US Highway 34 Business is a busy roadway from US Highway 34 to the business district of Greeley, Colorado. The existing roadway was a two lane aging asphalt roadway which was not built to handle the growing traffic volume. The project entailed the reconstruction of US Highway 34 from US highway 34 bypass ramps to 71st Avenue for approximately 3.8 miles. The new concrete paving is 96 feet wide with 3 lanes in both directions, a continuous painted left turn pocket and a 6 foot shoulder on both sides. The returns were also paved at the four intersecting roadways. There was a total of 203,084 SY of doweled 9” PCCP, of which 10,000 SY was a 24 hour High Early Strength concrete. This project received a variance from CDOT to allow an optimized mix design. This was done to accomplish better smoothness and durability of this concrete pavement. The project also had small quantities of curb and gutter, sidewalk and handicap ramps mostly at the returns.
The project was built to handle the large volume of traffic in this rural setting. The area surrounding the road has several large businesses, four large residential subdivisions and agriculture. The average daily traffic is 30,426 with about 4% trucks. The project was heavily phased since the alignment crossed the original road to accomplish the lessening of a curve. This was done to increase site distance on this road. One lane of traffic in each direction and accesses had to be maintained. A large overhead utility was moved to the edge of acquired right of way at the beginning of the project to allow for the expansion of this state road. This area is largely agricultural and the old roadway was lined with ditches and RCP under the road which had to be moved and lengthened to accommodate the new roadway foot print. This work had to be done early so not to interfere with the irrigation system.
The roadway section was 2 feet on R-40 material, 6” of Class 6 road base and 9” of PCCP. Approximately 180,000 CY of embankment was imported before the R -40 could be placed. The project’s new alignment went through well irrigated farm fields and in areas of high ground water. This caused problems with the placement of embankment due to the unstable sub grade found after stripping of the corn fields. The project management team came up with a plan which eliminated this problem by sub excavating whatever was necessary, the use of geotextile membrane and embankment to stabilize these areas. Approximately 30% of the project had to go through this process. Through the project management team’s efforts the life cycle of this roadway should not be affected.
Due to the large number of waterways on this project the erosion control effort on this project was very daunting. A full time Erosion Control Supervisor and erosion control staff was maintained to ensure that this project did not in any way affect the water ways. Five detention ponds were built as part of this project to ensure future drainage needs were met.