Mississippi County (Koss #84)
In July 2013, the Sunflower Division mobilized their grade, plant, and paving crews to Mississippi County, Arkansas to start a fast pace working day project 20 miles south of the Missouri line on Interstate 55. The project length was 7.812 miles of 9” PCCP overlaying the existing pavement on both the north and southbound lanes. The project consisted of 4 interchange ramps, 2 rest area ramps, 4 bridges, 1 overpass bridge jacking, and 2 bridge resurfacing. A shoulder strengthening and concrete patch work had to be done to the northbound lanes in preparation of the head to head traffic switch.
Once the traffic switch was complete, Koss started tearing out 600’ at each of the three full depth reconstruction areas at each bridge end. This allowed the change in elevation from the overlay to tie into the existing bridges. There were a total of 6 bridge ends on the project that the overlay needed to tie back into the existing bridge. Meanwhile an asphalt bond breaker would be placed over existing PCCP. A Gunter and Zimmerman paver was first sized to 22’ for the 14’ driving lane with an 8’ outside shoulder.
Once completed the paver was re-sized to 16’ for the 12’ passing lane with a 4’ inside shoulder. Koss was able to pave the southbound mainline and shoulders in 19 working days. Unfortunately, winter set in early and plans to finish the hand pours, joint sealing, shouldering, temporary striping, and switch traffic to southbound lanes before the year ended was impossible for 2013. At the start of 2014, Koss was excited to start where they left off, but again Mother Nature had other plans. Freezing rain and ice seemed to be our biggest challenge. At one point, Interstate 55 was shut down due to the amount of ice on the roadway. Arkansas Highway Transportation Department could not keep up with snow plows. Koss was asked to help by providing their motor grader fleet to work clearing ice off the interstate.
In the middle of February traffic was switched and work on the northbound lanes was started. Koss put in long paving hours and numerous, 300+ batch days to complete the mainline and shoulders. A total of 337,533 SY of 9” PCCP and 15,300 SY of 12” PCCP was paved. As work to complete this job started to minimize, Mother Nature decided she wanted to challenge Koss yet again. Rain came and went about every other day from May through June, making work on the shoulders and permanent striping next to impossible. In August 2014, this project was completed because of Koss’s continuous hard work and drive.