ACTT Workshop: Georgia
I-75 from SR 54 North to Aviation Boulevard - for HOV Lanes
Why ACTT, Executive Summary, Workshop Details
- ACTT provides a fresh outlook by bringing national experts to your planning table.
- ACTT introduces innovations that have been tested elsewhere.
- ACTT saves time: according to FHWA's ACTT II report, published in March 2005, "most agencies have found ways to slice construction time by 30 percent or more."
- ACTT saves money: ACTT suggestions enabled New Jersey to reduce its budget for the Route 46 bridge project from $10 million to $7.2 million.
- ACTT works for you and your customer!
How Do I ACTT?
- Select a corridor: ACTT is most helpful when applied during the project development phase.
- Make a workshop proposal to ACTT team members, and submit a copy of your proposal to the FHWA Division Office. Include details on the project corridor, timeline and goals.
- Hold a pre-workshop meeting with the ACTT management team.
- Select a meeting site, and coordinate workshop details with the FHWA Division Office.
- Host the workshop.
- Draft a report for submittal to FHWA.
- Incorporate ACTT in to project operations.
In Unclogging America's Arteries: Effective Relief for Highway Bottlenecks, published in February 2004, the American Highway Users Alliance identified the 24 worst physical bottlenecks in the U.S. in 2002. Los Angeles, California, received the most mentions at five, and Atlanta, Georgia, came in a close second with three. The Atlanta bottlenecks identified in the study occurred at or near three major interstate interchanges, including the junction of Interstate 285 (I-285) with Interstate 75 (I-75). This key juncture is located just south of Aviation Boulevard and the proposed international terminal for Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport and was already the focus of planning studies being conducted by the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT).
Those planning efforts took center stage when Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue introduced his Fast Forward Congestion Relief Program to State residents in April 2004. Fast Forward is a comprehensive six-year, $15.5 billion transportation program designed to relieve congestion and spur economic growth by accelerating existing projects. It does so by utilizing a combination of regular GDOT funding, General Obligation and Guaranteed Revenue Bonds (GRB) and GARVEE bonds to implement both short- and long-term congestion relief strategies, including the expansion of high-occupancy vehicle, or HOV lanes in metropolitan areas.
Not surprisingly, the I-75 from SR 54 North to Aviation Boulevard - for HOV Lanes project in Atlanta is part of the governor's Fast Forward program. And, as of December 2004, it became part of the Accelerated Construction Technology Transfer, or ACTT, process as well when transportation officials from around the nation came together to address issues surrounding the $90 million reconstruction project.
The primary objectives of I-75 from SR 54 North to Aviation Boulevard - for HOV Lanes are to add northbound and southbound HOV lanes; reconstruct five interchanges, including one system-to-system interchange (I-285/I-75); and add noise barriers. GDOT's preferred typical section includes one or two barrier-separated HOV lanes in each direction with at least one new, exclusively-HOV interchange. The north end of the project will connect to existing HOV lanes but will require special coordination as it is near the airport, which is a major traffic generator.
With the above in mind, GDOT and the ACTT management team established six skill sets for the Atlanta workshop:
- Innovative Contracting and Financing.
- Public Relations.
Over the course of the workshop, each skill set compiled a list of recommendations for the I-75 project. GDOT is in the process of reviewing these suggestions and incorporating them in to I-75 from SR 54 North to Aviation Boulevard - for HOV Lanes.
Chapter 1: Workshop Details
1.1. Opening Session
The I-75 from SR 54 North to Aviation Boulevard - for HOV Lanes workshop took place November 30 to December 2, 2004, at the Georgia Tech Global Learning & Conference Center in Atlanta, Georgia.
Dan Sanayi, construction and systems preservation engineer for FHWA, served as the workshop moderator. Following a brief orientation session for facilitators and note-takers, the workshop commenced with welcoming remarks from GDOT Commissioner Harold Linnenkohl. Linnenkohl outlined the significance of the project to the Atlanta area and asked workshop participants to be creative in identifying methods for achieving project goals, minimizing construction time and maintaining work zone safety. FHWA Georgia Division Director Robert Callan spoke next, reemphasizing the importance of minimizing impacts to the community.
Dave Gehr, vice president for Parsons Brinkerhoff and former commissioner of Virginia DOT, followed with a discussion of "Why ACTT, Why Now," after which workshop participants introduced themselves. The group then toured the project corridor.
1.2. Workshop Process
The Atlanta gathering followed the traditional ACTT workshop structure, with Brian Barth of the Texas DOT serving as the work session moderator. Under his direction, the skill sets broke out into small groups to begin their discussions. At the end of the morning session, each team presented their initial findings to the entire group. The work sessions continued after lunch, with the teams intermingling to ask questions and discuss key issues as they finalized their recommendations. A representative from each skill set presented their final thoughts on the third day.