(WBNG Binghamton) New York State Department of Transportation Commissioner Joan McDonald recently announced that two projects have been recognized for excellence by the Northeast Association of State Transportation Officials and will now go on to compete for national awards as part of the America’s Transportation Awards competition.
According to a news release:
The project to replace the two bridges carrying Route 201 over Route 434 and Vestal Road in the Town of Vestal, Broome County, and the project to rehabilitate the bridge carrying the Taconic State Parkway over Croton Reservoir in New Castle and Yorktown, Westchester County were both recognized for being built quickly and efficiently while reducing traffic impacts.
“These two projects represent our commitment to building safe roads and bridges quickly and efficiently while working with surrounding communities to minimize traffic and quality of life impacts,” Commissioner McDonald said. “I thank Governor Andrew Cuomo for his commitment to transportation infrastructure in New York State and thank all those who worked to make these projects happen so seamlessly.”
Route 201 over Route 434 and Vestal Road
The $13 million bridge replacement project won in the “Ahead of Schedule” category for a small-sized project, costing less than $25 million. Work included replacing two deficient bridges in close proximity carrying Route 201 over Route 434 and Vestal Road, as well as reconstructing pavement, repairing adjacent on and off ramps, providing pedestrian accommodations and installing new traffic signals.
This project is located in the Binghamton urban area’s primary commercial/retail district and is adjacent to Binghamton University. Route 201 is a primary north-south route carrying approximately 54,000 vehicles each day across the Susquehanna River and connecting the large population centers of Johnson City, Binghamton and Vestal.
Construction for a major portion of the project was accelerated in an effort to minimize traffic delays and impacts to Binghamton University. Route 201 was closed to traffic for three months to enable the work to be expedited. The road closed at the end of May 2011 following Binghamton University’s graduation, and was reopened on August 25th, one day before move-in weekend for students. This was ahead of the scheduled completion date of Labor Day. This accelerated schedule avoided the additional traffic volumes experienced by the University’s spring and fall sessions.
Taconic State Parkway northbound over Croton Reservoir
The $26 million bridge rehabilitation project won in the “Ahead of Schedule” category for a medium-sized project, between $26 and $199 million. Work on the structure, locally known as the AMVETS bridge, included replacing the floor system, repairing and replacing steel, building a new concrete deck, repairing the arch of the 750-foot-long bridge, and constructing a new drainage system.
The Taconic State Parkway is a major north-south commuter corridor that carries almost 6,000 passenger cars per hour in each direction during peak travel times. The northbound bridge was completely closed during the project, with northbound traffic crossed over to the southbound bridge and with two travel lanes in each direction. The project included the installation of 31 Bluetooth Traffic Sensors, seven traffic monitoring cameras and 19 variable message signs to keep motorists informed about travel conditions. Impacts to adjacent transportation facilities were minimized through the installation of five temporary traffic signals. The project featured an aggressive construction schedule, with the rehabilitated bridge fully opened in August 2012 after only five months – a full month ahead of schedule.
On both projects, NYSDOT did extensive public outreach and coordinated closely with local municipalities, emergency responders and elected officials in order to get the word out about traffic impacts.
The America’s Transportation Awards competition – sponsored by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), AAA, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce – recognizes the greatest transportation accomplishments across America in three main categories: Ahead of Schedule, Under Budget and Best Use of Innovation.
The Project Delivery/Ahead of Schedule category recognizes a project that demonstrates specific measurement, process management, and quality assurance methods used to deliver a quality product and demonstrate effective schedule management from conception to completion, while finishing ahead of the anticipated schedule. The award must also demonstrate involvement and interaction with the surrounding community and must illustrate the public benefit for customers/users.
The winners in the nation’s remaining regions will be announced at their own regional meetings, held throughout the summer. The 10 projects with the highest overall scores will compete for the Grand Prize and People’s Choice Award. The Grand Prize winner is determined by a panel of transportation experts. The People’s Choice Award is presented to the transportation project that receives the most online votes from the public.
Online voting begins Sept. 4. The winners of both awards will be announced at the AASHTO Annual Meeting in Denver in October.