2016 in Review
2016 saw some major accomplishments made by GO 10 crews, including the demolition of Paisano Drive (US-85) [pictured on right] and Buena Vista bridges, creation of new collector-distributor lanes between Sunland Park Dr. and Executive Center Blvd., major bridge construction of the new Paisano Drive bridges [pictured below], frontage road improvements and Interstate bridge work at North Mesa St., retaining wall construction and a vast amount of earthwork and underground activities involving drainage and utilities.
In 2016, $53.6 million of work representing 34% of the overall contract value was completed. This allowed the project to recover from a 10% deficit to a positive value of 2% of work performed as compared to time expended after the June, 2015 default by the original Contractor and the September, 2015 initiation of our current takeover Contractor. We anticipate continuing at this pace, which will likely lead to an early completion date.
Even with the recent progress, we have been relatively successful in minimizing interruption to traffic flow along the six-mile GO 10 corridor. Much of the time, crews conducted their work during overnight hours. Some daytime lane closures continue to be necessary for various activities, but are limited to non-peak hours.
In 2016, three I-10 complete closures with full detours onto North Mesa St. took place in order to complete bridge demolitions and required work directly over traffic. We chose to implement those on Sundays when traffic is at its lightest. Several other closures for this type of overhead work reduced I-10 capacity to one lane, eliminating the need for a full detour. These strategies set as our top priorities the safety of the traveling public as well as the workers that we all rely on to complete the project.
Between Sunland Park Dr. and Executive Center Blvd., we’re implementing a critical initiative that allows three lanes of traffic to remain open on I-10. Instead of closing the shoulder, which only leaves two lanes open to traffic, we are using the inside shoulder as the third lane. This plan provides for increased roadway capacity during construction.
Although maintaining the third lane with no shoulders is not a fool-proof concept, the consequences would be profound and intolerable otherwise, as witnessed when one lane on I-10 is closed for a short time period. The good news is that this is a temporary condition that will be relieved in the near future when we shift traffic to the finished CD lanes. The shift will allow construction of the center median pavement and associated work.
As 2017 progresses, construction activities will focus on the main portions of the project along I-10 that will extend well into 2018 including North Mesa St., Resler Dr. and Sunland Park Dr. Although it is too early in project development to provide an exact timeline for this work, early stage construction at these locations is already underway as can be seen by simply driving through this IH-10 corridor.
At North Mesa St., work on the I-10 bridge is nearly complete in the center median of I-10 [picture on the right was taken November 2016]. We are building a third bridge between the eastbound and westbound I-10 lanes that span over North Mesa St. This bridge will be used temporarily for eastbound traffic during phased work while the existing structure is re-built. Subsequently, following completion of the eastbound I-10 bridge, this same center bridge would then be used for westbound traffic.
The new Resler Dr. direct connector bridge to I-10 East is already under construction and will be 90% complete before the existing structure is demolished, maintaining current access throughout much of this time period.
Work at Sunland Park Dr. involves improvements that can be seen today mostly outside of traffic allowing for access to be maintained with minimal changes to current conditions [pictured right is westbound traffic on I-10 near Sunland Park].
The first major operation will involve the removal of the current westbound Sunland Park Exit Ramp bridge. A temporary exit ramp will be constructed in its place, allowing for access to be maintained at all times to the mall and other retail centers. The actual Sunland Park Dr. bridge structure and direct connector will be the most complex portion of the project [pictured below]. Work in this area will continue in 2017 with the major bridge structure construction in early 2018.
Of course, all closures will be advertised to the public with adequate advance notification. In the meantime, we continue to keep the interest of the traveling public in mind when closures are required as we continue to strive for a safe, cost-effective and timely project delivery.
Please check the GO 10 website for updates that may affect your travel route along with other information provided. Thank you again for your continued support, patience and understanding during the construction of this $158 million project that will definitely be worth the temporary inconvenience.