State News Roundup: Utah DOT wins big, PennDOT readies I-81/SR 115 work, Arizona DOT innovates

Dec. 17, 2020

A roundup of some of the most interesting state-level news these past few days

The Pennsylvania DOT has selected Modjeski and Masters as prime consultant for its I-81/S.R. 115 Interchange Reconstruction project. The major roadways of the project have not been updated since their original design and construction in the 1960s, so there is a sincere need for a remodel considering the area has grown extensively since then. Modjeski and Masters will be building a new connection between S.R. 115 northbound and I-81 southbound, replacing the bridges carrying S.R.115 over I-81 and over Ramp L, and assisting with drainage improvements for the interchange beginning early next year.

The full story can be found here.

The Utah DOT announced that it has completed 135 projects statewide during calendar 2020, with a total value of $1.05 billion. Among the project wins is the I-15 Technology Corridor, which was this year's Roads & Bridges #1 Road project; the U.S. 40 Strawberry Passing Lanes in Wasatch County, which repaved 16 miles of the highway and constructed a new wildlife undercrossing; and the I-15 Exit 16 Interchange in Washington County, which relieves traffic burdens for those accessing Zion National Park.

For more on Utah's slate of project wins, click here.

The Arizona DOT recently issued a statement accounting for several service-oriented innovations statewide, designed to improve safety and mobility. In ADOT’s Major Projects Group, that includes a new shared-use path along the Loop 202 South Mountain Freeway, improvements to S.R. 189 in Nogales, and first steps on a four-year program to reconstruct I-10 between the Loop 202 (South Mountain and Santan freeways) and I-17, including the heavily travelled Broadway Curve.

Full details on these projects can be found here.

This week, the Oregon Transportation Commission approved an initial plan to invest more than $2.2 billion in different types of transportation projects through the Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (known as the STIP) for 2024 to 2027. The STIP funds construction projects and a variety of transportation programs, including roads and bridges, bicycle, pedestrian, and public transportation. “Oregon has a broad range of transportation needs that cannot be fully met by existing resources,” said Oregon Transportation Commission Chair Robert Van Brocklin. “We must stretch scarce resources to address a diverse set of priorities. The investments we are developing in this STIP will help us make progress on multiple fronts, including improving mobility across the state, reducing harmful greenhouse gas emissions, addressing congestion, improving safety and seismic response efforts, improving freight mobility, and keeping existing roads and bridges in good repair."

Get the full scoop on Oregon's plans here.

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner this week unveiled the city’s new Vision Zero Action Plan, an ambitious project to end traffic fatalities and serious injuries by 2030 through speed reduction, road construction and other measures. Houston, one of the nation's fastest-growing metropolitan regions, withstood crashes resulting in the deaths of 251 people in 2019, according to the Texas DOT, the most of any city in the state.

Full details on the city's "Vision" can be found here.

IndyStar has posted a virtual fly-through video of the Indiana DOT's planned revamp of the I-65/70 North Split. INDOT hopes to improve traffic flow and increase safety, removing this weave is a great place to start.

And last but not least, on Dec. 29, the Washington State Ferries’ new, safer and more efficient Mukilteo multimodal terminal will open to replace its cramped 63-year-old facility. This has been a project a long time in the making and it is expected to have an immediate benefit to ferry riders and the public.

WSDOT's detailed announcement can be found here - and WSF's own Jeri Bernstein, Sharon Gavin, and Diane Rhodes offer a deep-dive look at the Mukilteo terminal and the entire marine highway system in Washington in their article "Where Land and Sea are One."

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