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May 15, 2019ODOT District 6 and ELR were chosen for the ACEC/ODOT partnering award for the FRA-71-5.29 Project!

ODOT District 6 and ELR were chosen for the ACEC/ODOT partnering award for the FRA-71-5.29 Project! detail

The ODOT District 6 and E.L. Robinson Engineering worked as partners on the I-71 widening project (FRA-71-5.29) to design and construct a cost-effective solution to provide suitable pavement, add capacity to I-71 to maintain an adequate Level of Service and increase safety by reducing congestion-related crashes.

The ODOT Major Rehabilitation program flagged this section of I-71 for rehabilitation as it was ranked 10th of 770 by the ODOT Office of Pavement Engineering analysis. The section of I-71 was expected to carry 70,250 vehicles per day (vpd) in 2016 and 100,680 vpd in 2036, with 25% of that being heavy vehicles. Highway capacity analyses indicate that I-71 would operate with a Level of Service (LOS) of D in 2016 and LOS F in 2036 with no improvements. Crash patterns in the project area indicate that congestion issues may be contributing to safety concerns in the area of the two interchanges. Crash rates on I-71 near the SR-665 and Stringtown Road interchanges exceed the statewide average crash rates.

Replacing the deteriorating pavement and adding capacity were key components to the success of the project. A safe and effective maintenance of traffic scheme needed to be implemented while coordinating the design and construction with the adjacent FRA-71-0.00 and FRA-9.62 projects which were to originally be constructed at or near the same time as the FRA-71-5.29 project.

The project was completed in October 2017 and included the construction of:

  • Full depth pavement replacement on I-71
  • The addition of 4.35 miles of a third lane in both directions on I-71 between SR-665 and Stringtown Road
  • Four noise barriers and over 11,000 ft of storm sewers with 125 storm inlets

Unique Project Aspects:

The FRA-71-5.29 project was awarded for design around the same time as the adjacent FRA-71-0.00 and FRA-71-9.62 projects. Extensive project coordination with the adjacent projects needed to be conducted so design aspects could be completed while taking construction activities in mind. Originally it was determined that the FRA-71-5.29 project would be sold first so it would need to tie in to existing conditions on the south end. The FRA-71-9.62 project was to be sold soon after the FRA-71-5.29 project so the design on the north end was completed to accommodate the FRA-71-9.62 project for vertical alignment and the maintenance of traffic scheme. The sale of the FRA-71-9.62 project was delayed so modifications to the FRA-71-5.29 tracings were completed after award of the project so the project could tie in to existing conditions on the north end of the project.

To try and solicit more competitive bids on the project, an optional bid for pavement types was included in the plans. Details for asphalt and concrete pavement were added to the plans. The Office of Pavement Engineering required that no intermediate longitudinal joint was allowed except at the lane or edge lines. As such, additional maintenance of traffic details had to be added to the plans after Final Tracings were submitted.

Noise barriers were to be included on the project. ODOT District 6 and E.L. Robinson Engineering worked with the Office of Environmental Services to complete public outreach to determine design aspects for the noise barriers.

As part of the FHWA Every Day Counts Initiative 3 (EDC-3), E.L. Robinson Engineering worked with ODOT District 6 and Central Office to provide a 3D model for use on the FRA-71-5.29 for a pilot project. The 3D Model was the first to be used on an ODOT project and was to be utilized by the contractor along with his schedule to create a 4D Model.

After design started on the FRA-71-5.29 project, it was determined that there was going to be a future Stringtown Road interchange project. As a way to provide cost saving measures, the design on the north end of the project was modified so that future lane configurations were utilized so the pavement from the FRA-71-5.29 project could be used on the future interchange project. In addition, the design of the FRA-71-0903 structures was modified so that future ramp configurations could be accommodated. A third cost-saving measure was to incorporate as much of the future I-71 SB onramp and I-71 NB offramp configuration to minimize pavement that would need to be removed and reconstructed with the future interchange project.


  • Roadway Design
  • Hydraulic Analysis
  • Maintenance of Traffic

Design Cost:

  • $1.4 M

Construction Cost:

  • $41.5M

West Virginia

  • Charleston
  • Beckley
  • Chapmanville


  • Columbus
  • Cleveland
  • Little Hocking


  • Ashland

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*E.L. Robinson Engineering Co. ensures nondiscrimination in all programs and activities in accordance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. If you need more information or special assistance for persons with disabilities or limited English proficiency, contact Jayne Gwinn-Charleston Office at 304.776.7473 Ext. 238

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