US 281 Super 2, Archer County, TX, TxDOT

IEA was the prime consultant responsible for the rehabilitation of US 281 to “Super 2” status. This 3R project involved the widening of an environmentally sensitive, 2-lane rural arterial to include passing lanes. IEA prepared roadway plans, traffic control plans, culvert extensions, signing and pavement markings, environmental compliance (Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plans - SW3P), and utility identification and coordination. IEA also prepared general notes, specification lists, working day schedules, construction estimates, and TxDOT Form 1002. IEA also managed surveying. IEA was responsible for the QA/QC of all disciplines, and performed a “plan-in-hand” review of the design, which was an in-the-field review of the design plans to ensure the project constructability.

Challenges Faced: These facilities are 2-lane rural highways in rolling terrain through environmentally sensitive areas with important view sheds. The project goal was to reduce accidents that result when impatient drivers make poor decisions to pass slower vehicles. IEA's challenge was to develop environmentally and context-sensitive improvements to the roads while minimizing environmental impacts, respecting the rural road context, and optimizing Right-of-Way.

Our plans provided for passing opportunities and equal spacing, yet were placed in a safe and context sensitive manner. While enhancing the driving experience, we avoided positioning passing lanes on hills or at intersections while still providing for positive drainage in the ditches. By adding alternating lanes to only one side of the roadway at a time we minimized environmental impacts.