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ACTT A "How To" Guide for State Highway Agencies
Appendix C. ACTT Skill Sets
The following skill sets have been highlighted in the ACTT process. They address areas common to most typical highway construction projects. Experts chosen to participate in each skill set have a wealth of knowledge in their assigned areas, are innovative in their approach to problem solving, and generously share their successes and failures with host State DOTs.
Facilitators for skill set breakout sessions are trained and experienced in meeting facilitation and are familiar with the ACTT process and objectives.
- Innovative Financing/Innovative Contracting - Align financing options with the goals of the project by matching anticipated cash flow with project management, while recognizing competing priorities for existing resources. Financing tools could include cost sharing strategies, tolling mechanisms, contractor financing, leveraging techniques, credit assistance, and cost management and containment concepts. Explore state-of-the art contracting practices and obtain a better knowledge of how these techniques could be selected, organized, and assembled to match the specific situations needed on this project. Techniques to be considered include performance related specifications, warranties, design build, maintain, operate, cost + time, partnering escalation agreements, lane rental, incentive/disincentives, value engineering, and any other innovative contracting techniques that would apply to the project.
- ROW/Utilities/Railroad Coordination - Right-of-way, utility, and RR delays seriously impact accelerated operations. More innovative solutions are required for both short and long-term time sensitive construction projects. Right-of-way considerations include State laws and procedures covering acquisition and relocation, numbers and types of businesses and residences that may be impacted, ready availability of additional right-of-way, and sometimes, the number of outdoor advertising structures in the project area. Other items to consider are industry respon- siveness, incentive-based utility agreements, corridor approaches to utility agreements, contracting for utility work, and non-destructive methods of utility relocation. When applicable, close railroad coordination is essential for a project for construction access or work impacting the railroad lines.
- Environment - Scope-of-work and construction activities need to reflect environmental concerns to ensure the most accommodating and cost effective product while minimizing natural and socio-economic impacts.
- Geotechnical/Materials/Accelerated Testing - Subsurface conditions and issues should be explored to assess their impacts on the project. Based on the geography of the project, subsurface investigation may be complicated by traffic volume, environmental hazards, utilities, railroad property and right-of-way. Pursue options to expedite and facilitate turnaround times in material testing for material acceptance and contractor payment. The use of innovative materials should be explored and encouraged on projects to maximize the creative characteristics of the designer and contractor. By identifying project performance goals and objective, the designer and contractor have the maximum freedom to determine the appropriate methodology for constructing the project.
- Traffic Engineering/Safety/ITS - Enhanced safety and improved traffic management by corridor contracting should be considered. Developing and evaluating contract models may illustrate the best use of incentives to enhance safety and improve traffic flow during and after construction. Evaluating both the construction and maintenance work may help assess traffic and safety issues more fully than the conventional project-by-project approach. Early assessment can result in better information to the traveling public and politicians on the relationships among crashes, delays, mobility, total traffic volume, truck traffic volumes, and the need for lane closures during construction. Implement integrated ITS systems to communicate construction information to motorists via radio, Internet, wireless alerts, along with incident management systems/services.
- Structures (bridges, retaining walls, culverts, miscellaneous) - Accelerating the construction of structures will require deviation from standard practices for design and construction and include early coordination between designers and contractors. A systems approach from the "ground up" will be necessary instead of emphasis on individual components. Prefabrication, preassembly, incremental launching, lift-in, roll-in, etc., are systems or concepts with proven contributions to accelerating construction and should be understood and receive priority consideration. Designers have several options in structure types and materials to meet design requirements, but identifying the most accommodating system while minimizing adverse project impacts should be the objective.
- Roadway/Geometric Design - Highway geometrics can greatly impact project funds and integrity. Although designers may have several options meeting design standard requirements, identifying the most accommodating product while minimizing adverse impacts should be the objective.
- Long Life Pavements/Maintenance - It is feasible to acquire pavement designs approaching 50 to 60 years by telling the contractor what was wanted, rather than how to build the pavement. By identifying and communicating the pavement performance goals and objectives for the pavement, the designer and contractor have the maximum freedom to determine the appropriate methodology. Explore the future maintenance issues on the project including winter services, traffic operations, preventative maintenance, and any other concerns that may impact the operation of the project features.
- Construction (techniques, automation, and constructability) - Accelerated construction may press the contractor to deliver a quality product in confined time frames and areas, while maintaining traffic. Completion milestones and maintenance and protection of traffic are key elements visible to the traveling public. Allowing contractors to have input on design elements that would impact time or quality during construction can improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the overall project completion. The use of automation to enhance construction equipment performance, construction engineering and surveying, data collection and documentation, and contract administration should be explored and implemented.
- Public Relations - The vast majority of our nation's highway projects involve reconstruction of existing facilities under or adjacent to traffic. It's imperative to partner with local entities and effectively inform the communities and the traveling public to minimize construction delays as well as adverse socio-economic impacts.
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