Interstate highway projects can be among the most multifaceted construction projects. Some aspects of the work are highly visible. But other project elements are less dramatic and less often seen, including cutting drainage ditches alongside new pavement. And yet, proper drainage swale excavation and construction can be of key importance to the overall success of the project.
GRADALL VERSATILITY ADVANTAGES
In Fort Myers, Florida, Kiewit Southern Co. used a Gradall® Model XL 4200 to create important channels at a new interchange along I-75. Outfitted with a 60-inch ditching bucket and its standard telescoping, tilting boom, the Model XL 4200 was used to efficiently cut contoured swale slopes, excavating to create flat channel bottoms and then create sloped sides to meet the plan specifications. The ditches run for about three-quarters of a mile along the entrance and exit ramps on both sides of a new Alico Rd. interchange. Ditches must have a 5-foot-wide flat bottom and sloped sides with a depth of one foot to one-and-a-half feet, depending on location. “We tried cutting the ditches with a trackhoe with a bar welded across the bucket teeth,” said Jonathan Farrar, Kiewit Southern’s grading superintendent. “You can do it that way, but the Gradall was able to do it a lot faster.” “It’s doing a good job,” added operator Don Blakley. Production ran several hundred yards per day, excavating material with the Model XL 4200 and then loading it into trucks where it was stockpiled for future use. After shaping the ditches, the Gradall excavator’s tilting boom was used to efficiently line the ditch with a 6-inch lift of topsoil, after which it was seeded and mulched.
Posted with permission from The Gradall Company, www.gradall.com.