Granite Construction Co. faces two challenges as it prepares to rebuild a stretch of Interstate 80 across the Sierra in California a short construction season in the mountains and the need to work around traffic headed for special events in Reno.
But the company knows how to do it.
Due in part to its award-winning experience in rebuilding a stretch of Interstate 80 from Floriston to Truckee, Granite was awarded another large highway improvement contract from the California Department of Transportation.
Granite will rebuild three miles of I-80 in both directions from Kingvale to Rainbow Road. Construction is expected to start in April, says Rod Cooper, manager of the company's Nevada operations. At its peak the workforce could reach 50, with most employees coming from Nevada.
Granite will lay asphalt on the existing roadways to level and grade the surfaces before pouring a new 12-inch thick concrete surface, a Caltrans design. Concrete will be made from an on-site batch plant, while aggregates come from Granite's quarries at Reno. Cooper says the finished roadways will include wider shoulders for emergency exits and a chain area for big rig trucks.
In addition to the short high-mountain work season - April 15 to October 15 - Granite faces work restrictions when events such as Hot August Nights draw high volumes of traffic toward Reno.
"We are experienced in that area and know how to work in the high mountain passes, so we will be just fine," Cooper says.
He noted that the company recently received the "Excellence in Transportation" award from California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger for its work in the Floriston area. It was the only contactor in California last year to receive that award.