This election year, the Democratic and Republican Parties selected Charlotte, NC and Tampa, FL to host their conventions, where both parties formally chose their nominee for President. Transfield Services is responsible for asset maintenance for both the Charlotte Interstates and Tampa-Hillsborough Expressway Authority (THEA) projects. As such, their dedicated personnel worked diligently before and during both conventions to ensure clean and safe roadways for the tens of thousands of visitors.
The THEA project included State Road 618, which runs directly through downtown Tampa, the site of the 2012 RNC, which kicked off on August 27. Everyone on the THEA project was heavily involved in the preparation and upkeep of the SR 618 mainline and the reversible elevated lanes.
The THEA project focused largely on keeping the roadway secure in several specific areas. The first phase ensured that the roadway was clear of any and all potential hazards, such as drainage concerns, overhanging branches and debris, and distinguishing a proper clear zone along the perimeter of the road in case of inclement weather.
Tropical Storm Isaac was a potential threat to the Tampa Bay area during the entire week of the RNC. As a result, the first day of RNC activities were cancelled due to the pending dangerous weather, putting the THEA project on full alert. With the THEA roadway being the main thoroughfare in and out of the city, several Infrastructure crews maintained a manicured backdrop of all downtown mainline and ramps, keeping the entire project aesthetically pleasing for delegates and thousands of visitors. In addition to beautifying the landscape, litter pick-up was scheduled twice daily, and additional maintenance technicians were on-call 24/7.
Also, due to potential protesters, riots and vandalism, an incident trailer was staged with extra emergency response equipment, along with additional arrow boards, message signs and supplies for graffiti removal. With careful planning and taking into consideration that "anything can happen" it is a pleasure to report that the RNC has come and gone with extreme success, no major incidents and the roadway remaining intact, said Project Superintendent Scott Chase. Scott also credits the presence of local law enforcement and emergency crews with much of the success, as these responders also took the same "Be Prepared" approach to this event.
Democratic National Convention (DNC), September 3-7,
Charlotte, North Carolina
In Charlotte, Transfield Services crews spent two months preparing the roadways for the Democratic National Convention, which took place September 3-7.
Transfield currently provides services to the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) for operation and maintenance of the interstate system in Mecklenburg and Cabarrus Counties, which carries traffic to and from Uptown Charlotte, where the convention was held.
Preparations for the convention began in July, when the Charlotte Interstates team and subcontractors worked day, night and weekends to improve the aesthetics and driving experience for local residents and visitors.
Mechanical vegetation removal to improve visibility in and around uptown;
New striping on four major interchanges;
Additional landscaping and mulching, with special care for the beautification of one of the exits on I-485, near the accomodations for the President and First Lady;
Pavement repairs at the exit ramps on I-85 that carry traffic to and from airport;
Cleaning the homeless caps around Uptown.
The Charlotte project also assisted the NCDOT by supplying traffic control devices to secure the local roads near the Ballantyne Hotel and Resort, where the President and First Lady stayed. During the convention, crews monitored the roads for suspicious objects, reported abandoned and broken down vehicles for their immediate inspection and removal, reported unusual gatherings of people that could impede the normal flow of traffic, and reported and removed illegally installed signs.
Their hard work and preparation paid off, as the week of the convention was relatively quiet, to the surprise and satisfaction of everyone involved, said Project Manager Arvin Delgado.
"Their hard work and commitment during the summer was invaluable", Arvin said. "Transfield Services personnel, especially the Maintenance Technicians, took this mission at heart and went the extra mile to make it a success".