The East End Connector Project for the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) Division 5 will transform the way that people get around Durham, providing travelers with a direct controlled access roadway between NC 147 and US 70. Consisting of multi-tier interchanges and complete reconstruction of both roadways, the connector is expected to take about four-and-a-half years to complete. Our team, providing construction engineering and inspection (CEI) services, has already made significant progress as we prepare to celebrate our first year on-site.
Much of the progress made up to this point has been clearing and grubbing, with more than 75 acres of land now prepared for the first stages of construction. Two of the four culverts have also been started, as well as the substructure for what will eventually become the NC 147 flyover. Work has also begun on a detour railroad bridge, for which RS&H and NCDOT are coordinating with CSX and Norfolk Southern. Additionally, we are working with the contractor to ensure compliance with the extensive set of regulations that come with railroad projects.
Lead Technician Peyton Spivey, PE is pleased with the progress so far, saying, “The only main challenge that the team has faced was dealing with potential erosion control due to heavy rains, recently up to eight inches in one week.”
Issues were averted as the CEI team coordinated with the contractor to proactively exceed erosion control requirements and establish best practices for erosion control measures. With potential flooding issues curtailed and the project site primed for construction, the team is now looking forward to the extensive bridge work soon to begin, or as Peyton puts it, “getting above ground.”
With the contractor now bringing in more crews, the pace of the project will ramp up quickly as the team prepares to lay over 70,000 square yards of concrete pavement and 575,000 tons of asphalt in the next few years. A groundbreaking development in Durham’s infrastructure, the highly anticipated East End Connector will provide an enhanced way to travel for over 65,000 vehicles per day at its completion, slated for July 2019.