ARTBA Honors Contractors for Highway-Project Environmental Excellence

Transportation construction projects from across the country were recognized last week for their contributions to environmental protection and mitigation during the American Road & Transportation Builders Association Transportation Development Foundation’s (ARTBA-TDF) 14th annual “Globe Awards” event, held in the Nation’s Capital as part of the association’s Federal Issues Program.

The “Globe Awards” recognize:

  • Private-sector firms and public-sector transportation agencies that do an outstanding job in protecting and/or enhancing the natural environment in the planning, design and construction of U.S. transportation infrastructure projects; and
  • Transportation construction-related product manufacturers and material suppliers that utilize exemplary environmental processes to protect and enhance the natural environment.

An independent panel of industry professionals reviewed all of the nominations and selected the winners in five categories. The 2013 winners for highway construction included:

Category: Major Highway (Project < $100 Million)

First Place: Reeves Construction Company, West Division, Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) and Lehigh Technologies: “Highway 247, Bibb and Houston Counties”

Reeves Construction Company, West Division, in collaboration with GDOT, set the green standard for asphalt paving during the milling and repaving of five miles of Highway 247.

The team used 20,000 recycled tires to create nearly 28,000 tons of crumb rubber modified asphaltic concrete pavement. The high-performance, rubberized asphalt provides environmental sustainability and the material’s ability to be produced as-needed and on-site not only provided cost savings for taxpayers, but also reduced the project’s carbon footprint.

In total, 311,000 pounds of processed rubber tires were reclaimed – material that would have been thrown into landfills.

Category: Major Highway (Project > $100 Million)

First Place: NorthGate Constructors (Joint Venture of Kiewit and Zachry Construction): “The DFW Connector Project”

The $1 billion DFW Connector, owned by the Texas Department of Transportation and currently being constructed by NorthGate Constructors, is aimed at improving mobility and air quality for the Dallas-Fort Worth area’s 250,000 daily commuters. Commitment to environmental protection began day one with employee training on issues such as storm water pollution prevention and hazardous material management.

NorthGate anticipates a 95 percent recycling rate, hoping to reclaim one million tons of materials, including 600,000 tons of concrete and 25,000 tons of scrap metal. Vehicle maintenance is performed at a special onsite facility reducing the chance for chemical spills and lowering air emissions. The fleet includes two low-emission excavators and a strict, five-minute idling policy is enforced. More than 50,000 new plants and six acres of wildflowers will be planted.

Second Place: LBJ Infrastructure Group and Trinity Infrastructure: “The LBJ Express Project”

The LBJ Express Project, now under construction, is a public-private partnership valued at $3.2 billion that will reconstruct approximately 17 miles of highway around Dallas. Project owners put together a highly experienced multidisciplinary Environmental Team (ET) tasked with creating a “Comprehensive Environmental Protection Program” that ensures complete compliance with all mitigation measures.

The ET also developed a “Soil and Groundwater Management Plan” providing procedures to manage heavy metals discovered during construction and diverting millions of cubic yards of soil from landfills to be re-used throughout the project and other sites in Texas. Any groundwater encountered is extensively tested and discharged in the city of Dallas sanitary sewer system where it is treated and re-used in drought stricken areas, avoiding over three million gallons of water to be transported off site for treatment and disposal.

For a listing of all the winners, click here.