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ACTT Workshop: Georgia
I-75 from SR 54 North to Aviation Boulevard - for HOV Lanes

Chapter 3: Skill Set Recommendations

3.1. Construction

Total Directional Closure & Interchange Closures
  • Close one direction at a time and use alternate routes.
  • Use I-20 to I-285 to I-675 as the primary alternate.
  • Include specified maximum closure times and the appropriate incentives/disincentives.
Partial Closures
  • Consider partial closures if total closure isn't feasible.
  • Widen the outside southbound first and shift traffic to the widened area; then close the northbound totally.
  • Allow two lanes for northbound traffic in the southbound area (counterflow).
  • Consider other partial closure scenarios.
Preliminary Work
  • Perform any preliminary work ahead of mainline work.
  • Do preparatory work on primary alternate route: I-675 at I-75.
  • Add acceleration/deceleration lanes.
  • Extend the six-lane section south to the I-75 merge.
  • Consider other work:
    • Overpass structures.
    • Drainage, grading and fencing.
    • Retaining walls and sound walls. Consider precast, prefabricated and standardized.
Public Involvement/Public Relations
  • Involve major stakeholders early and keep them informed as part of the process.
  • Conduct a major PR campaign for closures.
  • Get information to tourists.
  • Consider incentives like free express buses.
Design Elements
  • Consider elevated HOV lanes in restricted areas:
    • At interchanges for HOV access/exit.
    • In environmental areas, i.e., wetlands.
  • Shift centerline and alignment.
    • Could be either temporary or permanent.
    • Would facilitate lane closures, traffic flow and geometrics.
Innovative Contracting
  • Use incentives and disincentives, A-plus-B contracting and interim completion dates.
  • Consider lane rentals and design-build (D-B).
  • Make Value Engineering (VE) proposals more attractive.
  • Coordination of FAA Project @ Aviation Blvd
  • Consider DOT construction management for the whole corridor.
Project Administration Streamlining
  • Use submittal processing.
  • Have higher approval authority for contract change orders at the project level.
  • Have an active advisory team.
  • Use electronic document control.
  • Conduct regular tests and inspections.
One Total Construction Contract
  • Use one contract to facilitate coordination and expedite the construction process.
  • Use special prequalifications.
  • Hold a mandatory pre-bid conference.
  • Make advance plans available.
Constructibility Review
  • Hold reviews beginning at the early design stage.
  • Include industry, DOT, FHWA, FAA, the Atlanta Airport, utilities, environmental agencies and other major design stakeholders in the process.

3.2. Geometrics

The geometrics team recommended using barrier-separated HOV where possible because of safety, operational, enforcement and pricing concerns:

  • Build the barrier section with the expectation of having two HOV lanes; buy ROW and build the structure cost effectively.
  • Eliminate the slip ramps at JC Penney and Lynwood Drive. This would address safety issues and eliminate operational problems caused by weaves to the slip ramps from the mainline.
  • Improve secondary roads and connections to provide easier access to the HOV lanes.
  • Allow one to three miles between drop ramps: proper HOV interchange spacing would reduce turbulence and provide the best access to the HOV interchange.
    • Consider a full diamond interchange at Aviation Blvd.
    • Construct a split diamond HOV interchange at Bob White northbound and Old Dixie southbound.
  • Provide wishbone access from the I-75 HOV lanes to the C-D roads to I-285, since the connection between the I-75 HOV lanes and I-285 is imperative.
  • Do not use D-B: the complexity is too great.
  • Coordinate with Transit and Park & Ride.
The team made the following structure joint notations:
  • The C-D system/wishbones/elevated interchange with I-285 will be dependent upon funding.
  • Realignment of I-75 to the west in the northern portion would be expensive.
  • They would prefer a half-diamond HOV interchange at Bob White Trail, north side. (Local roads must still be reworked.)
  • Realignment of Forest Parkway is recommended to facilitate traffic flow during construction.

3.3. Innovative Contracting and Financing

Financing Goals
  • Identify new financing sources.
  • Consider public-private partnerships (PPP) - private equity or debt.
  • Use the Fast Forward bonding program.
  • Bonds should be applied to the construction phase.
  • Bonds would be repaid with State and Federal funds.
Prioritized Financing Recommendations
  1. Encourage private participation in a PPP with a toll facility. Public-private transportation legislation is in place.
  2. Reallocate resources/funding to accelerate the project.
  3. Build and manage a toll facility (100% public funds).
  4. Implement a sales tax, a user fee based on a defined area or a mileage fee based on miles driven.
  5. Apply for TIFIA, Transportation Infrastructure Finance & Innovation Act Federal credit assistance.
  6. Use SIB loans - would require State legislation and a capitalization source.
Additional Considerations
  • Issue tax-exempt bonds through Section 63-20 and/or proposed Private Activity provisions.
  • Fund construction sooner with GRB by reallocating bond proceeds from other projects.
  • Include HOT (High Occupancy Tolls) or TOT (Truck Only Tolls) for tolling concept.
Contracting Goals
  • Shorten the schedule.
  • Minimize the impacts to traffic.
  • Guarantee quality.
Delivery Options
D-B (Design-Build) Option
  • Eliminate the $10 million statutory cap.
  • Award a single contract.
  • Assign dedicated project management personnel.
  • Consider a PPP contract that includes finance, operations and maintenance.
D-B-B (Design-Bid-Build) Option
  • Assign a dedicated project manager.
  • Perform a third-party constructibility review.
  • Allow contractor-designed traffic staging/management.
  • Use D-B for specific features.
  • To implement Fast Forward, augment program delivery capability.
    • Outsourcing.
    • PPP.
    • GDOT staff.
Procurement
  • Use cost-plus-time (A-plus-B) bidding to shorten the schedule.
  • Solicit alternate bids when there's no change in the environmental impact.
  • For D-B or PPP delivery, use a two-step best-value selection process featuring cost and other factors. Amend State legislation, if necessary.
  • For D-B-B delivery, use special prequalifications to shortlist qualified contractors.
Contract Management
  • Use incentives and disincentives for construction time.
  • Implement traffic management incentives and disincentives.
  • Use lane rental: assess daily/hourly rental fees for taking lanes/ramps out of service.
  • Use travel time: compensate the contractor for reduced travel time, or assess contractor for excess travel time.
  • Provide temporary transit alternatives during construction.
Administrative Procedures
  • Use the following to accelerate construction:
    • Partnering.
    • Advisory team issue resolution (during design and construction).
    • Mediation.
    • Mandatory pre-bid meeting.
    • Pre-construction workshops with third-party coordination.
    • Public outreach.
Quality Management
  • Include quality control/quality assurance (QC/QA) specifications and quality-based incentives.
  • Include performance specifications.
  • Require a pavement warranty.

3.4. Public Relations

GDOT Messages
  • Establish a project team with representation from all areas.
  • Coordinate with GDOT communications office on all messaging, logos, signs and pr efforts statewide, including consultant projects. The inconsistency in HOV/carpool lane signing in Atlanta is a case in point.
  • Begin coordination during the planning process, and include it in every stage forward.
Research
  • Hire a media-messaging consultant.
  • Research best management practices in State and nationally.
Market Survey
  • Identify project stakeholders.
  • Identify the cultures and communities that will be affected.
  • Find what resonates with the public.
  • Ascertain how the public wants to receive information.
Objectives and Strategies
  • Share market survey results internally.
  • Utilize the market survey results to further community outreach during the environmental phase.
  • Work with the project team to develop future strategies, measures and themes with the intent to preserve the fabric of the community as much as possible.
  • Do follow-up surveys to determine the effectiveness of the measures used and to adjust tactics as needed.
Tactics
  • Promote at umbrella and community-specific levels.
  • Target your message.
    1. Businesses.
    2. Community.
    3. Government.
    4. Media.
    5. Internal audience.
  • Define campaign specifics.
  • Share changes and success stories.
  • Involve communications staff in designing the preliminary engineering scope of work.
  • Make public outreach a standing component in construction budget.
  • Ensure that the communications office is the central point of contact/oversight for all communications efforts.
  • Use a "countdown to completion" and related incentives/disincentives.
  • Secure professional endorsements.
  • Consider third-party endorsements.
Other Issues
  • Consider linking this project to reconstruction of the SR-54 interchange and any other local projects.
  • If directional lane closures are used:
    • Elevate the public information campaign and the associated funding.
    • Consider hiring a consultant.
    • Consider additional elements such as billboards and outreach to other states.

3.5. Structures

Key Recommendations
  • Place HOV lanes next to the median.
  • Consider a half diamond design at Bob White Trail.
  • Build just north of the existing bridge.
  • Consider temporary closure of the Bob White Trail bridge if the alignment isn't shifted.
  • Redo local/frontage roads at the SR-85 interchange and from Bob White Trail to US-19/41.
  • Realign the Forest Parkway ramp to improve traffic and the maintenance of traffic during reconstruction.
  • Accelerate Forest Parkway and US-41 to minimize impacts.
  • Accelerate the project by optimizing the schedule:
    • Prefabrication.
    • Pre-assembly.
    • D-B.
  • Allow alternatives such as the use of existing piers.
General Bridge Issues
  • Remove and replace walls where needed. Use MSE walls.
  • Consider different material/construction methods:
    • Use earth walls at Bob White Trail bridge.
    • Use maturity meters.
    • Consider including road user costs in comparing options - but they must be defined.
  • Use pre-stressed beams for:
    • Forest Parkway - both bridges.
    • Bob White Trail.
    • US-41.
  • Use curved steel girder on the Forest Parkway ramp.
  • Make Lynwood Drive a normal steel widening project.

3.6. Traffic/Safety/ITS

Traffic Goals
  • Improve air quality.
  • Reduce congestion.
  • Maintain traffic during construction.
  • Maximize HOV/HOT.
  • Minimize impacts on the public and local businesses.
Traffic Recommendations
  • Develop the concept of operations.
    • Conduct an origin-destination study to identify what type of traffic this facility is going to serve: short-trip or longer-distance commuters (those traveling more than 10-12 miles).
    • Make a choice between express/HOV/HOT/commercial truck lanes or a combination thereof.
  • Plan for maintenance of traffic during construction.
    • Prepare a traffic impact statement.
    • Prepare for closures and use of alternate routes.
    • Flexible closures: full/staged/time of day/time of week.
    • Use of I-675.
    • Upgrading of crossroads or parallel routes.
    • Use of incentives/disincentives in regards to their impact on the public.
    • Use of free buses to promote temporary or long-term mode shift.
    • Identification of staff to communicate with public (local and through traffic) and with project/GDOT staff.
  • Incorporate/promote Park and Ride facilities.
Safety Goals
  • Reduce accidents.
  • Provide effective incident management.
Safety Recommendations
  • Evaluate the use of barrier or buffer (striped) lane separation.
  • Implement enforcement/crash investigation sites.
  • Coordinate with local jurisdictions and facilities.
  • Have pre-defined incident response plans (including during the construction phase).
  • Use HERO, an "on-call" wrecker service and local officials.
  • Use toll tag requirements and locations.
  • Use vertical screens in the work zone to prevent rubbernecking.
ITS Goals
  • Use the Transportation Management Center (TMC) for continuity of operations.
ITS Recommendations
  • Replace the current fiber optics network with wireless communications.
  • Provide enforcement utilizing available technologies.
  • Provide real-time traveler information to the public.
  • Depending on the ultimate concept, install and use ramp meters.
  • Utilize smart work zones/portable trailers.
  • Use dynamic message signs (DMS), closed circuit television (CCTV) and detectors to support HOV/HOT lane operations.
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Updated: 10/31/2013
Federal Highway Administration | 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE | Washington, DC 20590 | 202-366-4000