NCDOT I-295 HIGHWAY MAKES HEADWAY USING
BUILDERA CRACKMON® 224R CRACK COMPARATOR
FAYETTEVILLE, NC OUTER LOOP DRIVES TO COMPLETION
Michele Meltzer, Buildera
Cracks in poured concrete along a segment of Interstate 295 in North Carolina called for innovative crack monitor measurement tools. Lead inspector, Michael Harper, adopted Buildera™ CRACKMON® 224R crack measuring technology, underscoring project commitment to construction excellence and public safety.
Overseeing a three-mile portion of this state public-works project, Michael leads a team of inspectors who scrub every detail to ensure the highest construction standards. Proactive inspections throughout the construction process improve the safety and longevity of new highway infrastructure. Efficient transportation systems and their potential to facilitate economic vitality depend upon engineered sustainability and structural integrity.
In conjunction with the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT), Michael and his colleagues provide engineering, inspection and construction services for a portion of the Fayetteville Outer Loop (future Interstate 295)—a 36-mile bypass along the western perimeter of Fayetteville, North Carolina . The road, set to serve a direct route between Hope Mills, Fort Bragg, and northern Fayetteville, is a long-anticipated project to ease traffic congestion within Fayetteville and surrounding areas, and thus support the growing local economy.
According to an NCDOT press release and the Federal Highway Administration, "every $1 million spent on transportation creates 30 jobs, and according to the construction industry, every dollar invested in transportation generates $6 in economic impact ."
Fresh cracks on two box culverts running beneath the interstate’s path—a 3.6m x 1.8m double barrel and a 1.8m x 1.8m single—called for greater analysis to:
- Identify crack locations and extent
- Help differentiate between non-structural and structural cracks
- Target specific cracks for repair, supporting expected long-term highway loads
These cracks, typical indicators of minor soil settlement, required timely and accurate crack measurements to establish a suitable repair strategy. With over $54 million in funding for this section and a mid-2015 target completion date , premature corrosion of reinforcing steel could impact the culvert’s lifespan and load-bearing capacity. The right crack-measurement tools and timely repairs mitigate such concerns.
- I-295 lead inspector, Michael Harper, used the Buildera CRACKMON® 224R Crack-Width Comparator to help classify cracks as cosmetic or potentially structural. This precision pocket-sized gauge measures crack widths between 0.004" (0.1 mm) and 0.340" (3.56 mm) without the need for calipers .
- Each comparator, featuring a unique serial number for inspection traceability, also includes critical crack widths specified in the American Concrete Institute ACI 224R-01 guideline for maximum crack widths in reinforced concrete .
- With the Buildera CRACKMON® 224R, project inspectors could accurately measure the cracks in the culvert, finding some between 0.025” and 0.050” wide—exceeding the 0.015” minimum threshold established for repairs. With accurate readings of the crack widths, inspectors were better prepared to assess and communicate the optimal culvert repair procedure.
- Armed with answers, workers cleaned and prepared cracks larger than 0.015" to be sealed with structural epoxy. Epoxy was then gravity-fed to cracks along the roof and injected into side cracks. This procedure mitigates exposure of the reinforcing steel to moisture and corrosion, thus ensuring long-term service and safety.
- With fully repaired cracks, the site was primed for the placement of fill material to begin building up the road's foundation.
- When selecting the right tool for the job, Michael Harper described the CRACKMON® 224R crack monitoring tool as “convenient, quick to take out whenever needed, easy to use, and of the best visible quality.”
- As a result of diligent oversight—coupled with the use of Buildera crack-measurement technology—the community of Fayetteville will enjoy the full benefits of this new outer loop for generations to come.
 "I-295 Fayetteville Outer Loop." Simmons College Website. Simmons College, 19 February 2013. Web. http://web.simmons.edu/~malme/fut295.html. Accessed September 1, 2014.
 "NCDOT Awards $54.3M Contract for I-295." NCDOT News Release. North Carolina Department of Transportation, 30 September 2011. Web. https://apps.ncdot.gov/newsreleases/details.aspx?r=5557. Accessed September 1, 2014.
 "Buildera CRACKMON® 224R: ACI 224R-01 Compliant Pocket Crack-Width Comparator." Data Sheet and User Instructions CM-DS-90200-00224EN Ver 1.0. Buildera, 1 August 2014. Printed.
 "224R-01: Control of Cracking in Concrete Structures (Reapproved 2008)." American Concrete Institute Website. American Concrete Instutitude (ACI). Web. http://www.concrete.org/Store/ProductDetail.aspx?ItemID=22401. Accessed September 1, 2014. Printed version: ISBN: 9780870310560
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NOTICE AND CREDITS
The views and opinions expressed herein are solely Michael's and do not constitute a product endorsement from any employer or third party.
Application Story by Michele Meltzer
Photos ©2014 Michael Harper, reprinted with permission
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