DOT doling out grants for reducing traffic delays

| 6/12/2007

Six state departments of transportation promising to avoid construction delays while fixing roads and bridges have qualified for federal grants and other incentives.

Virginia, for example, will receive a $1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation to accelerate repairs to ramps at Interstate 66 and U.S. 50.

While applying for the grant, the Virginia DOT promised to use pre-fabricated slabs and perform the work at night to reduce lane disruptions from 100 days to 35 nights.

The U.S. DOT is doling out similar grants to Arizona, Georgia, Maine, Missouri and Oregon for similar ways of speeding things up.

The goal is to reduce traffic delays and cut congestion, U.S. DOT Secretary Mary Peters stated in a press release.

In addition to the grant, Virginia will receive a federal waiver for matching funds that could save the state $4.6 million in its transportation budget. Other states also qualified for federal waivers, meaning they don’t have to produce matching funds otherwise required to receive other federal aid.

Arizona plans to use its $1 million and waivers toward the reconstruction of Route 179 in Sedona. The project includes six roundabouts.

Georgia plans to reduce construction time on a new interchange to Interstate 85 in Troup County by providing contractor incentives and clearing construction-zone accidents in 20 minutes or less.

The state of Maine is replacing bridges on Highway 116 in Old Town and on Route 4 in Addison using pre-cast concrete to accelerate the project.

Missouri also plans to increase capacity by rebuilding parts of Interstates 29 and 35 in Kansas City using a fixed-price contract with a design-build firm.

Oregon’s innovation to reduce construction time and avoid a 50-mile detour during bridge work involves prefabricated structures and overnight schedules. The state is replacing five bridges on Oregon Route 38 between Drain and Elkton.