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No Goofing Around With Safety

Quality Control Technician Jaime Duarte conducts a test while Superintendent David Strickland looks on. (Photo by Carl Thiemann)

Quality Control Technician Jaime Duarte conducts a test while Superintendent David Strickland looks on. (Photo by Carl Thiemann)

On Busy Orlando Turnpike Job In the bustling tourist mecca of Orlando, Fla., where daily traffic back-ups can get longer than the lines at Disney World, keeping road projects safe and efficient is no Mickey Mouse operation.

On Florida’s Turnpike (SR-91), the city’s main north-south artery, Ranger’s North Division is taking extra safety measures as it begins widening a section of the roadway under a $52.5 million contract with the FDOT.

To accommodate traffic flows and protect the safety of road crews, temporary barrier walls will be installed to create a buffer between the work zones and the busy highway.

The barrier wall will be moved along with the crews as they work on a 3.4-mile length of the Turnpike, stretching from the East-West Express­way (SR-408) interchange to just north of Beulah Road.

The project runs through the existing SR-429/Florida Turnpike interchange, where Ranger North
will widen various acceleration and deceleration lanes from six to 12 lanes. Other sections will be widened from four to eight lanes.

The division will also replace the Turnpike bridges over Beulah Road and the SR-50 connector bridge over the Turnpike. The contract includes a new storm water retention pond, storm drainage, concrete roadway barrier and reinforced earth walls. It also includes lighting, signage and intelligent transportation system signs.

Dozer Operator Ricky Burgos levels dirt for new lanes on Ranger North’s Turnpike widening job near Orlando, Fla. (Photo by Carl Thiemann)

Dozer Operator Ricky Burgos levels dirt for new lanes on Ranger North’s Turnpike widening job near Orlando, Fla. (Photo by Carl Thiemann)

During the project’s two-and-a-half-year time span, an estimated 168,000 tons of lime rock base and 85,000 tons of asphalt will be placed. In addition, crews will install just over two miles of precast sound wall with an average height of 20 ft. The walls will include a special finish with themed graphics.

With so much work to accomplish on such a busy traffic corridor, safety and efficiency will be paramount throughout.

And while road traffic may be lighter when cars can simply fly — like the DeLorean in Universal Orlando’s “Back To The Future” exhibit — for now Ranger will use more down-to-earth methods to keep motorists and road crews safe during road construction projects.

Superintendents Mike Trail and David Strickland discuss the day’s progress.

Superintendents Mike Trail and David Strickland discuss the day’s progress.

Water Truck Operator Jim Evans ensures that the material will be moist enough to compact. Watering also keeps the dust down, another important factor during road construction. (Photo by Carl Thiemann)

Water Truck Operator Jim Evans ensures that the material will be moist enough to compact. Watering also keeps the dust down, another important factor during road construction. (Photo by Carl Thiemann)

Grader Operator David Thomas shapes a new entrance ramp. (Photo by Carl Thiemann)

Grader Operator David Thomas shapes a new entrance ramp. (Photo by Carl Thiemann)

Roller Operator Carlos Sosa directs dump trucks into position for unloading, while Dozer Operator Ricky Burgos spreads the dirt. (Photo by Carl Thiemann)

Roller Operator Carlos Sosa directs dump trucks into position for unloading, while Dozer Operator Ricky Burgos spreads the dirt. (Photo by Carl Thiemann)

Grading Crew Member Angel Soria and Quality Control Technician Jaime Duarte dig up a core sample for testing. (Photo by Carl Thiemann)

Grading Crew Member Angel Soria and Quality Control Technician Jaime Duarte dig up a core sample for testing. (Photo by Carl Thiemann)