Dubbed by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) as, “the Gateway to Wisconsin,” Interstate 39/90 serves as one of the most important routes for the economic future of Wisconsin and is a passage for tourist and recreational destinations across the state. The interstate is a major link between the Rockford, IL; Beloit, WI; and Madison, WI regions as well as a connection between several other urban destinations in Wisconsin, Illinois, and Minnesota. In 2019, a 45-mile stretch of the roadway running from the Wisconsin and Illinois border to the US 12/18 interchange in Madison, WI underwent construction. This section of the interstate was experiencing significant traffic delays resulting in increased safety problems. The construction project will expand a majority of the roadway from four lanes to six lanes, expand the interstate from Wisconsin 11 (Avalon Road) to the WIS 26 Interchange in Janesville, WI from four lanes to eight lanes and will reconfigure 11 interchanges. Due to the expanded roadway, more than ten miles of reinforced concrete pipe and an additional 1,043 precast components were required to revamp and upsize stormwater management systems on the project.
The project was bid in December 2018 and went to I 39 Constructors LLC, a joint venture between Hoffman Construction of Black River Falls, WI and Rock Road Companies of Janesville, WI. The two contractors joined forces to cover separate portions of the project simultaneously. Rock Road Companies is handling construction between Beloit, WI and Janesville, as well as a portion near Edgerton, WI. Hoffman Construction will be constructing the rest of the project, north of Janesville to Madison.
Shortly after the bid was awarded, Rock Road Companies placed a massive purchase order of reinforced concrete pipe and other precast storm water management system components with County Materials. County Materials immediately started the process of submitting shop drawings and coordinating production schedules to meet the contractor’s schedule. One of the key goals for this project is to minimize the impact on traffic during construction. To meet this goal, lanes had to be kept open during construction and careful planning required many separate stages. County Materials demonstrated excellent communication and coordination with the contractor in meeting product demand and strict delivery schedules.
In all, County Materials supplied 51,181 ln. ft. of reinforced concrete pipe ranging from class III to class V. In addition, the project utilized 3,286 ln. ft. of class III and IV horizontal elliptical pipe. Precast components included 207 apron end walls ranging in size from 12” to 54”, 263 round manholes ranging in size from 36” to 96”, and 573 square manholes from 2’ by 2’ up to 7’ x 7’.
Teamwork between County Materials and construction crews have helped put the project ahead of schedule. The project is expected to wrap up and provide travelers an overall safer driving experience with less time delays in 2021.