The Wilmington Bypass Project is a four-year, $124 Million bridge and roadway project that extends the I-140 loop around Wilmington from Highway 421 to Cedar Hill Road. This section, in conjunction with the concurrently running A-section completes the bypass around Wilmington to improve mobility in the area.
Balfour Beatty served as the general contractor for the project, which is approximately three miles long, with 1.5 miles of new bridges and 1.5 miles of roadway.
The roadway section consists of over 2.2 million yards of borrow, 28,000-sf of MSE walls and associated paving and drainage structures. The structures include 10 bridges – eight of which are over CSX railroad tracks – and twin bridges each spanning more than 7,200-feet, crossing the Cape Fear River and adjoining wetlands. Bridge quantities include almost 700,000-sf of bridge deck, 95,000-LF of pile, 57,000-LF of pre-stressed concrete girders and 38,000-cy of concrete. The Cape Fear River Crossing utilizes post tensioned pre-stressed concrete girders and lightweight concrete for a 280-foot main span. The foundation for the river crossing consists of 36-inch pre-stressed concrete piles that average 90-feet in length.
The schedule associated with these foundations was driven by an in-water work moratorium in the project environmental permits to protect endangered species. The permit restricted any pile installation in the Cape Fear River and within 115-feet of the river bank from February 1 to June 15 of any given year. This permit requirement made the installation of all 184 36-inch piles before February 1, 2015 critical to the timely completion of the project. Balfour Beatty accelerated work schedules to meet the demands of the in-water work moratorium and utilized a work trestle to cross environmentally-sensitive areas of the Cape Fear River and adjoining wetlands.
The Wilmington Bypass Project was the recipient of a Pile Driving Contractors Association 2015 Project of the Year Award for Marine projects over $5 Million and the 2016 Project of the Year.