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M-88: Antrim County

October 18, 2013

Challenge: No detour possibilities; must maintain traffic
Solution: Elmer’s developed a flagging sequence to guide cars through the construction zone

Owner: Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT)
Contract Amount: $3,221,234.68
Design Engineer: Judy K. Browning
Location: M-88 in Antrim County
Date Started: June 19, 2013
Date Completed: October 18, 2013
Partners: Bella Concrete, Give ‘em A Brake, North Slope, P.K. Contracting, Shelly Bigelow Trucking, Stuckman Tree Service
Self-Performed: 90%

When Team Elmer’s bid on the Michigan Department of Transportation highway reconstruction project focusing on M-88 in Antrim County, the job sounded straightforward enough. MDOT was calling for 5.33 miles of hot mix asphalt placed between Central Lake and Bellaire.

Team Elmer’s realized early on two key aspects to the project that would require special focus: maintaining traffic and a significant elevation change. The 5.33-mile stretch of road was located in a part of the county where no other real detour options existed. In other words, Team Elmer’s had to implement a range of improvements on a road that needed to remain open to traffic at all times.

In order to solve the dilemma, Team Elmer’s developed a flagging sequence involving a pilot car and three to four additional flaggers. The flaggers remained a key part of the project for its entire four-month schedule, allowing Team Elmer’s to direct traffic through the construction zone while still maintaining work in the construction zone.

The work at hand was comprehensive and challenging, including elements of asphalt shaping and resurfacing, alterations to the grading of the road, and additions of new shoulders, curbs, gutters, culverts, and other drainage system necessities.

The design included a whopping seven foot “superelevation” change on a curved section of the road. It tapered to zero on the inside of the curve to create a more smooth and controllable drive at 55 miles per hour, using centrifugal force.

Once the asphalt was complete, new pavement markings applied, and Antrim County drivers finally given back free reign of M-88, the short stretch of highway was a splendor. Furthermore, this piece of work is built to last, backed by two five-year materials and workmanship pavement warranties. As for the Team Elmer’s flaggers, their persistence and creativity paid off through the windy cool mornings and sweltering hot afternoons.


By the Numbers

Gravel Aggregates: 48,636 Tons
HMA Crush & Shape: 72,080 Square Yards
12”-68” Culvert Pipe: 3,757 Lineal Feet
HMA Paving: 24,275 Tons
Curb & Gutter: 1,800 Feet
Pavement Markings: 86,320 Feet
Silt Fence: 10,000 Linear Feet
Length: 5.33 Miles
Flaggers: 3-4 Every Day for Nearly Four Months

Click here to download a PDF of "Flags for Five Miles: M-88 at Antrim County"


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