In the highway construction industry, contractors go where the work is. For Vecellio & Grogan, that has meant a presence in North Carolina since 1979, when the company was awarded its first contract for improvements to I-40 near Wilmington.
The West Virginia-based company has worked across the Tar Heel State since then, on contracts involving the construction of many miles of highway and dozens of bridges in and around Warsaw, Winston-Salem, Greensboro, Linville, Wilkesboro, and, under its two most recent contracts, the Raleigh metropolitan area.
Vecellio & Grogans current projects have a contract value of nearly $110 million. The company is realigning US-64 (including a new interchange at I-440, Raleighs inner loop) under a $40-million-plus contract just east of Raleigh, and is building an eight-mile segment of I-540 (the outer loop) northeast of Raleigh for $67 million.
Western NC Contracts Add $40 Million
Other recent contracts in the western part of the state included US-221 in Linville and US-421 in Wilkesboro. Together, the two jobs were worth more than $38 million, bringing the companys current and recent contracts in North Carolina close to the $150 million mark.
The companys work history in North Carolina is a response to the availability of funds for highway work, explained Leo Vecellio, Jr., CEO of the Vecellio Group, the parent company of Vecellio & Grogan. In heavy/highway construction, the ebb and flow of work is directly related to federal and state funding levels, said Vecellio. Funding levels might be reduced in one state, but increased in others. You have to go where the work is; thats a given in this industry.
In Raleigh, V&G is building more than nine miles of divided highway, 15 bridges, and several connector roads on the two jobs. The US-64 project is scheduled for completion by the end of 2004; the I-540 work should be finished in mid-April 2006.
Other Mid-Atlantic Work
To the north, V&G is finishing up more than $50 million in work in Richmond, Virginia, adding an extension to SR-288, the citys beltway. Meanwhile, Vecellio & Grogan has kept busy in its home state with regional road construction projects and site-development jobs for commercial, industrial and coal mining ventures.
Recent major highway projects in West Virginia have included building four segments of Corridor H, a four-lane divided highway extending east from Weston toward Virginia. The last of these projects wound down in early 2002. Additional major projects are expected in the state as funding levels rise.
Bridge construction at Vecellio & Grogan’s US-64
project in Raleigh, North Carolina. The roadway is
being realigned to connect farther south along
I-440, Raleigh’s “inner loop.”
Green Bridge Techniques On Deck For I-540 Job In Raleigh, NC (3rd Quarter 2003)
Building bridges is nothing new for Vecellio & Grogan. But building them from the decks of other bridges is a span into new territory for the heavy/highway contractor, which has been serving the Mid-Atlantic states for more than six decades.
Using a construction technique increasingly favored by transportation and environmental officials, Vecellio & Grogan will work from temporary platforms to build four of the 10 bridges on its new I-540 construction project just northeast of Raleigh, NC.
The platforms will minimize potential impact to the Neuse River and Beaverdam Lake, two waterways within the project boundaries. Each waterway is receiving twin bridges, one for each traffic direction.
The platforms are essentially bridges themselves, with steel pilings, piers, and wooden decks, said Matt Farley, a member of Vecellio & Grogans engineering and estimating team. But they have to be built first, before we can construct the bridges over the waterways.
New Environmental Awareness
In the past, constructing bridges over water often included building a causeway, or crushed-rock pad jutting into the water, as a base from which to work. But heightened environmental awareness has led to stricter regulations, making the use of temporary construction platforms a preferable alternative.
With a total price tag of $1.8 million, the platforms are not inexpensive. But the cost is a small part of V&Gs $67 million contract, which covers new construction of nearly eight miles of six-lane, divided highway, including bridges and drainage. Moreover, the environmental benefit is considered well worth it by transportation officials, who made the use of platforms a requirement for the job.
No equipment or temporary fill can be placed in the environmentally sensitive waters, said Rick Hertzer, Vecellio & Grogans Chief Engineer. As a result, the platforms are a critical part of the project, allowing us to minimize impact to the wetlands.
Platforms Built “From The Top Down”
In keeping with green construction techniques, the platforms themselves will be very carefully built. Starting from the shore, the 30-ft.-wide platforms will be built in small sections with steel pilings driven, piers and cross beams welded, and wooden beams laid for the deck of each section. Crews and equipment will then move forward onto the completed surface to build the next section.
When finished, one platform will be about 800 feet in length; the other, 600 feet. The platforms will be situated directly between the future twin bridges over Neuse River and Beaverdam Lake. They will support the cranes and other heavy equipment used to build the concrete-and-steel I-540 spans. Once the bridges are finished, the platforms will be disassembled and removed.
I-540, also known as the Northern Wake Expressway, is a six-lane divided highway handling outer beltway/bypass traffic on the northwest side of Raleigh, NC. To extend its overall length, new segments are being added on the northeast side. The 7.75-mile section under contract to Vecellio & Grogan will run from east of US-1 (just south of Perry Creek Road) to US-64 (just east of Knightdale).
Work is scheduled to begin in September, with completion by mid-April 2006. The I-540 project is not far from another Vecellio & Grogan job in progress. Under a contract awarded last year, the company is realigning a section of US-64 just east of Raleigh, connecting it to a new intersection on I-440, Raleighs inner beltway.