Work continues on stabilizing Vevay Hill as piers continue to be poured

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As the extensive work continues on stabilizing State Road 56 north of Vevay commonly known as Vevay Hill, workers are currently about three weeks ahead of schedule as hundreds of support piers that will hold the road in place continue to be poured.

“We’ve got four phases of piers, lagging panels, and tie backs installed,” project manager Brad Burk said. “There are about 26 piers per phase, so that’s 104 out of 328 total, so we’ve still got a lot to do. We’re about one-third of the way done with those.”

Brad Burk said that getting the piers in place will take most of the rest of the year, but couldn’t give a date when he expected them to all be in place with the lagging panels, but did note that he thinks workers would like to have them all in by November.

As much as the workers – and the community – would like to have the project done as quickly as possible, it’s important to make sure that each pier is installed properly and reinforced and tied back properly so that the improvements work to stabilize the road long term.

“We had 224 more of the piers to drill and pour,” Brad Burk said. “They’ve been going anywhere from 20- to 25-feet deep, some a little deeper, some a little shallower.”

Phase one of the pier installation began right in the middle of the project; and once those piers were installed, the second phase was 200-feet down the hill; with a 200-foot separation between phase one.

Once those were in, the third phase was a 200-foot section up the hill from phase one. Phase four then connects phases one and two. All work is complete on the first three phases, with workers now getting ready to install the tie-backs in phase four.

“We can’t open a phase up until a phase is tied back,” Brad Burk said. “With four phases done, that’s about 800-feet that we have finished.”

The total length of the project is approximately 2,600 feet – so workers have about 1,800-feet to go.

Brad Burk said that weather will also play a role in how the project keeps moving. If it’s a mild winter like it was last year, workers may continue to work. If severe weather hits, then it will obviously slow progress.

Once completed, most drivers on the road won’t see the majority of the work that has been done in other to keep the road from slipping, as it has done in the past.

Brad Burk said that along the pier line a curb will be installed approximately two feet away from the lagging panels, and then a guard rail will be installed behind the curb. All of the piers and panels and tie backs that are being installed will actually be on the lower side of the roadway, mainly out of sight of drivers.

“The road will shift out just a little bit in certain areas along the project from where it has been in the past,” Brad Burk said. “The curves will still be there, but some won’t be as sharp, which should be more safe.”

After all of the piers are installed, the next phase will be to put the sub-grade in. Once that is completed, then paving would begin.

Force Construction of Columbus, Indiana was awarded the $6.3 million dollar project for the slide correction and asphalt repair.

With work already three weeks ahead of schedule, there is a chance that the project could be completed and Vevay Hill reopened to traffic before the original date of July 1st, 2013.