TxDOT Takes Part in National Work Zone Awareness Week Campaign

Every year in March/April, TxDOT collaborates with the Federal Highway Administration (FHA) and other transportation partners to observe National Work Zone Awareness Week. The FHA says on average 85% of the deaths in highway work zone crashes are drivers and passengers in cars.

Everyone needs to take responsibility for work zone safety, from engineers and planners to drivers and pedestrians.

In Texas, there can be as many as 2,500 active work zones at any given time. There are currently 20 active work zones along Interstate 35 in Texas, encompassing 109.6 miles from north to south. This is the largest number of work zones TxDOT has ever had on the state’s main corridor, as it tackles one of the largest construction programs in department history.

Remember, sometimes there’s only a foot or two separating construction workers from vehicles driving along Texas roadways. Be safe. Drive smart.

Fort Worth Pothole Blitz

The City of Fort Worth’s Transportation and Public Works Department has launched a “pothole blitz” and is asking for the public’s help in reporting problem locations. Recent winter weather has increased the number of potholes, which form when water that has seeped into pavement, freezes and expands. As it begins to thaw and contract, the vacated space fills with air which can easily collapse under the weight of traffic. To report potholes on City streets, fill out this form. For state maintained highways and roadways, visit the TxDOT website.

Peloton Engineer Wins Local Award

We are excited to announce that one of our own, Andrew Wilson, EIT, CFM, has been named the 2015 Edmund Friedman Young Engineer of the Year by the Fort Worth branch of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). This award is given to recognize younger members of ASCE who exhibit outstanding contributions to the public welfare of the civil engineering profession. Andrew works on our Hydrology and Hydraulics team in the Peloton Fort Worth office, supporting our land development clients with flood studies, permitting, detention design, and related services. He has been active in ASCE since he was a student at UT Arlington. We are proud to have Andrew at Peloton!

COFW TPW Earns Accreditation

The City of Fort Worth’s Transportation & Public Works Department has been awarded the prestigious American Public Works Association accreditation. Fort Worth began the process in October 2011, and becomes the 93rd agency in North America to receive accreditation (the sixth in Texas, joining Arlington, College Station, Plano, Haltom City and Houston). The APWA recognizes public works agencies that go beyond the requirements of the management practices established nationally.

“Fort Worth’s APWA accreditation shows that we have dedicated ourselves to concepts of improvement and in-depth self-assessment of department policies, procedures and practices,” said TPW Director Doug W. Wiersig. “The heroes of this prestigious APWA award are the public works and transportation staff whose mission is to provide public works services and programs that contribute to making Fort Worth a great city.”

Peloton Welcomes PE

Peloton is pleased to announce the addition of Logan McWhorter, P.E. to our North Texas team. Logan’s background spans a variety of land development project types including commercial, retail, mixed-use, institutional, education and healthcare throughout North Texas. His extensive experience in civil engineering, entitlement, scheduling, program management and city/client coordination will enhance Peloton’s expertise as we continue to grow and take on new projects.

With the addition of Logan, Peloton will be better able to expand our client-base and serve the North Texas region in the coming years. Peloton Land Solutions is a Texas-based consulting firm with more than 90 professional engineers, planners, surveyors, scientists, landscape architects and support personnel in three office locations. Our firm provides comprehensive land development services to residential, commercial, industrial, municipal, and oil and gas clients.

FW Applies For Traffic Light Synchronization Grant

The City of Fort Worth has applied for a North Central Texas Council of Governments grant that would result in retiming 140 additional intersections in nine corridors. Proper synchronization of traffic signals can lead to safety improvements for motorists, pedestrians and cyclists; mobility improvements; and air quality improvements. Read more here. As Fort Worth’s population has increased, the number of traffic signals has grown from 734 signals in 2011 to 799 in 2014. Much of the current years growth can be attributed to the opening of the Chisholm Trail Parkway in southwest Fort Worth.

Fort Worth’s New Thoroughfare Plan Aims for More Variety in Street Design

Fort Worth is launching a review of its master thoroughfare plan, aiming to broaden the kinds of streets in its arsenal, accommodate more multi-mode transportation like buses, trains, and bike lanes, and address needs in high-growth areas like the far North and far South.

Continued suburban growth and central city redevelopment, numerous gaps in continuity within the city’s transportation system, a narrow range of street classifications that doesn’t match up well with various land uses and development, and greater need to move people by means other than cars is driving the need for the update.

“We’re trying to get ourselves back to thinking that we make sure everybody is well-connected,” Mark Rauscher, Fort Worth’s program manager over the plan, said.

The city staff has launched what will likely be an 18-month review and update of the master plan, last updated in 2009. On Nov. 17, an all-volunteer task force began meeting to help guide the process.

A key principle of the review – “one street design does not fit all contexts” – furthers a change in the city’s direction during the 2009 update, when it went “from moving cars to moving people.”

The city’s goals for the update include:
• Increased sensitivity to surroundings and building “complete streets” that interact with uses;
• Maximizing potential for redevelopment and economic development;
• Increasing linkages to public transit and improving bike facilities;
• Using more roundabouts when possible to create smoother-moving, cheaper, and safer intersections;
• Striking a balance between mobility and access to roads that optimizes convenience and minimizes congestion; and,
• Creating more efficient travel routes.

The update should improve orderly growth and sustainable development and give direction to developers, while preserving future opportunities for growth in multimodal transportation, city officials said.

Texas Votes to Move Forward

Voters in Texas sent a clear message that road improvements are very important for economic development, safety and quality of life. Taxes from the oil and gas industry will be a new source of revenue for cash-strapped Texas roads after voters overwhelmingly approved Proposition 1 Tuesday night.

More than 80 percent of the ballots cast approved Proposition 1. For more information, including facts and figures, see 35W Coalition and Move Texas Forward.

Custom-Built Equipment Used on LBJ Express Project in Dallas

An innovative piece of structural engineering equipment was introduced to the LBJ Express project in Dallas County: a beam placement system – or  beam truss – tailored specifically for the setting of beams for the future westbound general purpose lanes under Marsh Lane. LBJ Express construction and design managers opted for this truss system because it was not possible to use conventional cranes under the Marsh bridge for setting precast beams.

Traditional cranes typically used along the project weigh hundreds of tons and require clear level paths and large set up areas.  In contrast, this custom built truss system moves along the caps of the bridge, ideal for low clearances and takes out the need for massive crane paths or pads. Built at 270 feet long (8 ft. tall and 6 ft. wide), the bright blue truss system included an electrical generator with wireless remote control, two electrical trucks to move the truss along tracks set on the caps, and two electric winches to lift and place the beams.

Another project challenge included finding space for the trucks delivering the bridge beams to maneuver in the tight, activity-packed site, which the team ended up resolving by constructing a very level and complex haul road to allow the trucks to back into specific areas under the bridge.

When the LBJ Freeway opened in 1969, it was designed to hold about 180,000 vehicles per day. Current traffic counts put that number at 270,000 vehicles per day, and by 2020 estimated demand will increase to 500,000 vehicles per day traveling this road.

Peloton Names Randy Alexander as Principal

Peloton Land Solutions, Inc. announced Randy Alexander as Principal making him the newest shareholder of the fast-growing company.  Based at Peloton’s headquarters in Fort Worth, Alexander joined Peloton in 2010 as the senior environmental scientist and office manager.

“Over the course of his 20-year career, Randy has earned the respect of his industry peers and took a chance in joining our newly formed company back in 2010,” said Peloton President and CEO Aric Head.  “Having a corporate structure now allows us to formally recognize leadership and offer our team opportunities for growth and ownership within the company. The success of Peloton has been and will continue to be directly tied to the individual and combined contributions of employees like Randy,” he concluded.

With clients ranging from local municipalities, to land developers, energy exploration and production companies, Alexander conducts environmental and natural resource due diligence, regulatory permitting, as well as municipal entitlements and planning efforts for master plan, land development, energy and other projects in the north central Texas area. He and his team of biologists and ecologists ensure Section 404 and Endangered Species Act compliance and provide project-specific and strategic assistance with urban regulatory processes related to tree/canopy preservation ordinances, local storm water requirements, and other municipal ordinance issues.