Elko-area road jobs in focus | nnbw.com

Elko-area road jobs in focus

Rob Sabo

With road and highway construction tapering off in the greater Reno-Sparks area after the completion of large jobs on Interstate 80 and U.S. 395, the bulk of seasonal road building has shifted to Elko County for 2013.

One of the largest jobs in the north half of the state, will be rehabilitation of Interstate 80. Q&D Construction in May was awarded a $31 million contract for work on the Carlin tunnels in northeastern Nevada through the construction-manager-at-risk selection process.

The first phase of the job is expected to be completed by the end of October, says Mike Murphy, assistant district engineer with the Nevada Department of Transportation in Elko County.

Much of the infrastructure at the four-lane tunnel system is from the original construction in the early 1970s, Murphy says. Though the job encompassed just two miles of roadway, it’s in a confined canyon that will require closure of the eastbound portion of the tunnel. About one mile before reaching the tunnels, westbound traffic will be diverted to the old bypass road that follows the Humboldt River. Traffic will combine again just past the tunnels.

“We cannot run traffic both directions through the tunnels,” Murphy says. “But our hope is that total delays are less than five minutes.”

Q&D will upgrade lighting systems in the tunnels, install cameras and an Intelligent Transportation System to allow for enhanced remote monitoring of traffic inside the tunnels, as well as replace the roadway through the tunnels with new concrete pavement. It also will rehabilitate eight bridges in the areas.

Murphy says timing and synchronizing the work will be the most challenging aspect of the project.

“Because the bridges, tunnels and roadways all are in same small distance, that means a lot of work has to be done concurrently, and a lot of subcontractors will be working adjacent to someone else. There are a lot of intricate pieces and parts that all have to fit together to get this project to work seamlessly,” he says.

The westbound tunnel will be closed next summer during the second phase of the project. At peak Q&D will employ 100 workers at the site, says Lance Semenko, president of Q&D’s engineering division.

Q&D also landed a $14.2 million job to rehabilitate 11 miles of asphalt pavement west of the Emigrant Pass interchange in Eureka County to a mile east of the Eureka-Elko County line.

There’s a smattering of work in Carson City, where Granite Construction is building an overpass at Snyder Avenue in preparation for the final phase of Interstate 580, as well as in Reno, where Meadow Valley Construction is nearing completion of the Meadowood Mall interchange. Meadow Valley began the job in June of 2010 and has spent more than 600 working days on a job budgeted for 463.

Granite Construction, also won a $32 million asphalt repaving job on I-80 in Winnemucca, and it will be working on a $21.2 million contract to widen six miles of U.S. Highway 50 in Lyon County.