Making a Difference in the MAFC

Mid-America Freight Coalition 

The National Partnership for Highway Quality (NPHQ) recently announced a series of Making a Difference awards. These awards honor projects that exemplify highway quality, safety, and service. Once again, projects in MAFC states figure heavily in the list of award winners.
The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) took home three awards:

The Michigan Department of Transportation received the Gold Award for “Making a Difference – Workforce Training” for its Michigan Construction Quality Partnership (MCQP). That partnership emphasizes a unique approach to expanding training beyond just the mandatory technical certifications for materials testing and acceptance. The program’s curriculum of more than 120 courses focuses on joint-training efforts and encompasses discipline areas such as design basics, quality control, and safety. Those participating in MCQP include MDOT, the Federal Highway Administration, Michigan Infrastructure and Transportation Association, Michigan Concrete Association, Asphalt Pavement Association of Michigan, Michigan Recreational and Parks Association, American Council of Engineering Companies, and County Road Commission of Maryland.
MDOT was also given the Gold Award for “Making a Difference – Partnering” for its partnership with Michigan State University (MSU), project consultant Bergmann Associates, Inc., and prime contractor Posen Construction, Inc., on behalf of the Farm Lane Underpass project on the MSU campus. This railroad grade separation project involved major roadway widening and reconstruction, two new railroad bridges, drainage and pump station, and extensive utility infrastructure work.
MDOT also won the Gold Award for “Making a Difference – Breaking the Mold” for its collaboration with the City of Houghton, the Houghton Downtown Merchants’ Association, design consultant U.P. Engineers & Architects and prime contractor Bacco Construction to rebuild a segment of U.S. 41.
For information about these projects, visit the Michigan DOT.

The Minnesota, Kansas, and Missouri DOTs were each honored with a single award:

The Minnesota Department of Transportation (Mn/DOT) received the Silver Award for “Making a Difference – Workforce Training” for its Snow Plow Operator Training (SPOT) program. SPOT provides up-to-date training for all new Mn/DOT commercial motor vehicle drivers. The SPOT curriculum teaches trainees how to inspect, safely operate, and maintain Mn/DOT’s plow trucks. While designed specifically for Mn/DOT personnel, SPOT is also offered to municipal, county, tribal government, and other snow plow operator trainees throughout the state. Individuals from Iowa, Wisconsin, North Dakota, and Illinois have also participated in the program. To learn more about SPOT, please visit Mn/DOT.
The Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) won the Silver Award for “Making a Difference – Partnering” for its K-18 expansion project. The project, which was funded by $8.3 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, will accommodate the rapid growth of the army base at Fort Riley and the development of the nearby National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility in Manhattan. The project, which involves converting about two miles of K-18 between Fort Riley and Manhattan into a four-lane highway, has relied heavily and meaningfully on a partnership with the state, local communities, the U.S. Army, Union Pacific Railroad, consultant HNTB, and others. To learn more about this project, please visit the KDOT projects page.
The Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) was the winner of the Bronze Award for “Making a Difference – Workforce Training” for its job-training partnership with Paseo Corridor Constructors (PCC). Their program, the kciCON Project, offers minorities, women, and economically disadvantaged individuals a chance to learn a trade and launch a successful career in heavy construction. Individuals with skills to start work immediately can apply for on-the-job training through PCC. They are brought on as apprentices, learning the craft and accumulating hours toward journeyman status. There is also a pre-apprenticeship program available to help others obtain the skills and knowledge needed for construction work. To learn more, visit the  kciCON Project.

We extend our congratulations to all of the award winners–especially those for projects in MAFC states.
For a complete list of award winners, consult the AASHTO press release or visit NPHQ.

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