A monumental project.
Posted: February 9, 2017
Last modified: March 21, 2017
Maintenance of Traffic, Superintendent II
Hometown: West Palm Beach
Keeping traffic moving safely during the I-4 Ultimate reconstruction project is the job of Andrew Melton and the entire Maintenance of Traffic (MOT) team.
Along the 21-mile project, traffic barriers must go up to keep motorists and workers safe, and lanes must close or shift to create safe work zones while improving the roadway. At times, long stretches of interstate must slowdown for rolling roadblocks to make room for cranes and bridge construction.
Melton, who is a Superintendent II, and his group have major responsibility to make sure everything goes safely and smoothly on the eastern half of the project from near Colonial Drive in Orlando to E.E. Williamson Road in Longwood. His group, of course, coordinates with the rest of the MOT team to handle the 15 to 25 overnight lane closures and with law enforcement when patrol cars are needed for safety.
Melton loves the challenge of managing the complex, moving puzzle. “I enjoy the feeling of accomplishment when you complete a complicated traffic movement without an incident, within budget and on time. You do not get opportunities like this every day to be part of such a monumental project.”
Melton, who grew up in West Palm Beach, developed his skills while working on I-595 Express project in South Florida. He learned that MOT teams must realize that longtime residents are not used to dealing with ongoing changes to their routes. “We have to remember that some people have been driving these lanes by habit for 20, 30 and even 40 years,” said Melton, who works for SGL – the construction joint venture of Skanska, Granite and Lane.
So, when temporary barrier walls go up or come down, when traffic cones are placed or retrieved, when traffic patterns shift, when portable electronic signs move or their messages change, the team makes sure the changes are easy to follow and don’t frustrate drivers.
Away from the interstate, Melton relaxes by fishing or riding four-wheelers on dirt roads and paths. “Sometimes, I like a break from traffic, too.”