Friday, April 29, 2016

New section of US 460 in Pike County tapped for two prestigious engineering awards

The first eight miles of new US 460 in Pike County opened in December 2014. Even though the rest of the 16.7-mile highway is still under construction, the roadway project has been honored with engineering awards by both the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) and the American Society of Highway Engineers (ASHE).

The project is considered an on-site laboratory for how to deal with difficult mountainous terrain issues. The innovative cost-effective measures developed for the project have been shared through tours and professional meeting presentations with staff from KYTC, the Federal Highway Administration, and the Virginia Department of Transportation.

The design awards noted several innovative features incorporated into the project:
  • Modified interchange configurations
  • Original structure design using micropile foundations
  • Innovative design for excess material sites
  • A fresh approach to using coal synergy
  • Creative roadway and drainage design solutions

ACEC Kentucky’s 2016 Grand Conceptor Award for Engineering Excellence put the project in national competition where it earned an honorable mention when pitted against projects from throughout the United States. The project also captured the ASHE/Derby City Section 2015 Transportation Improvement Award.

Owned by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, Highway District 12, the project designer is Palmer Engineering of Winchester, Kentucky. Primary contractors on the section opened to traffic in 2014 include Bizzack Construction, Elmo Greer & Sons, Kay & Kay Contracting, and Mountain Enterprises.

“The 8.3-mile segment of US 460 Corridor Q project was in line with the original planning study and was less than the amount spent per mile by other states with similar corridors,” said David Lindeman, lead design engineer with Palmer Engineering.

Mary Westfall-Holbrook, Chief District Engineer, Highway District 12, pointed out that KYTC and its contractors designated and permitted excess material sites in advance, further reducing costs. “These sites are designated for future economic development purposes,” she said, “giving Pike County several excellent locations that can be used to recruit businesses or develop residential communities. Highway District 12 and the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet have been pioneers in this important use of excess material sites in Kentucky. We are proud and gratified that the US 460 project has been recognized nationally as well as statewide for its design excellence.”

Highway District 12 and Palmer Engineering officials gathered recently on the new section of US 460 with the engineering design awards the project earned from the American Society of Highway Engineers and the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC). From left, Sam Hale, D-12 Project Development Branch Manager; Jeff Cowan  and David Lindeman, both with Palmer Engineering; John Michael Johnson, D-12 Preconstruction Project Manager; Mary Westfall-Holbrook, D-12 Chief District Engineer; and Kevin Damron of Palmer Engineering. Absent when the photo was taken was Paxton Weddington, Construction Project Manager.