GAINESVILLE, Ga.,-The Coordinated Highway and Maintenance Program (CHAMP) launches this week in Georgia DOT’s Northeast District. Operators will be the eyes on the road for both maintenance issues and incident management/response on Interstate 85 (I-85) beginning at State Route 20 all the way to South Carolina.
Outfitted to conquer almost anything from a flat tire, to an emergency related lane closure, CHAMP trucks carry extra fuel, air compressors, special push bumpers to move vehicles out of travel lanes, and can activate an electronic message board with the touch of a button. Similar to HERO responders in the Metro Atlanta, drivers can request assistance or report a maintenance issue by dialing 511.
The program will be deployed statewide to districts not serviced by HERO units throughout 2017, district one is the first district to launch the program this year.
CHAMPs will provide quick response to maintenance issues and enhance proactive maintenance by providing immediate district notification on bridge/roadway damage, crashes, and spills. District one maintenance crews currently devote 40 percent of their time to the I-85 corridor, with CHAMP presence it should reduce that amount of time by half.
“These operators will truly be our CHAMPIONS patrolling sixty-four miles of I-85. Their assistance will allow our district maintenance crews to focus on incidents on rural state routes and routine maintenance activities,” Said District Engineer Brent Cook P.E
The funding for the CHAMP is provided by the State Transportation Funding Act of 2015. A five year contract was awarded to AECOM in 2016 which totals $50 million. CHAMPs will operate 16 hours a day, seven days a week from 6 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. After hours service will be executed by CHAMP on-call operators.
Cook went on to add, “Our goal to protect our roads proactively and add safety benefits for our interstate travelers is critical as we continue to add infrastructure in northeast Georgia, CHAMP is a large part of making that goal a reality.”
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