Now my grandfather taught me “there’s two sides to every story”. So I contacted Mirak Mehari, Resident Engineer at the local N.D.O.T. office and asked for his “side of the story”.
The following is a series of questions I sent to him, and his responses.
The purpose of this project is to make our Roads and highways better for road users and NDOT’s Mission is providing a better transportation system in Nevada through our unified and dedicated efforts. We understand the inconvenience for the public in a construction season due to the all-Orange color traffic control signs, but it is temporary and is for the safety of the travelling public and workers. Safety is our priority and we continuously work hard to improve the safety of our travelling public in our highways and roads. That being said I would like to give you an update on the project, as of November-17-2017. The project is completed 99%. Now The contractor is mainly working on a project clean up and the only remaining works we have are two Dynamic Message Signs (one at the intersection of US-6 and SR-318) and the second (City of Ely side near the Bobcat water tank) that will probably take two days of installation work. And there will not be a measure lane closure in the future. The cleanup is expected to be completed in 30days.
This Project is a 23mile project. The general description of the work covered by this project is Cold in place Recycle and plant mix bituminous surface with open grade.
For ordinary public it may look we are paving and repaving and repaving because we messed up in the first time and we are repeating it again,
however that was not what was happening.
In this paving Job there were three stages of paving.
with a proper amount and grade of Asphalt cement and lime and this paving process goes as you mill the old surface.
this creates a better foundation for the next stage of paving.
A mixture of aggregates and Asphalt is mixed in an Asphalt Mix plant and transported to the street and paved at a 2” thickness.
This is part of the structure of the Road way that carries the traffic loads.
has no structural function but is necessary for the road way to have traction with the wheels of the vehicles.
Hope this helps to clear the confusion.
First, I don’t believe those accidents happened because we were lacking or our in-place traffic control was in deficient.
As you might have noticed part of the project is in a canyon area with a lot of curves and this makes a construction zone challenging.
The highway patrol is always in the project when there is a significant activity going on the project.
Since the project is along 23miles long highway the traffic control devices move from place to place according to the location where
a significant lane closure was required/ existing. And we always make sure by inspecting the in-place traffic control using a checklist
daily twice that all the in-place traffic control is in according to the standard.
Our policy is safety first and we prioritize our public and workers safety.
Personally, I would say that I'm satisfied with his answer regarding the seemingly redundant paving project. However, having observed the "safety" precautions personally and by reports of others, I'm not convinced that everything is being done to prevent more tragedies in the future. The fact of the matter is, while Mr. Mehari is required to address those sensitive issues carefully (for legal reasons) the circumstances of the accident earlier this summer were in fact caused both by an in-attentive driver AND poor "prepare to stop" measures by the N.D.O.T.
Proof of that is the fact that they did MORE AFTER the accident occurred. Which means, they could have done that to begin with. And then as time passed and the accident was a distant memory, crews appeared to become lazy and slipped back into minimal signage prior to being forced to stop.
~ Ian Bullis