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Arkansas DOT’s District Seven Employees Receive Director’s Diamond Award

CAMDEN, AR — More than 50 employees of the Arkansas Department of Transportation’s (ARDOT) District Seven received the Director’s Diamond Award for their diligent work and quick restoration of U.S. Highway 278 in Ouachita County.

Around 6:45 a.m. on March 27, a tractor trailer transporting ammonium nitrate on U.S. Highway 278 exploded after its brakes caught fire. The blast created a 15-foot-deep by 80-foot diameter crater in the highway. ARDOT was given access to the area at approximately 11 a.m. after emergency response and investigative teams completed their work. The driver was killed in the explosion.

Various crew members removed the damaged asphalt, contaminated soil and debris and replaced and rebuilt this section of roadway. These crew members hauled various materials, spread and compacted these materials, placed and compacted several courses of hot mix asphalt and rebuilt the slopes and ditches. They worked every daylight hour and opened the roadway to traffic in less than 48 hours after being given access to the site.

The Diamond Award recognizes employees that have gone above and beyond the call of duty and whose actions exemplify one or more of the department’s core values of safety, public service, teamwork, quality, integrity and efficiency.

“The employees we recognize today made a significant difference among their peers, supervisors and the traveling public,” said Director Scott Bennett. “I am proud of what they accomplished.”

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