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R.A. Smith National, Inc. Knowledge Blog

2015 Road Construction Safety Tips

by Benjie Hayek 12. June 2015 11:27

Another year has passed and this year’s construction season is
off to a busy start! The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)
has published a brochure titled "Creating Safer Work Zones: Improving Operations on Both Sides of the Barrel." This brochure provides safety tips and useful information to navigate safely through road construction work zones. Print out a copy below to share with others.

Main topics covered:

  • Stay alert and minimize distractions
  • Keep your headlights on
  • Pay attention
  • Merge into the proper lane
  • Don’t tailgate
  • Obey posted speed limit signs
  • Change lanes safely
  • Follow instructions from flag persons
  • Expect the unexpected
  • Be patient!

2015 Road Construction Safety Tips.pdf (300.63 kb)

Construction Safety Tips

Courtesy Federal Highway Administration

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Construction Services

Wisconsin Implements J-Turn Intersections

by Tom Conto 19. May 2014 05:04

J-turn intersections, also known as restricted crossing U-turns, are being implemented in Wisconsin and nationwide. These new intersections are changing how motorists navigate through high-speed, divided highways. The J-turn requires motorists that intend to go left or straight at these intersections, first turn right onto the roadway and then perform a U-turn at the indicated “J” turning location.

This new intersection design reduces the number of traffic crossing points, minimizing the likelihood of fatal accidents. Drivers have a significantly reduced chance of side-impact collisions in a J-turn intersection because the vehicle doesn’t directly cross over multiple lanes of traffic.  

R.A. Smith National provided construction oversight and management for the J-Turn intersection constructed at the WIS 23 and County M intersection in Sheboygan County. Prior to installation of the J-Turn, this intersection had a high rate of right-angle vehicle collisions. Three additional intersections - Fairview Drive, CTH E and Pleasant View at WIS 23 - were constructed with dedicated left-turn lanes and right-turn only intersections to further reduce accident potential.

View this video released by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation explaining how to drive in a J-turn and its benefits. 


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Construction Services

Laser Screed Keeps Trucks Busy on Major Concrete Pour at Valero Ethanol Plant

by Paul Schafer 3. October 2013 04:56

The laser screed has changed the way in which concrete is placed. This piece of equipment uses an automatic laser control system to pour large slabs without the use of interior form work. This equipment is typically used to finish concrete slabs in large industrial or commercial buildings.  The level of accuracy and speed at which concrete can be placed was especially useful last week at Valero Renewable Fuel’s ethanol plant in Aztalan (Jefferson County), Wisconsin. On the first day the contractor anticipated a cement truck pouring concrete every six minutes for a full eight hours.

R.A. Smith National was on site with contractors, Wirth Concrete and Iverson Construction, to provide construction management and inspection for a new 1,500-foot long truck queuing driveway at the ethanol plant. The new queuing area which measures 75 wide by 850 feet long will provide for an additional 51 semi spaces and improve overall traffic flow for the heavy volume of trucks that enter and leave the plant.  This plant typically produces 300,000 gallons of ethanol per day year round.

R.A. Smith National also provided construction staking, preliminary survey services and a traffic analysis that led to this parking lot expansion project. The analysis became necessary after supply trucks were causing traffic backups on a nearby state highway. The project involved a review of historical plant records and a subsequent traffic analysis to provide an estimate of the required number of queuing spaces.  R.A. Smith National created five queuing concept plans including cost estimates for several sites at the plant.  Our project team worked closely with Valero Renewable Fuels to refine the concepts and select the best solution for the plant. Our team was further responsible for preparing construction drawings, bidding coordination, and permit approvals.



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