Balfour Beatty, as part of Colorado River Constructors (CRC) joint venture, achieved a milestone on the Texas Department of Transportation’s (TxDOT) $674m Oak Hill Parkway project in Austin this month.
On the night of 16 June, the team set the first bridge beams that support widening activities east of US 290 and SH 71 “Y” interchange in Austin, Texas.
To do it in one night, crews shifted 10 bridge beams by truck onto the wide shoulder of the US 290 mainlanes, where crane operators lifted and set the beams on bearing pads atop previously constructed columns and caps.
The operation was needed for upcoming widening operations over Old Fredericksburg Road which include installing permanent metal decking, forming bridge overhangs and setting rebar for future bridge decks and barriers. That operation will take place in the next few weeks at Monterey Oaks Boulevard, Balfour Beatty said.
“I commend our bridge crews for their collaboration in safely performing this operation that serves as a step forward in alleviating traffic congestion and improving long-term mobility along US 290 and SH 71 in Austin,” said John Rempe PE, Balfour Beatty executive vice president and Southwest region manager for civils.
Major traffic shifts
After breaking ground on the project last summer, the CRC joint venture team completed its first major traffic shift west of Circle Drive and is preparing for its second major traffic shift where the first permanent frontage roads will come online at the west end of the Oak Hill Parkway corridor.
Crews are building more than 10 different retaining walls along the project corridor, a mix of soil nail walls, cast-in-place walls and drilled shaft sound walls. They are also working 10 bridge structures.
Owing to the project’s location, large trenching and milling machines are being used for excavation. Some 400,000 cubic yards have been excavated so far out of an estimated 2 million needed to complete the project.
Scheduled for completion in 2026, the Oak Hill Parkway project rebuilds and widens around seven miles of US 290 from the east end of Circle Drive to Loop 1 (MoPac Expressway) and SH 71 from US 290 to Silvermine Drive, with flyovers.