When Northeast Paving was awarded the Maine Department of Transportation’s contract to reconstruct and repave one of the most heavily traveled roads in Northern Maine, they knew the project would be challenging.
The subpar material used to construct the road in the 1950s would need to be excavated while keeping the shoulders intact, all while keeping traffic flowing in both directions for virtually the entire two seasons of the project. As one of the few road construction contractors in Northern Maine, Northeast Paving knew they were up to the task. And with a crew that consisted almost entirely of local employees, management, and subcontractors who traveled the road every day, the entire team understood the importance of that stretch of U.S. Route 1 as a gateway to the cities and towns farther to the north.
Because of the imperative to keep the public safe despite a 12” elevation difference between the center of the road and the shoulders, Northeast Paving and MaineDOT decided to begin excavation in a truck lane. That meant they could place excavated material on the edge of the shoulders, which widened the road by three feet and kept two-way traffic open to the public. By recycling material that otherwise would have been wasted, this innovative idea expedited the work and prompted numerous positive public comments. To allow more room for passing, they used traffic delineator tubes that screwed to the ground, rather than the usual traffic barrels. Keeping the road open to two-way traffic was especially crucial on U.S. Route 1 because of the road’s importance to the region, something the local crew fully appreciated. Many family members, friends, and neighbors praised the ongoing work on a road they all traveled.
Northeast Paving used environmentally friendly release agents and took specific daily action to minimize dust and soil erosion and to prevent spills. For the 58,000 tons of hot mix asphalt, they used 20% recycled material. The superintendent provided weekly “Environmental Toolbox Talks” about appropriately dealing with environmental factors. The project left the surroundings in better condition after the job than when it started, and with improvements that will prevent future soil erosion.
From close work with MaineDOT to the many long-term relationships that the company has maintained with developers in the region, Northeast Paving is committed to meeting the highest quality standards in specifications, time, and budget. Their own smoothness testing helped them achieve an average score of 36 inches/miles. Drilling over 200 centerline and mainline cores allowed Northeast Paving able to provide MaineDOT with an average in-place density of 95%. Daily Jobsite Safety Analysis meetings extended those high standards to worker safety. More than 40,000 work hours included no recordable accidents, and the Presque Isle crew received an internal award for the safest plant in the 2019 season. Northeast Paving is a proud contributor to numerous local programs, including food drives, road cleanups, and holiday campaigns, and often donates paving work to local fire departments and other buildings during projects.
OWNER: MAINE DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
ENGINEER/ARCHITECT: MAINE DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
KEY SUBCONTRACTOR: ED PELLETIER & SONS