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Del.’s I-95 Widening Earns Best Regional Transportation Job

Fri July 17, 2009 - Northeast Edition
Construction Equipment Guide

The I-95 Mainline Widening Project in Delaware won the Regional America’s Transportation Award (ATA) for an on-time, medium-sized project. The project added a fifth lane in both the northbound and southbound directions in the Churchmans Marsh area, and was completed between May 2007 and October 2008.

The Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) demonstrated innovation in using a cost-plus-time bid, finishing 18 months ahead of schedule and $8 million under the engineer’s original estimate.

The Northeastern Association of State Transportation Officials (NASTO) announced the winner in late June, and presented it to DelDOT Secretary Carolann Wicks, then president of NASTO.

The winning project was selected based upon achievement of process management, quality assurance, effective schedule management, community involvement and outreach and improved traffic movement to users.

The I-95 Mainline Widening Project topped projects submitted by Washington, D.C., New Jersey, Connecticut and Rhode Island. NASTO falls under the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), which will announce the national winners in October. Winning the regional award qualifies the I-95 project to compete for the national award.

“Traffic volumes on I-95 are exceeding our wildest predictions: 2010 estimates were reached by 1995. Despite the challenges, DelDOT staff and the contractors made a tough widening project appear easy with a very cost competitive bid. We also created 6 acres of new wetlands along the Christiana River, where bald eagles have since nested,” said Wicks.

“Every year in the United States, countless time and billions of gallons of fuel are wasted as Americans sit in traffic,” Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) said. “Traffic congestion increases air pollution that damages our environment and endangers our health. Delaware’s I-95 Mainline Widening Project is helping to fix this problem. The Churchmans Marsh area was one of the most backed-up areas in the state until the completion of the widening project in 2008. We benefit from this project every day — especially during rush hour — when traffic is freely moving on I-95. Some might call it a miracle, but I know it is a combination of committed efforts on a state and federal level that completed this project in half the time and at under the original estimate.”

“Delaware is a small state and I-95 is one of our most important assets. With 230,000 vehicles traversing this stretch of highway every day, eliminating congestion is not just of local concern but also of national interest,” Congressman Michael N. Castle (R-Del.) said. “When it works well, I-95 helps people get to work and school and is crucial to our economic productivity. Delaware’s I-95 Mainline Widening Project is a vital step forward that will greatly improve business efficiency and cut fuel consumption for those who commute along the corridor daily. I had the fortune of visiting this project in the midst of construction and after its completion. It amazed me that DelDOT and the contractor were able to keep an active and safe work zone as thousands of cars sped by only a few feet away.”

Richard E. Pierson Construction Company Inc. of Swedesboro, N.J., performed the $57 million I-95 Mainline Widening project. The widening project is part of a multi-year, multi-project Interstate Improvement Program that has included work at the Churchmans Road/Route 7 intersection and the Churchmans Road Bridge over I-95; and also will include the upcoming work at the Route 1/I-95 interchange. RKK, DMJM Harris, Century Engineering and KCI Technologies also worked on the project.

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