Arizona, Georgia, Maine, Missouri, Oregon and Virginia will each receive up to $1 million from the U.S. Department of Transportation as part of a program designed to reduce traffic jams near construction zones.
The program, known as Highways for LIFE, is managed by the Federal Highway Administration and provides grant money to the states to build roads faster while making them last longer and less costly to maintain. In addition to direct funding, the program may provide states relief from their state match requirements for the entire project, saving millions in state transportation funds. These states are the first round of 2007 recipients and more states are expected to receive Highways for LIFE grants in the coming months.
"This program proves you can fix roads and bridges without causing new traffic delays," U.S. Secretary of Transportation Mary E. Peters said. "Helping drivers avoid congestion is important to our quality of life and vital to keeping our economy moving in the right direction."
"Using new building methods and materials can improve travel, save money and make our roads safer," Federal Highway Administrator J. Richard Capka said.
Arizona will receive $1 million to help reconstruct a section of Rte. 179 in Sedona. The project includes construction of six roundabouts and traffic control features to improve traffic flow and safety.
Georgia will receive $1 million to be used toward building a new interchange on I-85 in Troup County to lessen traffic congestion. The plan reduces construction time by 40% through contractor incentives and clearing work zone incidents not involving injuries in less than 20 minutes. Georgia will also receive a waiver for the 20% state match, which will save the state $15.9 million in state funds.
Maine will receive $412,000 for bridge replacements on Highway 116 in Old Town and on Rte. 4 in Addison. The roads will be completely closed and precast concrete structures will be used to accelerate construction by 80%.
Missouri will receive $1 million to be used toward rebuilding a section of I-29/I-35 in Kansas City to increase capacity, improve safety and upgrade the Missouri River crossing. The project will use fixed-price, design-build contracting to encourage innovation in design, traffic management and construction phasing.
Oregon will receive $1 million to be used toward replacing five bridges on Oregon 38 between Drain and Elkton. The state will use prefabricated bridge elements made with high-performance concrete for enhanced durability and strength. Moving the prefabricated structures into place overnight will minimize disruption to the traveling public and freight carriers by avoiding the use of a 50-mile detour.
Virginia will receive $1 million to help repair a two-lane ramp on I-66 at US 50 in Fairfax County. To minimize traffic disruptions, the work will be done at night and one lane and shoulder will be replaced at a time. Using prefabricated slabs and nighttime lane closures is expected to cut construction time from more than 100 days to 35 nights. Virginia also will receive waivers for both this project and a bridge replacement on Rte. 15/29 in Prince William County, saving the state $4.6 million in state transportation funds.