The new interstate lanes are 13 inches of continuously reinforced concrete pavement (CRCP) over a 3-inch, open-graded drainage layer and a 6-inch, cement-treated aggregate subbase. The drainage layer moves water to a parallel underdrain system. Photo: McDonough Bolyard Peck Inc.

Name: Battlefield Boulevard/I-64 Interchange

Client: Virginia DOT

AEC firm: McDonough Bolyard Peck Inc.

Cost: $103 million

Project delivery method: Design-bid-build

Completed: June 2009

Already home to most of the 1.6 million people living in 16 cities and counties across the region, the southern half of Virginia's Hampton Roads region will account for more than 60% of the entire region's overall growth through 2012.

Bisecting this urban corridor in the city of Chesapeake was the four-lane Battlefield Boulevard bridge over six lanes of interstate that carries 100,000 vehicles daily. In addition to heavy congestion, motorists faced dangerous merge conditions as traffic entered and exited the interstate at the same location.

Obviously, a bit more capacity was needed.

Today, motorists access one of the region's largest retail outlets and commerce centers from 14 lanes of interstate, a six-lane Battlefield Boulevard bridge, and two new double-lane bridges built to carry traffic exiting and entering the interstate on new collector-distributor lanes.

Motorists' progress also is aided by a fiber-optic management system of cameras, vehicle-detection devices, and overhead variable message boards feeding data to an operations center that provides real-time traffic information back to them.

When construction began in spring 2006, the additional interstate lanes were to be built in two phases. But getting vehicles into and out of the two-mile work zone raised safety concerns. Delivering an anticipated 26,000 cubic yards of concrete would have required 3,000 trucks, with an additional 3,000 trucks needed to remove 40,000 tons of demolished concrete pavement.

The engineering and design team then came up with an idea that allowed nearly 90% of the lanes to be built in a single phase and reduced the number of traffic shifts. They created a work zone large enough to house a portable concrete plant and crusher to process old pavement into aggregate for the subbase onsite. New concrete was then produced in the construction zone, eliminating the need for concrete vehicles to enter or exit the heavily congested area.

The move eliminated 6,000 truck trips at an average of 20 miles per round trip for a total of 120,000 vehicle miles eliminated, saving 20,000 gallons of fuel. And recycling the pavement kept 40,000 tons of debris — equivalent to the amount of solid waste generated by more than 50,000 people each year — out of landfills.