The masses that travel to Augusta, Georgia for the 2020 Masters Golf Tournament won’t have to travel far down Berckmans Road to the notorious Rae’s Creek to see collaboration at its finest. The Berckmans Road Realignment and Widening Project is a two-phase infrastructure improvement project located in the center of Augusta. Early in the conceptual phase of the project, Reeves East Region reached out to Sloan Construction’s Bridge Division to join them in the project. Sloan agreed and together they embraced this challenge which consists of a complete replacement of a historic bridge, installation of a roundabout in limited space, and widening to help with traffic for a little golf tournament you may have heard of.
Phase I of the project (completed by another contractor) realigned the northern terminus of Berckmans Road at Washington Road with Alexander Drive, providing a direct path from River Watch Parkway to West Augusta and the “Hill” area where Augusta University and the historic community of Summerville are located. Phase II of the project, constructed by Reeves, continues the two new travel lanes with a center turn lane section from the end of Phase I to Wheeler Road. Phase II also includes replacing the existing substandard bridge over Rae’s Creek with a double barrel three-sided culvert with a rubble stone veneer, upgrading the intersection of Berckmans Road and Ingleside Drive with a traffic circle, advancing the storm drainage system, upsizing the existing 14-inch water main to 16 inches, and adding a multi-use path, irrigation, and street lighting.
The Contract value of Phase II is $11.2 million and is funded with a combination of the City of Augusta and Georgia DOT Transportation Investment Act monies. The project timeline is 27 months with two stages of construction. Stage One has an interim completion date of March 3, 2020 and includes the replacement of the bridge over Rae’s Creek. Stage Two is to be completed by the end of the 27-month time frame. No work is allowed during the month of March and throughout the Masters Golf Tournament, which takes place annually during the first full week of April.
Reeves was provided the Notice to Proceed on April 22, 2019 and started work the same day. To date, Reeves has installed over 50% of the storm drains and has begun to install the new water main. Sloan has poured the substructure for Phase 1 and installed the first two of three bents for the new culvert. A temporary soil nail wall has been installed to allow for the vertical excavation next to the travel lane, and a diversion channel was installed to allow for the construction of the footings. Sloan has completed setting all barrels for Stage One. The culvert and the new roadway section over Rae’s Creek must be completed by the March 3rd deadline. This project has been challenged by the weather, heavy traffic volumes, and site conditions that differ from the design; however, Reeves and Sloan will overcome these issues to meet the various construction deadlines.