The Maine Department of Transportation was recognized with two national awards for its work on the I-295 Southbound Rehabilitation project. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the National Partnership for Highway Quality (NPHQ) each presented awards to MaineDOT at the 59th Maine Transportation Conference in Augusta.
Both awards commended MaineDOT for the quality, innovation, safety and timeline of the $28 million project that was completed ahead of schedule in the summer of 2008.
“We are extremely gratified for the national recognition regarding the outstanding work on this unique highway project,” said MaineDOT Commissioner David Cole. “These two awards are a very positive reflection on all who worked as a team to make this project a success.”
The award winning $28 million project replaced an 18-mi. (29 km) stretch of a deteriorating concrete highway from Gardiner to Topsham, Maine. This was an unprecedented full closure of the interstate that detoured southbound traffic onto Route 201 during the height of the tourist season. This allowed MaineDOT to compress the construction schedule from three years into 13 weeks, and increase safety by keeping motorists off the construction site.
In the span of those 13 weeks in the summer of 2008, more than 181,000 tons (164,200 t) of asphalt was laid, five bridges were rebuilt and 7 mi. (11.2 km) of guardrail was installed. The project was completed 20 days ahead of schedule through the use of extended work days and a six-day work week schedule.
NPHQ lauded MaineDOT for its commitment to teamwork, quality and safety throughout the project.
“This project team did an exemplary job of achieving NPHQ’s National Achievement Award quality criteria as the 18-mile length of Southbound I-295 was rehabilitated,” said Bob Templeton, NPHQ executive director. “Our awards program consistently draws out the elite highway and bridge projects that have launched innovations that deliver better performing projects faster and yield better highway service to highway users. This project is an example of how to do things right.”
The FHWA awarded MaineDOT and the Maine Division of FHWA its “Excellence In Teamwork” award for the work completed on the I-295 Southbound Rehabilitation project as the team provided outstanding design work, engineering, community and business outreach, and emergency responder coordination. The team combined to develop solutions to shorten construction time, achieve the needed service life of the new road and ensure continued safe and efficient movement along the corridor during the summer tourist season.
“This project was a great success and underscored the reasoning to completely close the road to safely, quickly and effectively complete the work. We were extremely pleased with the quality, the teamwork and the early opening of this challenging project,” said Cole.
The success and positive impacts of the I-295 Southbound Rehabilitation project also were featured this past year in both Roads and Bridges and Hot Mix Asphalt Technology magazines.
The two awards were presented at the 59th Maine Transportation Conference at the Augusta Civic Center. The conference attracts more than 500 attendees from all aspects of the transportation industry and is sponsored by the Maine Better Transportation Association, the Maine Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers and the Maine Department of Transportation.