Bypass work on track

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By Alice Du Pont

Progress on the Quincy Bypass, which will connect State Road 12 to U.S. Highway 90 near Ralph Strong Road and the Capital Regional Medical Center Gadsden Campus, is about 30 percent complete and work on the project is moving at a steady pace, according to Anthony Manos, project engineer.


“Much of the clearing is done about a third of the drainage is complete and about 30 percent of the earthwork has been done,” Manos said.


The earthwork has proven to be the most challenging. The project will require moving tons of dirt out of the area and replacing that dirt with other dirt some that is more suitable for highway construction. Fortunately there have only been between four to six days thus far when rain has prevented work on the bypass.


“The contractor has been working six days a week. It was their choice because when the sun is shining, we have to move dirt. When it gets wet, it gets very sloppy like a pig wallowing in mud,” Manos said.


Construction on the Quincy Bypass started in late October, and the projected completion date is August 2014. The 1.6-mile highway will be a two-lane, undivided roadway with 12-foot travel lanes and 10-foot shoulders, five of which will be paved. Drainage ponds, a new traffic signal (at U.S. Highway 90) and a new bridge are also included in the project.


There are eight local sub-contractors working on the site, with more than 100 local workers employed.

“They are doing almost all of the jobs, the dirt work, drainage, paving, almost everything with road construction. They will be involved in parts of the bridge construction. We’re utilizing the companies in Gadsden County,” said Branch.


There are brief interruptions in the traffic flow, mainly on the S.R. 12 entrance where heavy trucks are entering the site.


So far, Manos and Branch agreed, the weather has not been a big problem, with most of the heavy showers coming in the evenings. Still, in North Florida in the summertime, afternoon showers can occur daily, and there is still the threat through November that a hurricane could send more water than is wanted or needed.


GLF, the construction company, has been working six days per week from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. to get as much completed as possible.


“The project is on schedule and on budget. GLF is a great company to work with,” Branch said.


“We ask the driving public to slow down. It’s dangerous with the amount of truck traffic and heavy equipment. We want the public and the workers to be safe. There is about a 15-second slow-down, but it can make all the difference in the world,” said Matthew Branch, project engineer.