Hwy 31/280 Red Mountain Expressway

ALDOT identified multiple high-profile infrastructure projects in the Birmingham area, which were considered priorities to complete before the covid delayed start of the World Games in July of 2022. The Red Mountain Expressway (Hwy 31/280), with an ADT of over 122,000 vehicles per day, was identified as a significant potential “roadblock” to successful traffic flow to many key event venues. ALDOT noted that several chokepoints on the route hindered traffic flow, including the on-off ramps from 21st Avenue South, University Avenue, and Highland Avenue. In addition, there were several safety concerns with the route, including the need for a concrete median barrier, outdated bridge rails, and an aging HMA wearing surface.

Upon scoping the project needs, ALDOT identified several significant capacity and safety enhancements, including adding auxiliary lanes, ramp improvements, median barrier rail installation, bridge rail retrofits, slab replacement, partial depth patching, HMA resurfacing, and associated removals. ALDOT elected to utilize Roller Compacted Concrete (RCC) for the ramp widening and median paving. Before selecting RCC, ALDOT and A.G. Peltz Group personnel reviewed the existing roadway to ensure that the RCC shoulders were constructible within the existing DOT right of way. Per Gary Smith, ALDOT Regional Pre-Construction Engineer, RCC was selected for this application for its speed of construction, durability, and cost-effectiveness.

In November of 2021, Abramson, LLC, a sister company to A.G. Peltz Group, was the low project bidder at $16,507,973. Abramson, LLC began work in February of 2022 with traffic volumes dictating nightwork between 7:00 PM and 6:00 AM. In April of 2022, A.G. Peltz Group started their fourth Roller Compacted Concrete (RCC) paving project for ALDOT in as many years. This unique RCC application included paving a 8′ to 24’ wide 7” median and multiple 5′ to 15’ wide acceleration lanes/ramps with 10” RCC. One of the primary reasons ALDOT utilized RCC is the unique ability to place a lift of 10″ pavement in a single pass, allowing a quick return to traffic. Adjacent lanes were only closed to traffic during concrete placement, followed by a brief curing period, and always opened by the next mornings rush hour.

A G. Peltz Group placed the RCC in two phases, with Phase 1 including 16,786 SY of 7” RCC for median paving. A.G. Peltz Group completed the first phase over 12 nights in April and May 2022. After the RCC median paving was completed, Abramson, LLC installed a concrete median barrier rail at the midpoint of the RCC pavement. A.G. Peltz Group believes this is the first time RCC has been utilized as a base layer for a concrete barrier wall. The fast RCC installation assisted ALDOT in meeting the target Phase 1 opening date of May 22, 2022, two weeks before the start of the World Games.