ACPA 2014 Gold Award | Western Wake Freeway

2014 Gold Award – Divided Highways (Urban)

Western Wake Freeway - Wake County, North Carolina

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Western Wake Freeway – NC 540
Wake County, North Carolina

Contractor: Archer Western Contractors
Owner: North Carolina Turnpike Authority
Engineer: Michael Baker

This design-build toll facility, the largest highway construction project in North Carolina history, stretches more than 13 miles through suburban Raleigh. The project included 34 bridges, more than 6 million CY of excavation and embankment, 15 box culverts, and 894,000 SY of jointed plain concrete pavement. The project was constructed by Raleigh-Durham Roadbuilders, a joint-venture between Archer Western Contractors and Granite Construction Company.

The Western Wake Freeway was a 100% grind project and resulted in exceptional smoothness with average International Roughness Index readings in the 30s.

This project also was the first project for the North Carolina DOT to incorporate stringless technology from excavation through the final paving sections. In addition, a plan was developed to open more than half of the project a full year earlier than the originally-scheduled final completion date. This allowed the owner to begin collecting toll revenue much sooner than the financial plan anticipated, resulting in additional revenue for the project. This also raised the possibility for an early payoff of the project bonds.


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