Name: Jason Rowley
Title: U.S. 31 – Hamilton County Design Project Manager
Company: CHA Companies
Professional Designations: P.E.
Q: What is your field of focus and what particular products do you specialize in?
CHA Companies is a highly diversified, full-service engineering and construction management firm providing a wide range of design services to public, private and institutional clients. We are organized to serve three broad sectors – transportation, campus & institutional, and industrial & energy.
The Indiana Department of Transportation selected CHA as the program manager and lead design firm for the reconstruction and upgrade of 12 miles of signalized arterial to a full freeway facility consisting of 11 interchanges. The project is located on the north side of Indianapolis, where acquisition costs are at a premium. This required innovative designs to reduce the overall footprint of the new roadway. The $500 million project is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2016, two years ahead of schedule and over $100 million under the original budget.
As a project manager for our Indianapolis office, I managed over 100 engineers, scientists and land acquisition experts to complete the design, environmental services, utility coordination and land acquisition for the U.S. 31 project in Hamilton County.
Q: What are the benefits of using precast concrete products?
Precast concrete products have revolutionized the construction industry. Every day, buildings and transportation corridors are being built faster with more quality-controlled precast.
The precast industry deserves a lot of credit for turning the U.S. 31 project into a reality. Without precast products, it would have been much more expensive and could not have been built as quickly. Having precast industry experts design their products also increases quality and adds efficiencies to the construction process. Construction time savings also reduce impacts to businesses, the traveling public and the environment.
Q: What precast concrete products were specified for this project?
Precast concrete products such as MSE walls, three- and four-sided structures, bridge beams, sound walls, temporary concrete barrier and storm sewer were heavily used on this corridor. These materials were selected because they could be fabricated quickly and economically. MSE walls allowed INDOT to eliminate spill slope and thereby reduce bridge lengths.
The precast MSE walls were another cost-effective solution which saved INDOT time and money. The formliner was designed to mimic Indiana’s natural limestone outcroppings. Without the use of a precast option, the limestone appearance would have been very difficult to replicate.
Q: How have you seen precast concrete evolve? How do you see it continuing to impact your work?
Precast concrete products continue to evolve. The precast industry is continuously developing new products. Some of the more recent innovations include more variety in decorative precast concrete walls, precast concrete pavement and the use of concrete pipe for culvert slip lining.
For more information on CHA Companies, visit chacompanies.com.