Editor's Report

By Tom Hale | September 28, 2010

Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich says 2006 was the safest year on Illinois roadways in more than 80 years as traffic fatality numbers dropped below 1,300 for the first time since 1924. Nearly 100 fewer people were killed on Illinois highways during 2006 than 2005, while at the same time safety belt usage neared 90 percent. Preliminary data show 1,267 traffic deaths on Illinois roadways in 2006.

Mentor-Protégé Program

The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) has launched a new Mentor-Protégé Program designed to help disadvantaged business enterprises (DBEs), small and minority-owned companies, to succeed and compete for larger road construction projects. The new program has been approved by the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration as a three-year pilot project. It will be offered in four of IDOT's districts around the state, including D-1 in northeastern Illinois, D-4 based in Peoria, D-6 based in Springfield, and D-8 in Metro East. The Mentor-Protégé pilot program compensates mentor companies for the administrative expenses associated with the effort and teams up a larger, experienced firm with contractors that are certified as DBE in Illinois.

Under the new program, once a mentor firm and a protégé are teamed up, they will jointly establish a development plan that outlines their goals and expectations, sets benchmarks, and creates a monitoring and reporting mechanism that will be used to judge the effectiveness of the effort. The mentor and protégé will work together toward the goal of winning contracts for the protégé, and the two contractors will have the option of forming joint ventures to bid on projects.

To qualify for the new Mentor-Protégé Program, the mentor must have at least five years of experience as an IDOT contractor. The protégé must have at least three years of highway construction experience and also be certified as a DBE through the Illinois Unified Certification program.

NAPA Updates Recycling Guide

The National Asphalt Pavement Association has announced the publication of a new update to the technical document "Recycling Hot-Mix Asphalt Pavements." The text of this guide to the processing of RAP (reclaimed asphalt pavement) at the hot-mix asphalt plant has been significantly expanded. The publication has also been enhanced with new photographs and illustrations.

The revised 27-page publication explains the how-to of RAP: how to reclaim, size, store, and process the material. The various types of HMA plants are covered. Calculations for determining the value of using RAP area also provided.

For more information, visit www.hotmix.org.

I-64 Reconstruction

On Interstate 64 in St. Louis, construction crews have been acquiring soil information in the area where the new bridge for Kingshighway Boulevard will be built. In February, crews began drilling through the existing pavement to determine soil conditions, find out how much rock there is beneath the surface and what condition it is in. Freeway designers will use the information gathered to put together their plans for the new bridge, construction of which is scheduled to begin in April.

According to the Missouri Department of Transportation, this work is all part of a $420-million I-64 reconstruction contract awarded to Gateway Constructors by the department in December. The project will completely reconstruct I-64 from west of Spoede Road to east of Kingshighway Boulevard, a distance of about 10 miles. It will create a freeway-to-freeway interchange at I-170; rebuilding 29 bridges and all 12 interchanges. One lane will also be added in each direction from west of Spoede Road to I-170.

Morgan/Harbour Moves

Morgan/Harbour Construction says the firm has relocated to Woodridge Commerce Centre in Woodridge, Ill. Located on Werch Drive, the 147,000-square-foot incubator industrial complex is a development of Principal Financial.

Morgan/Harbour Construction has leased 5,600 square feet within 10204 Werch Dr. for their headquarter operations. The firm was previously located in Westmont, Ill. Morgan Realty Partners and Morgan Development Services will remain in Westmont.

IMT Dealer Expands

Iowa Mold Tooling Co. Inc., headquartered in Garner, Iowa, announces that QT Equipment, based in Akron, Ohio, has expanded its sales territory and has begun selling IMT products to customers in northern and central Florida.