S. T. Wooten’s I-40 widening project earns Carolinas AGC Pinnacle Award


Wilson-based S.T. Wooten Corp., founded in 1952, is known for competence in widening, grading, paving, lighting and noise wall work — all of which came in handy when it was general contractor for a 6.23-mile-long design-build project for the state on busy I-40 in Wake County. The project earned the 2011 “Best Highway Project” Pinnacle Award from Carolinas AGC.

S.T. Wooten was tasked with widening this stretch of highway and four bridges. The Architect/engineer was Rummel, Klepper & Kahl of Raleigh.  Carolinas AGC subcontractors included T&H Electrical Corp. of Wilson, Stay Alert Safety Services of Kernersville, Clark Pavement Marking of Apex, Fred SmithvCo. of Raleigh and Smith-Rowe of Mt. Airy.

Some days, this particular stretch of highway handles as many as 130,000 vehicles.  Adding trucks to haul debris from and materials to the worksite would only worsen the already-overburdened area, plus increase hazards. That’s when CEO Seth Wooten decided the only way to go was up – as in an overhead conveyor system.

Wooten personnel opted to erect one conveyor for asphalt and one for stone over I-40 to the median at the NC 54 interchange. The placement of conveyors also allowed Wooten to deliver construction water via pipeline to a water tower in the median, further reducing project trucks’ impact on traffic.

Staff at S.T. Wooten Corp. developed the conveyor system; Design Service Inc. of Wendell engineered the overhead truss system.

Wooten had utilized the overhead conveyor system on a previous project to convey dirt across U.S. 1, but the company says “…Nobody in North Carolina had ever conveyed stone and asphalt over a roadway for a construction project before.”

Cleverness continued when the Wooten team used warm mix asphalt for outside shoulder strengthening in one section of the highway. That reduced the cooling time between each layer of asphalt and increased the distance that could be strengthened in each night’s operation – saving time.

Over a 23-month period, S.T. Wooten personnel worked about 180,000 man hours and subcontractors worked about 125,000 man hours but there were no lost time accidents.  S.T. Wooten monitored the project’s budget with Heavy Job cost tracking software.

David Farmer of subcontractor T&H Electrical in Wilson, praised the project. “The ability of S.T. Wooten to assemble a winning team and to keep all members focused on achieving the project goals was in itself a success,” Farmer said. “Wooten’s approach began at the pre-bid stage to gather input from each discipline on any potential constructability or scheduling conflict. From there it was carried forward to the build stage. That approach along with the NCDOT’s willingness to sign on with the schedule and construction approach lead to the project success. Lead designer RK&K’s close working relation with all parties, especially the NCDOT, cut lost time to a minimum.”

Farmer added: “Our participation was made easy from others’ hard work.  Read More.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.