Apr 10, 2013
AWP EDUCATES TEEN DRIVERS FOR NATIONAL WORK ZONE AWARENESS WEEK 2013
Each year in April, National Work Zone Awareness Week (NWZAW) is held to bring national attention to motorist and worker safety and mobility issues in work zones. Since 1999, the Federal Highway Administration has worked with the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials and the American Traffic Safety Services Association to coordinate and sponsor NWZAW. (http://www.ops.fhwa.dot.gov/wz/outreach/wz_awareness.htm).
Area Wide Protective (AWP) , America’s Traffic Control Leader, and Universal Driver’s Training Center (UDTC), one of Northeast Ohio's highest ranking Driver Education Centers, are working together with Stow-Munroe Falls and Cuyahoga Falls High Schools to educate local high school students and raise awareness for work zone safety for the 2013 National Work Zone Awareness Week (April 15-19). This educational program will be offered free of charge at Stow-Munroe Falls High School on Monday, April 15th from 6:00-7:30PM, and again at Cuyahoga Falls High School on Tuesday, April 16th from 6:00-7:30PM.
Students will gain real-world experience, and learn firsthand from AWP’s traffic control and safety experts and UDTC’s driver’s education instructors:
For more information or to register contact Kate Alboreo, Marketing & HR Coordinator.
Phone: 330-812-9272 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Jul 24, 2012
ANOTHER STORM, ANOTHER GREAT AWP PERFORMANCE!
Throughout its 20 year history, AWP has responded to literally hundreds of emergencies for its customers—floods, tornadoes, snow and ice. However, the company’s greatest challenge occurred just recently, as more than 125 of our willing and capable folks braved nearly unbearable heat to assist American Electric Power (AEP) in restoring electricity to more than 1.3 million customers in WV, VA, TN and KY.
Beginning the evening of June 29, 2012, a powerful “derecho” (wind driven thunderstorm) ripped through the Mid Atlantic, downing power lines, trees and even homes over a 50,000 square mile area. Within 48 hours of receiving its first call from AEP for emergency traffic control assistance, AWP deployed volunteers from seven different offices bound for Charleston, WV—the storm’s epicenter. Upon arrival, our team was not only greeted with daily temperatures well over 100 degrees, but many gas stations were without power and most hotels were without air conditioning. To keep our people properly hydrated, the company spent over $2500.00 on water and ice alone. Not only did we work through the July 4th holiday, we stayed until the job was done—on July 14th. Shortly afterwards, we received a personal letter from AEP President, Nick Atkins, thanking us for our efforts.
Great job and many thanks to all who participated—we’re all proud of you!
Apr 17, 2012
AWP GETS INVOLVED IN NATIONAL WORK ZONE AWARENESS WEEK
The purpose of National Work Zone Awareness Week is to raise public awareness about the hazards in and around roadway work zones and to promote safety for both workers and motorists. The 2012 National Work Zone Awareness Week is April 23rd - 27th.
AWP is involved in a number of activities to help spread the word:
AWP's main event for National Work Zone Awareness Week is a free educational program for driving students in the community surrounding our corporate headquarters in Kent, OH. In collaboration with Universal Driver's Training Center (UDTC) we are providing education to teen drivers about the dangers of roadway work zones and how to safely drive through them.
Read all about the event on Ohio.com! http://bit.ly/11VcrOX
AWP held an internal poster contest using the 2012 National Work Zone Awareness Week theme, "Don't Barrel Through Work Zones". The creative minds of the AWP staff produced a PSA poster which can be found in all AWP offices, and some public schools and libraries surrounding our corporate headquarters in Kent.
The winning designs were submitted by:
Antonio Tripoli, Traffic Control Technician, Randolph, NJ
Antonio Caggiano, Regional Sales Manager, Jackson, NJ
Francisco Ramos, Traffic Control Technician, Deerfield Beach, FL
In order to involve our families in National Work Zone Awareness Week and help them appreciate the importance of our job of keeping the roads safe, we also held an internal kids-only poster contest!
For more information about National Work Zone Awareness Week, visit the U.S. Department of Transportation: Federal Highway Administration.
Feb 1, 2012
AWP'S ERIC HULME CO-AUTHORS AN ARTICLE PUBLISHED IN 2011 TRANSPORTATION RESEARCH RECORD
Eric Hulme, AWP's Director of Compliance & Training, conducted research regarding speed limit compliance in highway work zones. His findings were published in the 2011 Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board.
The project was a joint research effort between the Indiana State Police, INDOT, and Purdue University.
Article: “Evaluation of Spatial and Temporal Speed Limit Compliance in Highway Work Zones,” by J. Wasson, G. Boruff, A. Hainen, S. Remias, E. Hulme, G. Farnsworth, and D. Bullock
Abstract: Typically, speed limits are reduced in work zones to safely accommodate construction activities and motorists on the roadway. This paper presents a methodology to evaluate the temporal and spatial effects of techniques designed to encourage compliance with work zone speed limits. The evaluations were performed over short and long segments within and adjacent to an Interstate construction work zone in suburban Indianapolis, Indiana, with the use of vehicle probe data. Space mean speed was measured by using 13 Bluetooth probe data acquisition stations, which provided a random sample of unique identifiers for approximately 11% of the passing vehicles. These space mean speed data were used to compute a series of comparisons between a day with no enforcement activity and a day with exceptionally high enforcement. During enforcement, the space mean speed decreased by approximately 5 mph throughout the 12.2-mi study segment. Within 30 min after the enforcement detail ended, however, space mean speeds increased, and there was no statistically significant residual impact on the space mean speed. Even at the absolute peak of enforcement, 75% of the probe vehicles exceeded the speed limit in all but one of the segments that had a posted speed limit of 45 mph. In addition, 25% of the probe vehicles exceeded the posted limit by more than 5 mph in all 45-mph segments during peak enforcement. The study is perhaps the largest ever conducted with respect to concurrent enforcement and extensive space mean measurement. The data represent an upper bound on the impact of enforcement activity on work zone speeds and should be of interest to public agencies as they consider compliance techniques. The article can be found through the TRB Publications Index.
From Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board, No. 2258, pp. 1-15. Copyright, National Academy of Sciences, Washington, D.C., 2011. Abstract posted with permission of TRB. For complete paper, please link to http://pubsindex.trb.org.
Jan 5, 2012
AWP ASSISTS IN CROSS-COUNTRY TRANSPORT OF COMBAT DRONE
Last month, residents of Cowley County in Kansas reported sightings of a "UFO" being transported down US Highway 77. The "UFO" sighted in Kansas was actually an X-47B, an unmanned combat drone built by Northrop Grumman. AWP, in conjunction with Diamond Heavy Haul, transported the X-47B from Edwards Air Force base in California to a Naval air station in Maryland. We delivered the X-47B safely to its destination on Wednesday, December 21st.
View the full story, reported by MSNBC.com.
Dec 16, 2011
DISTRACTED DRIVING CONTINUES TO THREATEN ROAD SAFETY
In conjunction with the announcement of the record-breaking decline of traffic fatalities in 2010, the U.S. Department of Transportation reminds drivers about the dangers of distracted driving. NHTSA data indicates that driver distraction continues to be a significant threat to traffic safety.
AWP’s mission to provide safe and compliant work zones becomes increasingly important as distracted driving threatens the safety of motorists and those working on America’s roadways. A survey conducted by NHTSA found that drivers rarely consider traffic situations when choosing to use their phone. It is AWP’s job to provide traffic control solutions that will alert distracted drivers and protect road workers. Our work zones are designed and implemented by professionals to provide warnings, barriers and ease of traffic flow for even the most complicated work zones. The solutions we provide meet and exceed regulations specific to each location and project because safety is our highest priority.
Dec 12, 2011
U.S. TRAFFIC FATALITIES DECREASE, AWP CONTINUES SAFETY EFFORTS
Last week NBC Nightly News reported that in 2010, the U.S. saw the lowest numbers of traffic fatalities since 1949. As a nation, we drove nearly 46 billion miles more in 2010 than we drove in 1949. Despite the increase in miles driven, fewer Americans were killed in car accidents last year because of safer roads, safer vehicles, and safer drivers. (This information can be found on MSNBC’s Overhead Bin: http://on.msnbc.com/rI655o)
At Area Wide Protective, we are doing our part to make roads safer as well. We are constantly improving our safety training program for our employees. All our associates are ATSSA certified and our training standards far exceed minimum state requirements for all fifteen states in which we serve! We only use the best equipment and safety gear. Our vehicles and equipment are designed to alert even the most distracted drivers to work zones on the roads. We deploy over 600 professionals every day to protect the roads and road workers of America.
Nov 3, 2011
THOSE WERE THE DAYS…THESE ARE THE DAYS!!
Almost 19 years ago to the day, I was the owner of a struggling security guard and alarm installation company. I wasn’t making any money and, to make matters worse, I was dealing daily with a whole host of frustrating—and frightening—issues. My security guys would be caught sleeping, making inappropriate comments to the cleaning lady, or wave a firearm around without just cause. There had to be a better way to make a living, right?
It just so happened that one of our security clients was a major public utility company, and they were looking to outsource their work area protection needs—traffic control—to a responsible vendor. Somehow, I convinced them that AWP was that vendor.
And, so the journey began. When I think back to those early days now, I have to laugh. There was no “how to” manual available on how to structure a traffic control operation, no commercialized training, and very few DOT or local regulations. We made it up as we went along—trial and error. It took a long time before we settled on full sized company owned pickup trucks for deployment—we first used employee vehicles, then cars, then compact pickups. We used vinyl mesh signs (not retroreflective) mounted on “pogo” stands, i.e., one piece stands with a sharp spike at one end that you stood on to drive into the ground. There were no employee cell phones—we communicated with a central office base station radio and hand held radios in the vehicles. We made our own STOP/SLOW paddles out of wood or plastic, serviced our own vehicles and, most important, thought we would really be a big time, big deal traffic control outfit when we were putting out 50 flaggers a day. That day arrived in 1997.
And look where we are today! In October, 2011, a new, all time company record was set when a total of 823 AWP employees were hard at work throughout our 20 state territory in a single day! Of the five highest daily deployment totals in AWP history, all of them occurred in October. We now have more than 1000 people on our payroll, and our 2011 revenues will set a new record as well. To be sure, as the CEO, I’m proud of how far we’ve come. More importantly, I am immeasurably grateful to all of our AWP associates—now 1000 strong—for the hard work and dedication it took to get us there.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I better get back to making some more STOP/SLOW paddles—looks like we’re going to need them!
William A. Fink, President & CEO
Oct 22, 2011
AWP'S POSITION ON FHWA'S PROPOSAL TO ELIMINATE COMPLIANCE DEADLINES
On August 31st, 2011, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) announced a proposal to eliminate deadlines for the replacement of traffic signs and related warning devices. The deadlines involved the replacement of non-compliant traffic signs, including those existing traffic signs that do not meet the minimum levels of retroreflectivity. These deadlines were set by Finals Rules (established in the US CFR) in 2000, 2003, 2007, and 2009. Many of the deadlines were to be met through the incremental replacement of traffic signs at the end of their service life through a “systematic upgrading program.” Several factors—including recession driven budget challenges and media fueled hand wringing over the cost of compliance—heavily influenced the FHWA’s decision to drop the deadlines.
The changes now on the table specifically include: 1) the elimination of 46 compliance dates – including eight deadlines that have since passed; 2) the extension and/or revision of four deadlines; and 3) retaining eight compliance deadlines regarding items that FHWA believes would have a high impact on safety.
With regard to the minimum retroreflectivity deadline, FHWA is proposing to:
Additional sign replacement deadlines required to comply with new sign designs are proposed to be eliminated. The reasoning behind this is that many of these compliance deadlines were established by Final Rules in 2000 and in 2003, and municipalities are assumed to have already met these deadlines. The elimination of the deadlines is meant to help those who have not replaced these signs do so through “systematic upgrades” of their sign inventories.
Argument for the Proposed Elimination of Deadlines
The combination of decreased municipal budgets, along with the quantity and cost of compliance deadlines, makes it nearly impossible for a municipality to meet the compliance schedule. With the average cost of $150 per sign replaced, the large quantity of signs that need to be replaced and the new sign designs, a small municipality can simply not afford to replace all of their signs to meet the standards. In essence, what has been done here is to take a worthy and much needed public safety initiative that contained some admitted challenges and turn it into an unfunded mandate.
By eliminating the deadline, a municipality can utilize their existing budgets, and the required assessment or management method to meet the requirements in the MUTCD as their signs reach the end of their service lives. There is no reason to spend the excessive monies and labor to replace all the signs by a particular date.
The proposed elimination of minimum levels of retroreflectivity for signs would be a step backward for the safety of all drivers and pedestrians nationwide. Although the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is not eliminating the standards, the elimination of the deadlines give state and local governments the option to delay upgrading their traffic signs with these critical, cost-effective safety measures. All of these deadlines have existed for more than two years, and many have existed for more than five years. How much longer must drivers wait for safer roads? Do we want to drive our citizens into the arms of plaintiff’s attorneys as an impetus for needed change?
As the nation’s largest temporary traffic control company, AWP spends more time on the country’s roadways than most drivers and we are privy to safety hazards that exist due to improper and aged traffic signs. Brighter, more retroreflective signs allow for more decision-making time for older drivers and pedestrians, giving them critical time to be in the correct lane, make a left hand turn, or avoid a crash. It is in this instance that every second counts. These sign upgrades will provide those crucial seconds and make a difference in saving the lives of Americans nationwide.
Programs and campaigns such as the USDOT’s “Every Day Counts” and FHWA’s “Toward Zero Deaths” advocate the deployment of vital safety measures to the road as quickly as possible. However, by eliminating compliance deadlines, FHWA is effectively telling Americans that while safe, compliant road signage is critically important, when we get around to enforcing the standards is not as important.
AWP was 100% behind the FHWA taking steps towards making the roadways safer with implementation of new traffic sign designs and minimum retroreflectivity standards. We expended a great deal of effort in working with our customers to make sure they understood the changes to the standards, and helped several become proactive in meeting the standards. Now, those customers who procrastinated feel they have made a strategically correct decision. Is this really how we want to approach safety improvements and enforcement?
From AWP’s observations of the nation’s roadways these days, make no mistake-- the expected “systematic upgrading” of traffic signs is not occurring as FHWA believes it is. State and Local governments need to be motivated – and funded – to actually make these upgrades.
Therefore, with the understanding that budgets are tighter than ever and that signs that meet the new standards provide a needed improvement in safety, FHWA should not eliminate any of the deadlines. At the same time, a source of funding for this important effort in the form of a federal loan program to local governments or even a tenth of a cent increase in the federal gasoline tax should be made available to make this effort affordable. This will serve as proper motivation for completing the required “systematic upgrades” to traffic signs. FHWA should however, extend the deadlines for retroreflectivity upgrades and sign replacement by three years. This would give state and local entities more time to make their upgrades. This compromise would help save lives as well as give more time for the upgrades to be completed.
All of us in the safety business know too well that safety improvements come at a cost. And, like that old TV commercial says: “You can pay me now, or pay me later.” We all know what the right choice is. We just need to summon the will to make it.
Jul 30, 2011
AWP INTRODUCES DIGITAL SPEED TRAILERS IN WORK ZONES
AWP has begun a major initiative to enhance safe operation in customer work areas - the introduction of digital speed trailers.
All of us, as motorists, are familiar with these devices, which provide a flashing digital display depicting your vehicle’s speed. What isn’t very common is the use of this equipment in a flagging operation. AWP has conducted extensive research on these devices, and these studies reveal that use of speed control units has a positive and immediate effect on motorist behavior. AWP's Training and Compliance team, led by Mr. Eric Hulme, demonstrated the clear safety advantages of utilizing this equipment and shared these findings with some of our major customers, who were excited about the benefits as well.
AWP is already planning deployment of eight of these devices in work areas in OH, MI and IN. Within the next year, all AWP locations will be using speed trailers in work zones. Let’s get everyone to SLOW DOWN!
Jul 15, 2011
AWP COMPLETES SECOND QUARTER, 2011 IN RECORD FASHION
AWP President & CEO, Bill Fink, reports that the company had a very successful six months ending June 30, 2011, capped by a record breaking month of June.
According to Mr. Fink, revenues and billable hours were up in the first half of this year when compared to the same period in 2010. In June, the company set records for most billable hours in a single month, most revenue in a month and most revenue billed in a single week. Most significantly, AWP did not have a single employee injury or OSHA recordable incident in June.
In reviewing the 2011 results to date, Fink said that “AWP must continue to operate safely while significantly growing its business at the same time. We can’t have one without the other, and our performance in June certainly demonstrates that we are capable of achieving both goals.”
Looks like we’re on the right track for the remainder of this year.
Aug 17, 2010
NEW SERVICE OFFERINGS
AWP has always embraced the philosophy to perform any service that it can safely provide that is needed by its customers. So far in 2010, the company is moving quickly from concept to reality. In March, AWP began its second year of providing cathodic protection inspections to Columbia Gas. In April, the company was awarded a similar cathodic inspection contract by the Knoxville Utility Board. In July, AWP received a two year contract for steel road plate delivery service to support NiSource operations in Columbus, Ohio. AWP is now exploring the possibility of providing dump truck service to a major utility customer. Clearly, we are more than just a traffic control company.
Jul 27, 2010
NEW AWP LOCATIONS OFF TO FAST START
In March 2010, AWP entered the Florida traffic control market, opening a full service facility in Daytona Beach. Since then, AWP has launched two additional satellite offices – in Green Cove Springs and Melbourne. More than 20 AWP traffic control professionals are now working daily in the Sunshine State, primarily for Florida Power and Light and its affiliated contractors.
In May 2010, AWP was invited by Columbia Gas to expand its presence in the state of Virginia, by opening office in Fishersville and Fredericksburg. This increased activity has prompted American Electric Power to reach out for AWP’s support of its operations in the Roanoke and Lynchburg areas. To date, AWP has more than 17 new employees working daily to promote safety and work area protection
Jul 27, 2010
IT’S HALFTIME: AWP FORGES AHEAD IN 2010
AWP President Bill Fink recently announced that the company recorded encouraging results on all fronts during the first six months of 2010. Fink stated that where safety , compliance, and billable hours are concerned, the company is on pace to match its 2008 performance. Fink pointed to the growth occurring in AWP’s Southern offices as the primary driver for increased business, and he predicted that the company’s safety performance would be at least 50 percent better than results achieved in 2009.
The second half of 2010 is now underway. Here’s hoping that AWP’s good news story continues.
Apr 25, 2010
MORE GOOD NEWS IN THE SOUTHERN REGION!
Bill Fink, AWP’s President, recently announced the opening of two new offices in Virginia. The new offices will be located in Fishersville and Fredericksburg. Both locations will be providing comprehensive traffic control services to Columbia Gas, their outside contractors, and other utility and construction companies throughout the Commonwealth. The two new locations are in addition to our thriving Bristol, VA operation, which was established in 2006. In addition to serving the Fishersville and Fredericksburg areas, these new offices will bring crews to Lynchburg, Roanoke, Wytheville and Charlottesville. Mr. Fink stated that the primary “drivers” for the expansion are the increasingly stringent compliance standards in Virginia, and the increased focus on safety in work areas emanating from AWP’s customers. Opening Day will be in Mid May!
Feb 28, 2010
HEADING SOUTH FOR THE WINTER
AWP President Bill Fink is pleased to announce beginning March 8, 2010, the company will begin providing its full array of traffic control services to Florida Power & Light Company, specifically in their Northern Region. Mr. Fink stated that AWP has established an office in Daytona Beach, which will serve FPL’s needs from St. Augustine to Juno Beach. The move into Florida is yet another extension of AWP’s strategic plan, which began in 2006, to focus growth efforts in the Southeastern U.S. AWP senior management expects the Florida operation to become the largest operating region in the company within the next 2-3 years. Stay tuned!
Jan 15, 2010
WHEN THE GOING GETS TOUGH...
…AWP gets going! When record snow and ice storms pummeled the Mid Atlantic states beginning December 20, 2009, AWP sprang into action to assist American Electric Power (AEP) in its restoration of electric service to more than 1.6 million customers in Tennessee, Virginia, Kentucky, and West Virginia. Forsaking their Christmas and New Year’s holidays, the AWP storm team, consisting of over 135 employees, moved into the affected regions within 48 hours of the initial call to provide traffic control assistance to line crews assembled from all over the country. Facing two feet of snow, bitter cold temperatures, more than 7,000 downed power lines and 400 broken poles, AWP employees safely and consistently guided area motorists around the emergency work areas without incident or delay.
This storm event was the second largest in AWP history, topped only by a tornado event in Northeast Ohio in May 2003. “This kind of event and response sets our company apart from anyone else in the traffic control business,” said AWP President Bill Fink. “When minutes and hours count for our customers, they certainly know who to call,” Mr. Fink went on to say.
Just another reminder as to why AWP is America’s traffic control leader.
Nov 5, 2009
NEW LEADERSHIP AT AWP
AWP President, Bill Fink, has announced a change in upper management at the company.
Donald A. Weidig, a Canton, Ohio resident, has joined AWP as our Chief Financial Officer. A certified public accountant and life-long resident of the Northeast Ohio community, Mr. Weidig has more than 30 years of accounting & finance experience, including spending over ten years with Ernst & Young followed by a number of prominent for profit corporations. Mr. Weidig’s immediate goals are to increase the efficiency of AWP’s internal accounting operations, and to create accurate profit and loss reporting for each of AWP’s regional offices.