Construction work ahead of timetable
Though it has until Jan. 1 to complete construction on the $36 million Moana Lane widening project, general contractor Q&D Construction is pushing its completion date up by more than five weeks in an effort to open the area to Black Friday shopping on Nov. 23.
Q&D is about halfway through its roughly $9 million portion of the work, which will add three lanes in each direction and center-lane turn pockets on Moana from Baker Street to the Interstate 80 freeway, says Kevin Linderman, vice president of engineering for Q&D.
Q&D is re-building several intersections in quadrants to accommodate the heavy traffic flows typical of the Moana and Keitzke Lane and South Virginia Street corners. Work started on the south side of Moana at Baker Street by the old Moana Swimming Pool and reached Interstate 80 about three weeks ahead of schedule. Crews have been working around the clock to advance the project, he says.
The bulk of the concrete roadbeds have been poured at night due to high daytime heat in July and August and reduced traffic in the area at nighttime. Work recently shifted to the northern portion of Moana Lane near Baker Street as concrete cures on the newly poured surfaces of the south side of Moana Lane.
“Concrete is real heat sensitive, so night-time pours are much better,” Linderman says. “It allows it to be workable until it starts to generate its own heat.”
Traffic will be shifted to the new roadway in the next week or so, Linderman adds.
“As soon as the concrete cures down by Sportsman’s Warehouse, we will flip all the cars onto the brand-new concrete and we will start (working) down by Sportsman’s and meet in the middle,” he says. “We are trying to accelerate the schedule by working two places at once.”
Hot August Nights, the largest special event in Reno-Sparks, required a tremendous push to complete work at Moana and South Virginia. North-south traffic was reduced to one lane and a turn lane for several weeks, but the contract with the Regional Transportation Commission called for expanded capacity before the arrival of Hot August Nights traffic.
“We didn’t want to have that jammed up during Hot August Nights,” Linderman says.
As it nears its completion date, Q&D plans on completing its work on Virginia Street first. There won’t be any more lane capacity, but turn lanes in each direction will be improved.
Providing uninterrupted access to businesses along Moana Lane has been another challenge for Q&D. It had to find a way to balance the extensive set up and formwork required for poured concrete roadways with the need to keep access open at dozens of driveways. Yet another difficulty, Linderman says, has been all the unexpected discoveries as crews began excavating the old asphalt roadbed and utility crews began shifting utilities out of the new right-of-way boundaries.
“There have been a few surprises here and there with finding stuff that no one knew was there,” he says. “It has just required coordination, keeping people moving toward the end-date goal and not letting all these things we don’t know trip us up.
“Our goal is to get this thing done before Thanksgiving, and anything before that is just gravy on top.”
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