TEXAS AND LOUISIANA — Two of Cardno TBE’s utility projects were honored with Federal Highway Administration Excellence in Utility Relocation and Accommodation Awards at the joint American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Design and Right-of-Way and Utilities Subcommittees Meeting held in St. Louis in May. The Texas State Highway 130 project, segments 5 & 6, garnered first place in the Incentive Category and the O’Neal Lane Project in Louisiana earned honorable mention in the Construction Management Category. The awards program honors the use of innovative practices and outstanding achievements while reducing the cost or shortening the time required to accommodate or relocate utilities associated with highway improvement projects.
Texas State Highway 130, Segments 5 & 6, for which Cardno TBE provided professional utility coordination services, form a 40-mile link through Travis, Caldwell, and Guadalupe counties to I-10 near Seguin. This $1.35 billion project is being built and operated by the SH 130 Concession Company, LLC in partnership with the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT). This project is a continuation of the northern segments of SH 130, from Georgetown in Williamson County to Mustang Ridge in southeast Travis County. The new 91-mile tollway is designed to provide relief to congested I-35 through Central Texas. Segments 5 & 6 of SH 130 required a sizable amount of property acquisition and right-of-ways. When open to traffic in 2012, drivers will enjoy the benefits of open road tolling, with tolls being automatically collected using toll tags while driving at posted speed limits.
The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development’s (La DOTD) O’Neal Lane Widening project, for which Cardno TBE provided subsurface utility engineering services, expanded this busy thoroughfare from two to five lanes between I-12 and Florida Boulevard. The roadway, which carries 27,0000 vehicle per day, now has an additional left turn lane at the I-12 eastbound exit ramp onto O’Neal Lane, a 6-foot-wide sidewalk, subsurface drainage on each side of the roadway, and the latest signal technology, including mast arm signal supports, light emitting diode (LED) signals for low energy consumption and longer life, and video traffic detection cameras. The $11 million project, which began in October 2009, was opened to traffic in April 2011. The La DOTD and the project team worked closely with utility companies for timely utility relocation in order for road construction to progress on schedule.