2) lanes. During this redesign the critical path was stopped. Crews scheduled to work were redirected to other projects and some crews were allocated to work on the roadway section between Beulah Road and Eleven Mile Creek. 

Revisions #5 was received and stamped 7/3/18 and crews were able to return to work on items that have not changes as we negotiated the cost of the changes. This delayed the project over 190 days. During the negotiations the costs were much higher than anticipated and additional redesign was needed to try to get the cost to a more reasonable limit. Revision #8 was stamped 12/7/18 and we anticipate completing the negotiations for the changes this week.

The Projects had weather that significantly impacted the work. Weather does not just affect the project for the day it rains, the impact can extend for days due to the wet conditions of the soils and lime rock base. Each lift of soil, subgrade, base, etc. must meet specific material requirements and densities. These densities are heavily dependent on the moisture content of the materials. The Segment 6 Project (FIN 218605-6-52-01) is impacted more due to the water table being so close to the surface of the ground and the poor quality of the existing soils and its ability to perk water.

The project schedule was also impacted by legal issues related to right of way takings. Several properties remain open under Stipulated Orders of Taking. Impacts from these Orders have impacted the roadway design and construction between the Eleven Mile Creek and the Interstate. In late July 2018 the access design was approved by the legal team. The approved design caused a significant amount of re-work of some buried utilities before the construction could begin. This was completed in January 2019.

The Contract’s Critical path was delayed 190 days for the redesign (identified above), 316 days due

 to weather, 125 days for added work, 88 days for holidays, and 9 for design review. These added days move the Allowable Contract Time to May 25, 2020. This date will move since it does not account for any pending outstanding delay issues, any potential weather delays, and scheduled holidays. We estimated a contract completion of August 2020 (estimating holidays and resolution of pending delays - weather is harder to estimate). This date is an estimated date.

While the Contractor has completed most of the drainage work for Phase I and part of Phase II on the Segment 7 Project (FIN 218605-7-52-01) they have focused on getting the Segment 6 Project (Financial Aide ID 218605-6-52-01) opened to four lanes first. The Contractor has completed the placement of the first of two (2) lifts of structural asphalt between Beulah Road and Eleven Mile Creek on the new eastbound roadway. Crews removed the existing connection of Beulah Road (south side) at Nine Mile Road and completed reconstruction through the base (used asphalt base in lieu of lime rock base) over the weekend of January 26-27, 2019. The Contractor is trying to get the limerock base between the project beginning and Beulah Road (new eastbound roadway) to dry. However, when the material is dry enough to work another weather front occurs and the process restarts over again. Once the lime rock is dry crews can continue to grade and obtain the required density and place the first lift of asphalt to tie the new eastbound roadway together. Crews will straightedge the new roadway, identify any high and low areas, make corrections, place the second lift of structural asphalt, place striping for two-way traffic and shift traffic into Phase II of Construction.  This shift is anticipated to occur in June 2019 pending weather, holidays, and any unforeseen delays. In Phase II the Contractor anticipates working from Interstate 10 back to the west performing milling/resurfacing of the existing roadway, widening, removal of the section that need to be elevated, construction of the box culvert extensions, storm water drainage and construction of the roadway. Currently, the Contractor anticipates have all four lanes of traffic for the Segment 6 Project (FIN 218605-6-52-01) open by late 2019.

As work continues in Phase II on the Segment 6 Project (FIN 218605-6-52-01) additional crews should be available as other projects are completed. Crews will focus on the Segment 6 Project (FIN 218605-6-52-01), however work will occur on the Segment 7 Project (FIN 218605-7-52-01) also. The Segment 7 Project (FIN 218605-7-52-01) is 1/3 as long and is significantly less embankment, excavation, and full reconstruction. All of the existing roadway will be milled/resurfaced and widened verse full removal and reconstruction."

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