US 395 Rehabilitation and Rumble Strip Project

In an unforgiving area of San Bernardino County on Highway 395 outside Adelanto to 10 miles south of Kramer Junction, Sully-Miller Contracting Company worked for approximately 300 days to widen 17 miles of road and make it safer. Sully-Miller shared the same workspace with rattlesnakes, spiders and desert tortoises; the desert tortoise is protected by law, requiring Sully-Miller to prepare special fencing and to carefully monitor the tortoises through the entire project.

The sheer length of this project at a combined thirty-four lane miles, made it more prone to problems as it progressed. Passing through the historic Route 66 highway challenged the team. The Cultural Monitor assigned to the Route 66 portion was completely satisfied by Sully-Miller’s ability to work within the required criteria designated to preserve Route 66’s cultural integrity throughout various heavy-equipment operations.

The Route 395 project was broken out into four phases. Phase 1 entailed temporary shoulder work.  Phases 2 and 3 were the shoulder widening and Phase 4 was the final cap and re-striping. 

Work included:

• Temporary asphalt paving for stage construction
• Removing existing shoulder pavement
• Paving a cap along the entire highway 

• Constructing a full depth asphalt and base pavement section on both sides of the highway
• Providing erosion control along the new shoulders

This project faced another considerable obstacle besides its length. Unsuitable underlying soil conditions were discovered during roadway excavation prior to pavement widening, causing the contract price to escalate. Sully-Miller could not compact the clay subgrade to 95 percent as required by the Contract. This problem is a characteristic of the High Desert’s geological indifferences. Sully-Miller employed numerous machines and methods, and sought input from the District construction staff to remedy the problem. However, due to the preceding initiative of both Sully-Miller and Caltrans uniting as a team through a Partnering/Success in Motion agreement, a solution to remediate the existing soil increased the contract value in order to achieve a 95% compaction while delivering a safer roadway for the traveling public.

Partnering with Caltrans was a successful aspect of the Route 395 Project. Partnering was professionally facilitated between subcontractors, Sully-Miller employees and Caltrans employees.

All those involved received "Partnering Skills Development" training on:

  • Problem Solving Decision Making
  • Partnering Process and Concepts
  • Communication

As a result, acceptance through partnering improved the outreach to contractors and agencies showcasing value-added benefits in areas like scheduling, safety, and finance. 

As always, safety for the traveling public and employees is Sully-Miller Contracting Company’s primary goal. At the conclusion of the US 395 Rehabilitation and Rumble Strip project, Sully-Miller achieved zero lost time for all employees; subcontractors also performed at the same level of excellence.


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