Expanding a roadway through rural West Virginia might sound like a routine assignment for an experienced design firm like Modjeski and Masters. It is anything but typical. The New River Parkway project requires more than expertise in several highway bridge service disciplines. It also demands an increased level of client communications.
The Middle River Basin offers motorists a series of diverse and dramatic landscapes. Planned additions to the number of recreational facilities in the area will mean more tourists. Making these areas more accessible, without detracting from the attractive vistas, is one challenge. Another is creating designs that meet the criteria of the client, the West Virginia Division of Highways, as well as satisfy the project’s other shareholders, including the National Park Service. To accomplish all these objectives, we were tasked with developing essentially a new kind of roadway improvement plan.
The current roadway is mostly a one-lane asphalt road with no shoulders. Our designs for The New River Parkway will create two lanes with shoulders that allow slow speed touring. The project scope also takes advantage of our expertise in hydraulics (for draining studies), retaining wall structure, and highway bridge design and engineering services that will culminate in the construction of a 2-span steel bridge. Especially challenging is the client’s directive to minimize the use of cuts and fill.
Input from the National Park Service and the New River Parkway Authority requires an open dialogue with the West Virginia Division of Highways. They, in turn, depend on Modjeski and Masters to implement the necessary design changes quickly. While the New River Parkway represents very untypical roadway improvement designs, the ability to respond quickly to our client’s needs is an established Modjeski and Masters trademark.
We were tasked with developing essentially a new kind of roadway improvement plan.
John M. Kulicki, PE, SE (Principal In Charge)
Jason E. Schade, PE (Project Manager)