Jacksonville officials discuss delays, progress on Henderson Drive repaving



The City of Jacksonville issued a press release on Thursday to explain why the 3-phase project to repave Henderson Drive is taking longer than expected.

According to city officials, crews working on the road believe they are a month out from completing phase 1 of the project , which was delayed by Hurricane Florence, and unexpected finds underneath the road.

During the project, crews have worked at night to reduce traffic interruptions, have made utility changeovers in the early morning hours to minimize disruption, and have dealt with design changes and in some cases, 20” deep pavement overlaps.

The first phase was to fix or replace the utilities under the road so the new pavement would not have to be disturbed. The next phase was to let the disturbed ground settle. In phase 3, the NC Department of Transportation would pave the road consistent with its funding schedule.

Phase 1 of this project was originally scheduled to begin in November of 2018, with a completion timeline of six months. With the impact of Hurricane Florence, the start was delayed and did not begin until January 2019.

“At the beginning, the contractor found that the location of the existing storm drains, a cable duct bank, and unknown buried utilities prevented installation of the new waterline as planned,” said Public Services Director Wally Hansen. “The City then considered options with the Engineer and a redesign was completed shifting the waterline to the Northwoods Elementary School side of Henderson Drive. These redesign efforts required change order negotiations, utility locating, and additional work by the contractor which resulted in extensive schedule delays.” “Once the waterline installation was underway, the varying depth of the existing asphalt pavement, with some areas containing 20” of asphalt, slowed the contractor’s expected construction rate,” said Andrew Kassell, Project Manager.

Additionally, the contractor encountered other unknown underground obstacles such as abandoned storm drains, junction boxes, and curb and gutter from the old roadway which impacted the schedule.

Also, during the course of the project, additional sanitary sewer failures were discovered that were not originally identified in the scope of work. Several of these failed sewers necessitated immediate repairs with two additional repairs still to be made.

The contractor has finished the installation of the new waterline, including meeting all local and State testing requirements. However, tying the water lines in from all of the surrounding side streets and abounding the old water line have proven be another obstacle. Valves on existing water lines outside the scope of the project have been found to be more than 50 years old. This has delayed and complicated the completion of connecting these existing lines to the new water main.

The normal timeframe for connecting the existing system to this type of work is around one week. Working with the aging system and trying to minimize the area and duration of the outages pushed this this process is taking closer to a month to complete. City of Jacksonville Thursday, August 8, 2019 Page 2 of 2 The Contractor is currently working to complete the waterline connections to the existing water mains. The contractor plans to make the two sewer line repairs and completely abandon the existing water main over the next two weeks. Once the underground work is completed the contractor will place asphalt patches in any areas that need to be repaired.

City Engineering Division Project Managers expect that outstanding items such as patching, trenchless manhole repairs, and dressing up around meter boxes and other disturbed areas will be completed in the next month or so.

Once the contractor has finished, they will leave the road to operate normally, giving everything time to settle before they completely resurface the roadway. The settling time could be long or short depending on the funding cycle and available resources from the NC Department of Transportation.

Jacksonville officials said signs about the project were installed last summer in anticipation of the project’s start. They note that the project is three phases long and that the settling phase could last some time.

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