To improve the safety performance and create a smoother roadway on Interstate 15 from Oak Hill Road to just south of Bear Valley Road in Victorville, Sully-Miller Contracting Co. is rehabilitating and repaving 59 lane miles of Interstate 15, along with the accompanying ramps. The drainage systems are being upgraded as well for better water flow.

The range of the Caltrans I-15 project in San Bernardino County spans from Oak Hill Road in Hesperia to just south of Bear Valley Road in Victorville and is valued at $121 million.

In order to construct the northbound and southbound lanes, the Sully-Miller crew safely isolated the existing median by placing approximately 100,000 linear feet of K-rail as a temporary barrier. Once the work area was safely separated, the crew proceeded with moving 100,000 cubic yards of dirt and grading the median. A nine-inch base was then placed and compacted, followed by six-inches of HMA, to form three new lanes and a shoulder. These new lanes will serve as a bypass for northbound and southbound traffic throughout the course of the project, allowing traffic to keep flowing and minimize any back-up.

However, the newly constructed median lanes could not be utilized as a bypass in a small section between the Highway 395 connector and Ranchero Road as I-15 narrowed on a bridge over the Union Pacific Railroad tracks.

Instead, the crew was restricted to building only one lane of I-15 at a time for the .75-mile stretch incorporating the approaches to the bridge and the crossing itself, while dealing with adjacent lanes of traffic. This restricted stretch of roadway had to be hand-poured due to limited real estate and adjacent traffic lanes.

Once the single lanes are fully constructed, the crew will be able to reprogram the Gomaco GP3 slipform paver to begin placing a two-lane width of JPCP and increase the overall daily production and efficiencies.

More than 176,000 cubic yards of Jointed Plain Concrete Pavement (JPCP) are being placed on mainline, for three northbound and three southbound lanes.

The project is expected to restore the structural integrity of the roadway and improve the ride quality of the pavement with the JPCP. In addition, the pavement rehabilitation is expected to reduce maintenance frequency and costs, and increase the service life of the pavement.

The Sully-Miller crew is using a Gomaco GP3 paver, which can variably pave up to a 30-foot width. The slipform paver is equipped with Automated Machine Guidance (AMG) for a more integrated and efficient construction process.

For the I-15 Oak Hill Road Project, Sully-Miller acquired an Astec RexCon Batch Plant to produce the concrete. The onsite batch plant ensures better control of the quality of the concrete thanks, in part, to the minimal transport distance to placement. An onsite batch plant is also more sustainable as it eliminates the additional fuel consumption and exhaust emissions produced by the barrel trucks transporting the concrete from further-distant plants.

Weather and traffic on this stretch of I-15 present a few challenges to the project. Summer temperatures can reach 110 degrees and, in winter, they can fall into the teens. I-15 is one of the most-traveled freeways in California, so traffic congestion and speeding motorists require additional safety measures. In spite of the challenges, all work is anticipated to be completed by spring 2025.

Thanks and a tip of the hard hat to Sully-Miller’s Iqbal Bahramzi and Frank Stevenson for their contributions to this story.