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Doka’s Flexibility and Efficiency Provide Labor Savings for Major Baltimore Highway

06.20.2014 | Press
When the Maryland Transportation Authority opted to reconstruct the I-95 Express Toll Lanes/MD 43 (White Marsh Boulevard) Interchange to ease traffic congestion in and out of Baltimore, they needed an innovative solution that ensured continuation of the high traffic volumes for the active interstate highway during construction.


Construction for the roadway expansion includes seven new bridges with abutments, wing walls, piers, pier caps and 3,000 feet of soldier pile retaining walls. The project specifications call for a 2.5-inch deep architectural formliner on the retaining walls, bridge abutments and wingwalls.

The solution came in a design-build approach with labor-saving formwork solutions integrated into the project approach. The general contractor, Cherry Hill Construction, a subsidiary of the Tutor-Perini Corporation, selected Doka to design formwork solutions that would reduce construction time. Since the project required building and incorporating all of the structures, while maintaining the high traffic volumes for the busy interstate, the design-build team asked Doka to provide a one-stop solution for the supply and design of formwork required for the wide range of structural requirements.

Meeting the Challenge with Efficiency

The project design called for up to 15,000 square feet of Doka’s Framax and 7,000 square feet Framax with attachable supporting construction frames. The fast forming times and high efficiency that results from using Framax helped the construction team meet the architectural requirements and provided a high-quality concrete finish on all exposed structures. The Framax form panels, when combined with Attachable Supporting Frames, allowed the customer to form the one-sided soldier pile walls in a single full-height pour (up to 29 feet high) with no ties in the wall. This allows all the concrete pressure to be transferred to anchors cast in a continuous footing.

“The Framax form panels with the X-Life plywood provided a fast and efficient solution to attach, remove, and re-attach the formliner panels as the equipment was re-used from structure to structure. The quick clamping panel connections and wood faced panels were the right choice on this project,” said Bill Publicover, Senior Account Manager, Doka USA, Ltd. “The labor-saving solutions provided by Doka were also cost-effective because they allowed the contractor to reuse the formwork on site to form the various structures with high productivity and efficiency.”

The use of Framax also extended the life of the architectural formliner panels, which are very expensive, and prevented the formliner from being penetrated with wall ties, a critical element in the appearance of the finished concrete.

“With an investment of more than $150,000 in formliner, it’s extremely important to get as many re-uses as possible,” said Publicover.

Doka also provided steel girder forms for the “hammer-head” piers and caps. The Girder Form system – an all steel, modular form system that is waler-less -- is best suited for piers, and pier caps, beams. This system achieves faster pour rates and assembly, while spanning large distances without intermediate support.

In addition, Doka’s Frami formwork was used on the smaller pile caps and structures. The majority of larger bridge abutments and wingwalls were formed with Doka’s Framax X-life system with 10 Kip shoring towers used to support some of the pier caps.

Ed Seeley, Structures Engineer for Cherry Hill Construction, noted that the Doka products definitely reduced labor on this project.

“Doka is always my first call for formwork,” said Seeley. “We choose to work with Doka on this project because we needed a formwork supplier that we could count on to respond to the demanding engineering requirements, and someone who could provide the efficient and cost-saving formwork solutions we needed to ensure an on-time and on-budget completion. Doka offers the variety of labor saving solutions that allow us to save money. We’ve used Doka formwork for years and expect it to continue that way in the future.”

When completed, this new expansion will dramatically increase the traffic volume and flow on a major interstate highway, while reducing delays and commuter travel time. The I-95 Express Toll Lanes/MD 43 Interchange project is 65 percent complete and is on-track to be completed on time and under budget.

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