Conti Enterprises – Volvo Interchange

Conti VolvoConti Enterprises is part of building a key interchange project in South Carolina’s Lowcountry.

By Tim O’Connor, Senior Editor at Knighthouse Media

When car manufacturer Volvo broke ground on its first American factory in 2015 it was a major win for Berkeley County, S.C. The facility, which will open in late 2018, is expected to produce as many as 100,000 cars annually and could create 4,000 jobs in the long term. In all, the project is expected to generate $4.8 billion in annual economic output.

The Volvo plant has the potential to be a major economic engine for Berkeley County and all of South Carolina, but first, it needs to connect to the state’s larger transportation systems. In late 2016, the South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) awarded a contract to Conti Enterprises to design-build a new interchange that will create an access point to the Volvo facility from I-26 near mile marker 189. “The construction of this interchange is an important step in providing an interconnected system for driving the state’s economic engine,” South Carolina Secretary of Transportation Christy Hall says.

Conti’s experience with similar high-profile projects made it the ideal general contractor for the Volvo interchange project. “We have an extensive resume when it comes to bridge and interchange construction,” Senior Project Manager Mike Prudente says. 

Innovative Design

Conti partnered with Johnson, Mirmiran & Thompson (JMT), the designer on the project. JMT has a regional office in nearby Charleston, S.C., and is familiar with designing projects in the area.

“Our team created a design approach that yields the most cost effective interchange that could be completed with an aggressive schedule,” Prudente says. Conti Enterprises info box

The $44 million project is being funded by SCDOT and includes five miles of roadway, two flyover ramps and three bridges. Work on the site began in July 2017, and as of late February Conti had completely cleared and grubbed 40 acres of land. The company had begun placing the 480,000 yards of import fill soil needed for building up the ramps and bridges, and work on the center median pier piles and concrete work for the bridges were underway. Conti had also started building the 17,000 square feet of mechanically stabilized earth (MSE) walls that will support the bridge end bents for the interchange.

In all, the project was about 30 percent complete by the end of February despite some weather challenges such as frequent rains, a rare snowstorm in January and the impact of Hurricane Irma, which delayed construction last September.

Local Experience

Conti is self-performing several items of the project, including the earthwork, drainage, MSE walls and the roadway preparation.

Conti’s dedication to high quality and safety has contributed to the project’s current progress. The company takes pride in providing top-quality services to its customers while keeping the safety of people and communities as the top priority. It involved its subs and works together with the client to review upcoming schedules and anticipate any potential issues before work begins.  This approach allows Conti to efficiently manage its projects and maintain open communication.

Conti is proud to have the opportunity to be part of building this important project for the community.   

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