A Texas-Size Connection
When NorthGate Constructors Was Conditionally Awarded the DFW Connector Project
There was never a doubt that Metal Forms’ Meta Pave™ forms would be involved.
As the contractor for the DFW Connector Project, NorthGate, a joint venture between Kiewit Texas Construction L.P. (Kiewit) and Zachry Construction Corporation (Zachry), will develop, design and reconstruct portions of four highways, two interchanges and five bridges. NorthGate uses Metal Forms exclusively for any job that involves concrete paving, and has been doing so for at least 10 years. According to David Santin, NorthGate’s Concrete Paving Manager, almost all the forms purchased in his tenure with Kiweit’s South-Central District have been manufactured by Milwaukee-based Metal Forms.
While large stretches of roadway are ideal for using a paver, more compact areas for which a paver is too large or just impractical require hand-pours: “We mainly do hand-pours in intersections, tight areas and tie-ins to bridge approaches,” comments Santin. Metal forms are used anytime a concrete section is hand-poured, and NorthGate relies heavily on Metal Forms’ Meta Pave style product. Santin cites the reasons why: “We like your forms in particular because they are simple to use and put together, they make our material handling simple and organized, and they have a long life in which we can reuse them for multiple projects.”
Once the forms are set up, the section of concrete can be hand-poured, after which a motorized screed is run on top of the forms. Concrete finishers come behind the screed with straightedges and floats to ensure the concrete is even, level and has a smooth-looking surface. To complete the job, the concrete is carpet-dragged and tined for texture, and then sprayed with a cure for final surface protection. Metal Forms’ products are being used for many areas of the DFW Connector Project, which consists of a combination of new main lanes, frontage road and toll-managed lanes. The current funded configuration of the project consists of 8.4 miles in Grapevine, Southlake and Irving, and doubles the existing highway capacity north of the DFW Airport.
This $1 billion, entirely publicly- funded project will enhance mobility and air quality through expanded roadway capacity, toll-managed lanes and continuous frontage roads. The toll-managed lanes will help to keep traffic flowing at an estimated rate of 50 mph. All told, the project has the potential to span 14.4 miles, although at this time funding for the ultimate configuration has not yet been identified.
Using a design-build model, design and construction take place simultaneously, expediting the project from an original completion date of 8-10 years (from a start date of February 2010) to a new date of 2014. This new connection is integral to north Texas businesses and commercial and recreational interests, since state highways 114 and 121, and adjacent roadways located north of the DFW Airport, run near the intersection of the area’s four most populous counties.
And, it may not stop there. Once the project is complete, the Texas Department of Transportation can exercise up to three five-year maintenance contracts with NorthGate.
Just as the new roadways will connect people with their destinations, Metal Forms, along with their distributor, Barnsco, Inc. has once again connected with a contractor built on an already solid relationship.
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