Slope Protection

Catwalk Trail Reconstruction Design-Build

Panoramic View of Catwalk Structure

Project awards received

Owner: Federal Highway Administration – Central Federal Lands Division/U.S. Forest Service
Engineer: Bohannan Huston, Inc.
Location of Project: Gila National Forest, near Glenwood, NM
Final Contract Amount: $4,617,780
Completion Date: May 2016

Project Scope (included Design and Construction):

  • 700 feet of suspended catwalk
  • Three steel pedestrian bridges
  • Restoration of the primitive and accessible trails leading to the structures
  • Removal and disposal of creek obstructions and existing flood-damaged structures
  • Slope protection for erosion control and prevention of falling rocks
  • Total rehabilitation and expansion of the parking lot that provides access to the trail
  • Preservation of the existing historical and archeological elements

Project Challenges:

  • Remote location in an environmentally sensitive area
  • Only nine months to complete design and construction
  • Irregular canyon walls required custom fabrication for every piece of steel and a different bearing for every support

Timeline:

  • 1933: Original Catwalk Trail is built by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC)
  • 1978: Catwalk Trail is designated a National Recreation Trail
  • 2012: The lightning-sparked Whitewater/Baldy Fire burns over 290,000 acres in the Trail’s proximity
  • 2013: A catastrophic rain cascades down the burn scar, flooding Whitewater Canyon, and destroying the historic Catwalk
  • 2015: Design and construction begin to restore the historic Trail on August 24th
  • 2016: Catwalk Trail Recreation Area is re-opened to the public on May 28th

 

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NMDOT CN HE204, HSIP-082

New Mexico Department of Transportation
Project Location:Otero County,NM
Contract Amount: $1,417,898

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This project originally consisted of five phases of construction.  Four involved removal and replacement of existing concrete wall barrier (CWB), and/or gabion baskets utilizing the existing gabion rock.  The fifth phase entailed removing several large boulders that loomed over the existing highway and had the potential, after heavy rains, to roll off the hillside and impact the traveling public and roadway surface.

The first phase included the construction of three extended shoulder areas.  AUI constructed these areas first to facilitate the subsequent detour of traffic to the newly widened roadway in order to better accommodate the removal and replacement of the gabion baskets and/or CWB.  AUI’s Project Management Team opted to incorporate the three separate shoulder widening areas into one traffic control setup.  This enabled the traveling public to be inconvenienced only one time versus the three times under the original Traffic Control Plan.

The fifth phase, which called for the removal of the ominous boulders, was completed under a separate Traffic Control Plan that required a total closure of the roadway for short scheduled periods of time.

Originally, the intent was to utilize the existing gabion rock in the new baskets.  However, shortly after AUI started the removal of the gabions, it was clear that new gabion rock material would be required to complete the gabion baskets per the intent of the construction drawings.

In addition to the gabion rock, other major bid items included 9,600 SY of rock scaling; 1,100 CY of rock excavation; 4,700 CY of unclassified excavation; 2,274 SY of detour pavement; 3,300 CY of gabion removal and replacement; and placement of 1,150 LF of state-furnished CWB.

For this contract, AUI also retained the services of a Public Awareness Officer, just as we did for the otherUS82 project (foregoing listed Project No. 2).  In addition, AUI implemented an extensive flagging operation which included runaway truck spotters in conjunction with trained and certified flagpersons.

NMDOT CN HE203, TPZ-(HSP)-082-1(24)03

New Mexico Department of Transportation
Project Location:Otero County,NM
Contract Amount:  $1,633,142

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This project was broken up into two different phases.  The first was to re-slope or layback an area adjacent to the highway that had experienced a lot of rock falls.  AUI was able to accomplish this without blasting by using a large excavator with a hydraulic hammer and transporting material to an area requiring fill beside the highway.

The second phase of the project was at the tunnel area on the highway. The work included the scaling down of loose rock, building a large retaining wall with colored patterned concrete and rock retaining fence for future protection of the roadway and the complete rebuilding of the visitor parking/turn out area adjacent to the tunnel (concrete sidewalk, curb and gutter and new pavement).

Both of these phases utilized many different traffic control setups and flagging operations to maintain continuous traffic movement as well as safety for the public and workers.  Due to the extent of public relations activities needed for this project, AUI retained the services of a Public Awareness Officer.  This Officer coordinated with and/or maintained continuous communication channels with Cloudcroft businesses, the US Forest Service (high fire danger), highway trucking traffic, the media and other agencies concerning construction activities, scheduling and traffic interruptions.

The project consisted of over 13,000 CY of both rock and unclassified excavation also including 4,000 CY of rock scaling.  The new lookout area was constructed when approximately 1,200 SY of detour paving was placed to detour travelers away from the 2,140 SY of permanent minor paving needed to complete the lookout area.  The major portion of the retaining wall was constructed using over 312 CY of structural concrete and over 27,000 pounds of rebar.  By eliminating the blasting operations, the project was able to save over $ 61,000.

Project News

Catwalk Trail Project Wins National and Statewide Awards

April 4, 2017–

Numerous industry groups have recently awarded some of their most prestigious honors to the Catwalk Trail Design/Build Project. Read more…

Employee News

Two New Members Added to 25-Year Club

AUI 25-Year Club Members

June 24, 2016–

Michael Rocco, Trenchless Division Manager, and Jesus Estrada, Concrete Foreman, are the newest members of AUI’s 25-Year Club. Read more…