Joseph Baker, Acting
The Division of Highway and Bridge Maintenance is responsible for the routine maintenance of approximately 1100 miles of state highways, 836 bridges, along with the associated roadsides, and highway appurtenances. The Maintenance Division is comprised of several units that address the various aspects of the highway system. The individual units are as follows:
Administration - Includes the Administrator’s Office, which is responsible for supervision, planning, and administration for the Division as a whole.
Automotive - Is responsible for the maintenance and repair of the division’s 600+/- unit fleet of heavy trucks and other equipment. The fleet includes cranes, pick-ups, trailers, compressors, road graders, six and ten-wheel dumps, and all manner of equipment in between. Most of the repairs and maintenance of these vehicles is contracted. This Unit ensures that the work provided by these vendors is properly authorized, reviewed, and documented prior to payment.
Bridge Maintnenace - Addresses bridge repairs on a day-to-day basis including deck and joint repairs, masonry repairs, cleaning, and other work, which generally is in urgent need of attention.
Business Office - Responsible for the administration of the Division’s purchasing and bill paying functions. This section contracts the services of as many as 400 vehicles during the winter operations. The Business Office also ensures that all documentation supporting hours worked is in place prior to paying for these services. Maintenance processes the payment for a multitude of products and services for field personnel. The Business Office also participates in the preparation of contract specifications and documents to support the acquisition of materials and services for the Division.
Employee Relations Office - This office is responsible for all matters regarding personnel of the Maintenance Division including, but not limited to, labor relations, Workers Compensation, training, interviewing new hires, etc.
Engineering - The function of this unit is multi-faceted and handles the following functions:
- Review and resolution of drainage problems
- Issuance and inspection of permits for work within the state right-of-way
- Review of excess property prior to sale
- Preparation of contracts that are administered by Divisional personnel
- Coordinate the Division’s requests for pavement projects including overlays and crack sealing
Field Operations - This is the group of individuals that are the embodiment of the Division of Maintenance and probably the transportation worker most known to the public. They are the field staff that cut the grass clean the drainage structures, fill the potholes, and plow the snow. This section is located at satellite facilities throughout the state to respond efficiently to the needs in their geographic area. They also assist other agencies and municipalities as typified by the following:
Safety Barriers - Is responsible for the maintenance of the guardrail, fences and impact attenuators along the state highway. Repairs are contracted and funded as federally funded highway projects.
Traffic Maintenance - Provides for the maintenance of highway appurtenances including signs, traffic signals, highway illumination, call boxes, and other motorist guidance aids.
Claims Section - Responsible for the reviewing and processing of all pothole, state fleet, mailbox and miscellaneous tort claims. Section is responsible for making final agency decisions for pothole claims.
Environmental Section/Roadside Section - Is responsible for ensuring the Department's compliance with state and federal environmental regulations. This group is also responsible for statewide herbicide spraying, tree trimming/removal, and in-house beautification projects around the State of Rhode Island.