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ACTT Workshop: Iowa/Illinois
I-74 Corridor Study - Bridging the Future

Why ACTT, Executive Summary, and 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 into project operations.

Executive Summary

Transportation agencies across the Country are facing unprecedented challenges in the management of traffic, says FHWA's Office of Operations in "Travel Demand Management: 21st Century Operations using 21st Century Technologies":

In the 21st century, strategies to manage demand will be more critical to transportation operations than strategies to increase capacity (supply) of facilities. The inability to easily and quickly add new infrastructure, coupled with the growth in passenger and freight travel, have led to the need for transportation system managers and operators to pay more attention to managing demands.

The need to manage ever-rising traffic volumes is one of the factors driving the I-74 Iowa-Illinois Corridor Study, a major reconstruction project now in the planning phase. Because the corridor runs through two States and three Cities, collaboration and coordination will be important to the success of the project.

Knowing this, the Illinois and Iowa DOTs contacted FHWA about hosting an ACTT workshop for the I-74 corridor study. In discussions held at a pre-planning meeting with FHWA and AASHTO representatives, the project team identified seven skill sets applicable to this project:

  • Construction.
  • Innovative Contracting/Financing.
  • Traffic Engineering/Safety/ITS.
  • Public Involvement.
  • Geotechnical/Pavements/Maintenance.
  • Structures.
  • Right-of-Way/Utilities/Railroad Coordination.

Each skill set team's goal was to focus on how the ACTT process applied to their area of expertise, while the group as a whole searched for methods and measures to help Iowa and Illinois achieve the project goals. As the workshop progressed, each team summarized their thoughts and narrowed them down to a list of priority recommendations for presentation to the group on the final day.

Now that the workshop is complete, the Iowa and Illinois DOTs will review the skill set recommendations and incorporate them into the development of the I-74 Iowa-Illinois Corridor Study.

Chapter 1: Workshop Details

1.1. Opening Session

The Iowa and Illinois DOTs hosted the I-74 Iowa-Illinois Corridor Study workshop October 11-13, 2005, at the Isle of Capri in Bettendorf, Iowa.

Illinois DOT Program Development Engineer Ross Monk and Illinois FHWA Assistant Division Administrator Glenn Fulkerson provided opening remarks, after which the participants introduced themselves. Jerry Blanding, innovative contracting engineer for FHWA's Baltimore Resource Center, and Janeen Loughin, project manager for Stockton & Associates, discussed "Why ACTT, Why Now," and Iowa DOT Project Manager Tammy Nicholson provided a project overview. Mr. Blanding reviewed the workshop agenda, and the day ended with a bus tour of the project area.

1.2. Workshop Process

Mr. Blanding and Mr. Loughin served as workshop and breakout session moderators, respectively. Mr. Loughin began the second day with an overview of the logistics for the breakout sessions. Next, the skill set teams met to discuss the project and brainstorm preliminary ideas. Before lunch, the group reconvened to share the teams' initial ideas. After lunch, the individual skill sets continued their work, intermingling with other teams to ask questions and share ideas. The skill sets spent the remainder of their time preparing final recommendations for presentation to the group on Thursday morning.

1.3. Skill Set Goals

The overall goal for the workshop was to reduce construction time while giving motorists a high-quality product. In addition, participants in each skill set had an established group of goals that was unique to their subject area.

  • Consider constructability of the river bridge structure.
  • Discuss project phasing and coordination between phases.
  • Minimize cost and construct within budget.
  • Minimize construction impacts to traffic.
  • Allow for winter maintenance.
  • Minimize environmental impacts.
Innovative Contracting/Financing
  • Employ appropriate contracting methods to encourage the contractor to speed up construction.
  • Identify contract administration methods that will allow for better utilization of State personnel.
  • Consider innovative financing options applicable to this project.
  • Discuss innovative financing options used by other States (i.e., tolling, bonding, D-B, public/private partnerships, etc.).
Traffic Engineering/Safety/ITS
  • Utilize the existing ITS facilities during construction.
  • Discuss MOT plans and traffic operations during construction.
  • Minimize traffic disruption and incidents during construction.
  • Aim for no worker injuries throughout construction.
  • Keep accidents to a minimum.
  • Accommodate special events.
  • Optimize the utilization of ITS and notification processes to reduce traffic and congestion.
  • Consider the use of improved temporary and permanent pavement markings.
Public Involvement
  • Consider public involvement opportunities both before and during construction.
  • Brainstorm ways to utilize the corridor aesthetics advisory team.
  • Ensure citizens don't dictate what is done with the process.
  • Present ideas to the public that the DOTs are willing to incorporate.
  • Allow for local flavor and buy-in.
  • Consider the look of the corridor-type plantings, etc.
  • Review some of the public involvement activities done to date and discuss new ideas/additional public involvement opportunities.
  • Keep the public informed of progress/schedule/traffic operations.
  • Utilize innovative methods and materials that will allow for faster construction.
  • Look at the opportunities to replace methods specifications with performance specifications.
  • Minimize pavement noise.
  • Reduce settlement times.
  • Discuss the maintenance agreement involving both DOTs.
  • Reduce snow maintenance.
  • Discuss bridge and bike/pedestrian maintenance ideas.
  • Provide a long-life pavement: 50 years without a major maintenance cycle.
  • Reduce structures construction time.
  • Reduce both the initial and life-cycle costs of structures.
  • Consider security risks with one versus two bridges.
  • Consider the use of innovative materials.
  • Consider cost-effective design solutions.
  • Consider other deck arrangement options.
  • Evaluate deck type and deck maintenance.
  • Consider aesthetically pleasing elements and other enhancements (i.e., bike trail).
Right-of-Way/Utilities/Railroad Coordination
  • Identify ways to ensure all utilities are located early.
  • Expedite utility relocations.
  • Minimize ROW delays.
  • Discuss the use of SUE and where/when it might be applicable.
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Updated: 10/27/2015
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