State Route 9 Roadway/Bridge Design

PONTOTOC COUNTY, MS

Road to Toyota: Award-winning project built in record time

The Mississippi Department of Transportation selected Neel-Schaffer to design and prepare right-of-way and construction plans for a 9.5-mile stretch of State Route 9, from just north of the SR 6 interchange to just south of the US 78 interchange at New Albany.

The purpose of this new roadway was to provide access to a the then new Toyota Motors Manufacturing plant.

This award-winning, $88 million project was a four-lane divided, partial access control freeway featuring one Natchez Trace Parkway style interchange at Endville Road as part of this 9.5-mile new roadway system. The project included roadway plans for grading, drainage, and pavement to approximately 90 percent completion stage. Bridge design was completed to 100 percent final plans. Other services included design surveys, soil profiles, geotechnical studies for bridge sites, wetland delineation, and right-of-way acquisition and preparation of maps and deeds.

After Neel-Schaffer began the project design, MDOT modified the scope of work to accelerate the Phase A preliminary design and Phase B final contract plan phases in order to meet a construction completion of a mid-2012 time frame. In July 2010, Neel-Schaffer was requested to assist MDOT in advancing the project development and construction so that the construction would be complete by the end of 2012. The remaining tasks included plan development, ROW acquisition, utility relocation, and all phases of roadway and bridge construction. Neel-Schaffer, as program manager for MDOT, was directly responsible for all phases other than construction. In conjunction with MDOT, Neel-Schaffer developed a procurement process that allowed for and required the pace of construction needed to meet the stringent schedule.

To abide by the accelerated schedule, Neel-Schaffer met with the MDOT design team on a weekly basis to respond to design, drainage, right-of-way, soil profile, and environmental concerns. Neel-Schaffer completed the right-of-way plans, property acquisition and utility relocations, and the contractor was given a notice to proceed by July 1, 2011, according to MDOT’s schedule.

This project was completed within budget, and met the extremely compressed schedule. In August of 2013, the project was awarded top honors in the AASHTO southeastern regional America’s Transportation Awards in the “Ahead of Schedule” category.

In addition to completing right-of-way plans, Neel-Schaffer managed the acquisition process in accordance with 49 CFR, Part 24 and applicable state laws. Various subconsultants were employed for title search, preparation of maps and deeds, appraisals, review appraisals, relocation assistance, and negotiations and acquisitions.

Coordination of utility relocations included:

  • Identification of existing utilities within construction limits
  • Meetings with utility owners to determine conflicts
  • Reviewing/approving relocation plans provide by utilities
  • Preparation of agreements for relocation work
  • Reviewing/approving cost estimates
  • Field inspection/documentation of quantities
  • Reviewing/approving final invoices for work performed

Program management and quality assurance included:

  • Review/approval of contractor furnished design-build plans
  • Review/approval of work schedule and schedule of values
  • Quality assurance inspection to ensure contractor was performing quality control of work in progress
  • Issuing Non Conformance Reports when applicable
  • Documenting corrective actions taken
  • Comparing QC material test reports to QA material test reports
  • Responding to Request for Information made by contractor
  • Reviewing/approving monthly and final ray requests
  • Reviewing/approving final “As Built”

“The improvements to State Route 9 have certainly contributed to the success of Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Mississippi, Inc. MDOT and the engineering team worked together and provided us a quality highway ahead of schedule. With that kind of cooperation and support, Mississippi will continue to be a leader in attracting new industry.”

– David Copenhaver, VP, Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Mississippi

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