Minimal rain in the last few months has allowed crews working on the Crosstown Parkway’s extension to pick up the pace. Short of a catastrophic event – like a major hurricane – the extension is expected to be ready for drivers by Fall 2019.
“Frankly, we’re tired of (hurricanes),” said project administrator George Denti, who is working with Target Engineering and Cardno Engineering to coordinate the project.
Work has shifted from the west to the east. Denti explained that the first wave of work was done on the west side and went a little more than halfway into the river. Now, work is being done on the east side (from U.S. 1) and is expected to connect mid-river. “If it doesn’t, this is my last interview,” Denti said with a chuckle.
Two-thirds of the pilings are done; those are the vertical support structures for the extension. There are 31 spans, of which more than half are capped with beams and girders. And, at least six decks have been poured.
Decks – in road construction speak – are the actual part of the roadway drivers travel on. They are what pulls all the other components together.
It takes about a week to pour each one given the amount of time each needs to cure and dry. Denti said all the decks should be poured in the next six months. Before that, the rest of the beams and pilings need to be connected; that should take another three or four months. “That comes together pretty quickly,” Denti said.
It was slow-going getting the project started, he said, explaining that there is always a learning curve – no matter how many of these projects have been done before.
“Each bridge is unique,” he said, and every crew is different.
The project has gone from “controlled chaos to a finely oiled machine,” Denti said.
Residents living on the west side of the project have probably noticed the quiet has returned. With the pile-driving part of the project complete on their side, the noise is gone. “It was kind of intrusive,” Denti said, adding that crews were not allowed to pile-drive on Saturday when they were working on the west end. However, now that they’ve moved to the east end, where there is scant residential development, they are allowed to pile-drive on Saturdays.
Doing so will allow crews to make up time due to any weather delays as well as help get ahead of schedule.
Denti said drivers will notice a significant amount of additional activity on the U.S. 1 side of the project as crews are laying drainage and utilities in the area. The west side doesn’t have the visibility, but it will once the project is done.
“It would be a shock,” Denti said, for anyone to see what’s been done on the west side.
From the water, boaters have been able to watch the progress. For a spell, the area was closed to boats taller than 6 feet, which caused some grumbling from boaters who didn’t realize the restrictions were in place until they were told to turn back.
“We’re back in their good graces,” Denti said of the boaters, now that the vertical restriction is removed.
To keep tabs on the Crosstown Parkway Extension project and to watch live video from the construction sites, visit www.CrosstownExtenstion.com.