I-81 Corridor Safety & Operational Improvements – Truck Climbing Lanes | Design Build

This $75 Million project involved adding an additional interstate truck climbing lane and full width paved shoulders five miles in length in Montgomery County. The project also included demolition and construction of three large bridges. The largest of these bridges, a mainline interstate bridge over NS Railroad, was demolished/constructed in phases in order to allow the uninterruption of traffic on I-81. The other two bridges carried secondary roads across I-81. Project bridge foundations included drilled shafts, spread footers, and pre-bored steel piles.

Traffic control was a key feature of this project with the requirement to keep two lanes open to traffic except during times specified by the contract. The design-build team utilized temporary barriers, signing, and striping to provide separation between the work zone and traffic. To provide the added width, drilling and blasting was required in order to move massive quantities of earthwork. This in turn, required the addition of approved waste areas for excess material.

The project featured several types of retaining walls including Rock Bolted Walls, Soil Nail Walls, MSE Walls, and gravity walls. Other ancillary items included guardrail installations, deep milling, pavement structures, shoulder paving, permanent traffic control devices, erosion and sediment control, storm water management basins, storm drain pipe systems, and bio-retention filters.

NXL’s Team provided comprehensive/independent QA services in accordance with VDOT requirements that covered inspection/documentation of all aspects of the project construction including: oversight of the QC processes, providing daily QA inspections of ongoing work, preparation of the project materials book, and certification of monthly invoices. For each major activity, the NXL QA team also provided Preparatory Inspection Meetings assuring that all QA, QC, and Contractor personnel were both aware of contract requirements and in possession of applicable plans and specifications. Also, the NXL QA team provided non-conformance reports (NCR’s) on all non-conforming work – distributed to all appropriate stakeholders: Owner, Contractor, Subcontractors, and Engineer of Record. NCR’s were logged and tracked until approved corrections were properly completed. Similarly, an issue log was kept to track minor items that required correction, but did not rise to the level of an NCR.


Construction Management

Completion Date



Virginia Department of Transportation


CH2M Hill / Jacobs Engineering Group


Montgomery County, VA

The NXL Team was lead by Joe Hamed (QAM). During the project, Joe always took a proactive approach for assuring quality. Joe was an open and honest communicator, was forthright when dealing with the Contractors, his staff, the design team, and others associated with this project. Safety and quality were always foremost in Joe's mind as he managed the quality assurance responsibilities of our project....I would welcome the NXL team's participation on future projects and look forward to working with NXL again.

Steven Tyler, CCM Principal Project Manager

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