MassDOT's Route 2 Hurricane Irene Emergency Repairs Project has been named a 2012 Public Works Project of the Year by the American Public Works Association (APWA), a not-for-profit, international organization of more than 28,500 members involved in the field of public works.
MassDOT's Highway Division and primary contractors JX Maxymillian, Inc., Northern Construction, ET&L Corp., and R. Bates & Sons received the honors. MassDOT's Project of the Year award is in the Disasters/Emergency Construction/Repair category.
The 2011 Hurricane Irene Repairs Project reconstructed Route 2 following floodwaters’ extreme damage in the towns of North Adams, Florida, Savoy, and Charlemont. The storm damaged bridges, destabilized embankments, washed out pavement, and covered roads with dirt and storm debris. Route 2 was closed from mile marker 21.6 in Florida to mile marker 27.4 in Charlemont, and portions were reduced to one lane with only a temporary signal that allowed alternating traffic.
MassDOT engineers mobilized immediately by assessing damage, designing repairs, and developing emergency repair work orders. The first contractor, J.H. Maxymillian, began to clear the roadway and within weeks contractors were working to stabilize and repair slopes and retaining walls. By mid-November, MassDOT had advanced the bridge project, including slope repairs adjacent to the bridge.
Just 110 days after the storm, all portions of Route 2 were reopened to traffic. MassDOT provided frequent public outreach activities to keep the public informed of road conditions and the construction schedule.
According to APWA, "the outstanding accomplishment of the Hurricane Irene Repairs Project was its completion in a short amount of time. MassDOT had accelerated the design of repairs and the procurement to get crews started right away. Four crews worked around the clock as needed to get the work done as soon as possible. MassDOT and the contractors completed the work on schedule despite an unusual October snowstorm that dumped two feet of heavy snow on the area."
The APWA Public Works Projects of the Year awards are presented each year to promote excellence in the management and administration of public works projects.