Soil Instability Puts $150 M U.S. 20 Project in Jeopardy

According to a Newport News Times article, a March 29 letter from Darryl Goodson, vice president and project director with YRC parent company Granite Construction Incorporated cited a project completion delay of two years to recover from a late start and "a major landslide which has been discovered under one end of the largest and highest bridge on the project," as well as two other slides located at the ends of two other major bridges.

The YRC and ODOT teams have recommended a ‘pin cushion’ type system to stabilize the mountain, which I take to mean soil nails or micropiles or some related system.

The project team indicated an additional cost of $60.95 million to offset a late start and mitigate the identified slides. Of the total, $27.5 million would go to overhead costs for keeping Granite’s team of supervisors, subcontractors, designers, and sub-consultants "on the payroll and housed for an additional two years," plus rental fees for keeping massive earthmoving equipment on site for another 24 months.

Likely ODOT will be forced to let out another contract for specialty services to stabilize the site at much less than what it would cost the YRC team to do it and then the project will someday be started back up again. No word yet on the exact nature of the delays this would cause for the ultimate completion of the project, or the total cost.

Other members of the YRC team include Tylin International, Lochner, H.W. Lochner, Inc – Consulting Engineers, URS Corporation , Crux Subsurface, Inc., PBS Engineering & Environmental, Exeltech and Golder Associates. You can view the project’s website here.