U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590

Skip to content U.S. Department of Transportation/Federal Highway AdministrationU.S. Department of Transportation/Federal Highway Administration


<< PreviousContentsNext >>

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

Chapter 3: Skill Set Recommendations

3.1. Construction

The construction team focused much of its discussion around construction of the central section of the project and the coordination that would be needed between Iowa and Illinois. They put forth many different ideas regarding contract packaging, staging and accelerating construction. Their suggestions are listed below:

Contract Administration
  • Let the entire project as a single super project. This may be difficult due to differences between the two States as well as in union and Davis-Bacon requirements. Also, it may not be politically popular.
  • Let the central segment as three separate contracts. The mainspan bridges and approaches would fall under one big contract. A second contract would be let for the outlying areas in Illinois and a third for the outlying areas in Iowa.
  • Let the central segment as five separate contracts. The five contracts would consist of the Moline approach, the Bettendorf approach, the mainspan bridges, the outlying area in Moline and the outlying area in Bettendorf. The two downtown-area projects and the mainspan bridges would have to be done simultaneously. The construction group thought this idea would work best.
  • Use accelerated construction techniques in downtown Moline (from 5th Avenue to the abutment south of 7th Avenue, including the 7th Avenue Northbound ramp) and in downtown Bettendorf (from Brown Street to the mainspan).
  • Use traditional construction methods north of downtown Bettendorf, south of 7th Avenue and for the mainspan Mississippi River crossing.
Construction Staging
  • Construct the outlying areas in Moline and Bettendorf first. These are independent projects that can be accomplished using traditional construction methods.
  • Open the downtown Moline, Bettendorf and mainspan roadways simultaneously.
    • Accelerate work in the downtown areas and consider these to be critical path items. Take note that the existing footings in the tie-in areas for both Moline and Bettendorf may not be demolished completely.
    • Consider an early phase that includes altering downtown Bettendorf and combining the one-way pair (US 67) with a temporary tie-in to the existing structure. This would limit Brown Street to the bridge.
    • Remember that closure of the northbound 7th Avenue ramp is critical. Consider a hyperfix: completely close the roadway to traffic for a short amount of time rather than staging construction over a longer period of time.
General Contracting
  • Ensure that construction materials are readily available when needed. The river can be utilized to enhance corridor access.
  • Regulate vibration and noise. Ensure that all involved with the project team have a working knowledge of local noise ordinances.
  • Utilize spread footings and rock pocket footings for the structure.
  • Provide staging areas for the contractors, specifically in the tie-in areas. Possible staging areas include the parking lot under the structure between northbound/southbound Illinois 92 on the Illinois side and the new northbound US 67 ramps on the Iowa side.
Physical Features
  • Per DOT agreement, maintain a 400- to 500-foot channel opening during construction:
    • Coordinate with the Coast Guard. Is this a 24/7, 365-days-a-year requirement?
    • Determine whether the requirement will impact the use of river barges for constructing the mainspan.
  • Advocate structure versus fill rather than variegated (fill-structure-fill) through the approach areas. Must consider the public relations impacts of the aesthetics and the long-term maintenance on differential settlement.
  • When looking at final design and construction phasing, remember that the existing footings in the tie-in areas in both Moline and Bettendorf may not be demolished completely.
  • Work with the Coast Guard regarding removal of the existing bridge. Does demolition of the bridge require complete removal of the existing piers/footings versus removal to one foot below the channel bottom?
  • Discuss whether there will be temporary utility relocations associated with construction. They may not be within the final footprint but might be impacted during construction.
  • Coordinate with other entities as needed, i.e., the railroad, FAA and local governments.
  • Consider other environmental issues such as mussels, the effects of demolishing the existing bridge, etc.
  • Obtain project buy-in from local governments and unions.
  • Remember to accommodate winter maintenance: construct 12-foot lanes.
Project Management
  • Prepare formal partnering agreements between parties. This includes a defined conflict resolution process.
  • Have a DOT project manager in a project office in both Iowa and Illinois.
  • Utilize public relations opportunities, and be careful of potential pitfalls (i.e., don't have a completed bridge that's not open).
  • Designate one person as the media spokesperson for the project.

3.2. Innovative Contracting/Financing

The innovative contracting/financing team discussed many techniques new to Iowa and Illinois. The following summarizes their key suggestions:

  • Designate a project director with authority over resident engineers. This person would be accountable to both States and would coordinate the corridor-level effort as well as the public relations program.
  • Establish segment priorities. Prioritization will likely be driven by the availability of funds, outside political pressure and rising user/maintenance costs.
  • At a minimum, coordinate mainspan construction with work on the adjoining interchanges.
Advance Work
  • Advance ROW hardship acquisition, utility contracts and subsurface utility exploration.
Financing Options
  • Consider the following financing options for the I-74 project:
    • Cash reimbursement option.
    • Toll bridge structure only.
    • Toll bridge privatization.
    • State/local partnership: tax increment financing plus annual State payment.
    • Bonds on a Statewide approach.
    • Earmarked monies; future potential.
Design-Build Contracting
  • Consider D-B for the river crossing and the adjacent interchange projects. This would require legislation and a unified approach from both States. D-B would also require a guaranteed funding source.
Contract Coordination
  • Remember that it is very important to coordinate contracts, especially with large projects involving multiple States.
  • Consider forming a bi-State executive team to oversee the project.
  • Develop an ITS plan that both States agree upon. This would be useful for traffic management.
  • Consider using CPM scheduling to filter information and break the project into definable, prioritized packages. If this is used, State personnel would need training.
  • Have a process in place to address conflicts before the project begins. It needs to include conflict resolution and alternative dispute resolution methods. The specifics could be pulled from partnering specifications.
  • Consider the following contracting options:
    • A-plus-B bidding.
    • Warranties.
    • No excuse bonus.
    • Lane rental clause.
    • Constructability meetings.
    • Time between contract letting and startup.
    • Construction window/late start dates.
Performance-Based Traffic Management
  • Use performance-based traffic management specifications to remind the contractors that safety and traffic management are important. The following could be applied to the mainline only or to the entire project:
    • Incentive payment for safety.
    • Incentive payment for congestion mitigation.
    • General inclusion of performance-based specifications where possible.
    • Appropriate risk-sharing with the contractor.

3.3. Traffic Engineering/Safety/ITS

The traffic engineering/safety/ITS group discussed various ways to minimize construction impacts to the general public. They focused much of their discussion on ITS systems, work zone safety, incident management and maintenance of traffic:

Communication and Coordination
  • Define a communication and coordination framework at the executive level in both Iowa and Illinois.
  • Utilize a bi-State approach to project coordination and management.
  • Establish a corridor management team prior to construction. The corridor management team should include the following:
    • Corridor manager (team leader).
    • Traffic manager (i.e., corridor consultant).
    • Web manager.
    • Public information manager.
    • Overall bridge manager.
    • Others as needed.
  • Implement ITS solutions throughout the corridor. It would be best to coordinate between the two States and implement ITS before construction. During construction, a majority of the information will be specific to the ongoing work. Some thought should be given as to what will happen to the system after construction and if there will be a long-term command center.
  • Utilize ITS tools to provide travelers with construction information and to aid in traffic management:
    • Cameras.
    • DMS.
    • HAR.
    • BIMRS.
    • Sensors.
    • Communication (fiber and wireless).
    • Bridge access control system.
    • Accident investigation sites.
    • Public website.
    • Media coordination.
    • CAD/BIMRS integration.
    • Steer-It-Clear-It program.
    • RWIS cameras.
Work Zone Safety

Work zone safety will be very important during construction. The following would help maintain a safe work zone for both workers and drivers:

  • Use physical barrier (barrier rail) to keep traffic separate from workers.
  • Promote public education through the media and use of corridor signage.
  • Provide agency and contractor training.
  • Implement contractor safety awards/incentives.
  • Incorporate ITS tools and data.
  • Provide continuity between the States.
  • Increase law enforcement efforts (speed postings, fines, etc.).
Traffic Incident Management
  • Develop a coordinated traffic management plan. This plan should define emergency access locations and communication protocols. A command center and highway helper system would also be beneficial to the project.
  • Engage stakeholders, especially City officials and emergency responders, early and often.
  • Provide multi-jurisdictional/multi-disciplinary training for those involved in traffic management.
  • Coordinate traffic signals on diversion routes.
Construction Staging/Phasing
  • Coordinate the construction of interchanges so that adjacent facilities are not closed at the same time.
  • Coordinate with local agencies so that adjoining facilities are not under construction when they are needed for diverting I-74 traffic.
  • Enhance the local diversion routes so they are able to handle traffic diverted from the Interstate.
  • Consider access to construction areas and any traffic that may be affected.
  • Use 3D/4D modeling to show how traffic will operate during construction.
  • Develop an extensive media/public outreach program utilizing ITS.
Maintenance of Traffic
  • Maintain two lanes of traffic in each direction (for peak periods) throughout construction.
    • Allow closures based on traffic volumes.
    • Consider a hyperfix at the tie-in locations.
  • Plan for special events.
    • Prohibit lane closures.
    • Promote alternative transportation (i.e., Park-N-Ride).
  • Consider contractor incentives/disincentives, including lane rentals and level of service bonuses.
  • Use consistent standards for both States.
  • Ensure law enforcement presence throughout the project.
  • Plan and promote alternate modes of transportation.
  • Enhance traffic control devices (i.e., pavement markings, etc.).
    • Utilize state-of-the-art (holographic) technology.
    • Consider factors such as inclement weather, nighttime conditions, ease of removal, "ghost markings," durability and the limited vision of older drivers.
    • Use ITS technologies (i.e., DMS, HAR, etc.).
    • Consider using 3D/4D modeling.
    • Research various signing/lighting options.
    • Use more visible/higher-profile traffic control devices.

3.4. Public Involvement

The public involvement team's discussion centered on the fact that public involvement touches all aspects of the project and is important from day one forward. The group communicated several items vital to the success of the project, including legislative and public agency support, knowledge transfer and message continuity. The group discussed various ways to involve constituents, both before and during construction:

Public Involvement Ideas up to Construction and Ongoing
  • Designate a project spokesperson.
  • Develop a project slogan.
  • Utilize public focus groups.
  • Have a staffed project office.
  • Use public access television to publicize project videos and press releases.
  • Schedule breakfasts with local officials.
  • Target minority groups (i.e., through website language conversion).
  • Develop/produce a project newsletter (for mail and e-mail).
  • Have a dedicated project website.
  • Develop a project video.
Public Involvement Ideas during Construction
  • Provide an online "trip planner."
  • Utilize HAR.
  • Provide real-time traffic displays.
  • Host a construction call-in line.
  • Provide construction tours.
  • Promote nighttime construction.
  • Publicize morning commute changes.
  • Provide daily/weekly e-mail updates (for those who would like them).
  • Promote mass transit.
  • Subsidize mass transit.
  • Utilize bridge bucks.
  • Utilize pre-planned routing.
  • Publicize business hour changes.
  • "Scare public" using worst-case scenarios so that they use alternate routes, mass transit, etc.
  • Prepare a bridge fact sheet.
  • Promote project giveaways.
  • Adopt a school.
  • Provide "Open for business" signs for establishments affected by construction detours.
Ways to Utilize Corridor Design Team
  • Have a specialty spokesperson.
  • Promote community ownership.
  • Address context sensitive issues such as sound barriers.
  • Promote community values by asking how dollars should be spent and addressing the perspective from corridor/side roads.
Additional Public Involvement Ideas for Construction Schedule/Traffic Operations Updates
  • Obtain FCC buy-in to temporarily use the same frequency on both sides of the river.
  • Promote project giveaways.
  • Utilize a 1-800 number.
Traffic/Safety/ITS Public Involvement Ideas
  • Educate the public at casinos.
  • Develop a game wheel.
  • Give away prizes/lotto tickets.
  • Have a scratch ticket toll bonus.
  • Put a face on the project; i.e., "Jack Hammer" or "Barrel Man." Put a face on workers.
  • Promote the three Ss (speed, space, seatbelts).
  • Put a project update on the front page of the newspaper (like the weather report).
  • Promote a working relationship between the transportation reporter and project manager.
  • Use billboards to showcase the project.
  • Have a public information expert frame and deliver the public relations messages.
Geotechnical and Materials Public Involvement Ideas
  • Let the public help choose the patterns and colors for facing panels, retaining walls and bridge abutments.
  • Consider the bridge color/paint type. Include pigment in low permeability concrete.
  • Have highway helpers assist stranded motorists during construction.

3.5. Geotechnical/Pavements/Maintenance

The geotechnical/pavements/maintenance skill set discussed ways to accelerate construction of the embankment, provide a long-lasting pavement and minimize long-term maintenance along the I-74 corridor:

  • Optimize the gradation of aggregates (whether PCC or HMA).
  • Consider 3-I aggregates: they are suitable for 30- to 40-year pavement designs.
  • Use Type I and Type II cements.
  • Implement performance-based specifications.
  • Design a thicker pavement and base (has higher initial cost but longer life):
    • Consider a continually reinforced concrete with an HMA wearing surface.
    • Use a one- to two-foot improved subgrade layer; crush the existing concrete to C6 and add fabric if open; cap with three-inch fillings of RAP material.
  • Recycle existing pavement material:
    • Recycle in place.
    • Rubblize existing pavement with HMA on top to speed construction.
    • Recognize that it may be difficult to recycle the mainline pavement due to the use of slag and polymers.
  • Use high-performance concrete.
  • Use precast concrete slabs in critical staging areas.
  • Use local roads early in the project (rather than the mainline) to test new materials.
Structural Materials
  • Use A709 HPS50/70W or A710, grade B high-performance steel.
  • If the bridge is to be painted, choose a bridge color that is not susceptible to fading.
  • Use weldable rebar, either epoxy coated or bare (see IL spec A706).
  • Consider and communicate with maintenance on all aspects of design and construction.
  • Treat the walls with paraffin and avoid rough surfaces to minimize graffiti effects.
  • Minimize corrosion susceptibility by 1) using a spray-on poly-urea coating on steel and concrete structures, and 2) specifying low permeability concrete, weathering steel and/or coated rebar.
  • Landscape with a grass species that has limited growth potential. This will minimize mowing.
  • Design the bridges for easy snow removal:
    • Incorporate automated brining systems.
    • Utilize heated decks.
    • Allow snow to be plowed onto the shoulders and bike paths.
    • Incorporate automated temperature sensing devices into the bridge deck.
    • Use ITS tools to warn drivers of icy conditions.
    • Initiate anti-icing measures.
  • Use durable pavement markings, i.e., inlaid tape, quality reflective markers, etc.
  • Consider maintenance in the design of subdrains:
    • Construct without fabric.
    • Extend outlets beyond mowing lines.
    • Increase outlet gradient.
    • Install durable outlets.
Geotechnical Ground Improvement
  • Complete subsurface investigations early in the design phase: shale was found at 20 to 40 feet on the nearby Rock River Bridge project.
  • Identify high-risk settlement areas and utilize settlement reduction methods as appropriate. They include the following:
    • Wick drains.
    • Lightweight fills.
    • Geofoam.
    • Foam concrete.
    • Expanded slag.
    • Pre-loading.
    • Removal and replacement of compressible soils.
    • In-situ improvement techniques (expensive).
    • Stone columns.
    • Geopiers.
    • Deep soil mixing.
Geotechnical Fill/Embankments
  • In critical staging areas, use the following for temporary fill sections:
    • EPS.
    • GRS.
    • Big rock fill.
  • Perform tests during the design phase of the project. These include subsurface investigations and foundation testing.
  • Design on a case-by-case basis, considering cost, construction time, traffic and adjacent structures. Incorporate the following as necessary:
    • Spread footings on GRS.
    • Spread footings on shallow rock.
    • H/pipe piles.
    • Drilled shafts.
Retaining Walls
  • Use GRS walls, as they:
    • Cost less than MSE walls.
    • Tolerate settlements better than MSE walls.
    • Allow for rapid construction.

This project is very similar in many ways to the Woodrow Wilson Bridge Project near Washington, D.C. Project staff may want to consult with the Maryland and Virginia DOTs to learn from their experiences, especially in dealing with staging.

3.6. Structures

The structures team focused much of their discussion on the Mississippi River crossing, the adjacent approach structures and the tie-down points. They determined that accelerated construction would be the most beneficial where the relocated Interstate ties into the existing alignment:

Mainspan Bridges
  • Build the superstructure offline. This would minimize impacts on river traffic and could be quite cost-effective. The superstructure could be constructed on barges without the deck, and the foundations could be constructed concurrently.
  • Consider hollow precast foundation sections and infill with concrete. This could have a positive impact on aesthetics, and there would be less disruption to pleasure boaters.
Mainspan Approaches
  • Use rapid construction techniques for the approaches. Rapid construction may not be critical to overall project completion.
Tie-in Points
  • Consider a hyperfix for the tie-in locations (a 60-90 day complete closure of the Interstate at the tie-in locations on both sides of the river). Construction of approximately 200 feet of structure at each tie-in location would need to be accelerated.
  • Handle traffic with the following:
    • Divert mainline traffic to City streets and then across the existing bridge. Note: if Interstate traffic will be diverted to the local roads, upgrades to these roads may be required.
    • Use ITS and public involvement tools to encourage people to use alternate routes.
Interchange Bridges
  • Consider the many possible accelerated construction techniques applicable to the interchange bridges. They include the following:
    • Eliminating piers.
    • Using precast substructures.
    • Building the superstructure offline.
    • Moving the bridge into place using horizontal skidding.
    • Using precast decks.
Long-Term Durability
  • Utilize materials that will perform well and last a long time. The following materials will provide long-term durability and may be applicable to the I-74 project:
    • HPC.
    • Low-permeability concrete.
    • Corrosion-protected reinforcement.
    • Weathering steel.
Retaining Walls
  • Consider types of retaining walls that will help accelerate construction, such as:
    • MSE walls.
    • Precast gravity walls.
    • Precast cantilever.
    • Soil nailing.
    • Geofoam.
Rapid Bridge Construction Technology
  • Utilize the following rapid bridge construction techniques at the tie-in locations and for the interchange bridges:
    • Precast piers.
    • Precast bridge decks.
    • Rapid bridge removal.
    • Rapid bridge change-out using SPMTs.
    • Rapid bridge change-out using barges.
    • Horizontal skidding.

3.7. ROW/Utilities/Railroad Coordination

The main message from the ROW/utilities/railroad coordination group was to start coordination with property owners, utility companies and railroad companies early. Their message was that there is less of a chance for delay during construction if the work associated with ROW, utilities and railroads is done as early as possible:

ROW Needs and Activities
  • Ensure that all parcels are identified early. This includes parcels needed for construction, construction staging, traffic maintenance, borrows, utility relocations, wetland mitigation, noise walls, retaining walls, etc.
  • Begin full-scale ROW acquisition when the ROD is approved (at the time the plans are submitted to ROW).
  • If possible, utilize advance hardship acquisition for total take parcels.
Procedures for Expediting Utility/Railroad Adjustments
  • Complete an inventory of existing utilities and railroads as early as possible.
  • Apply appropriate levels of SUE (ASCE 38-02). Without SUE, utility reimbursements risk higher cost.
  • Coordinate lateral utility crossings. If possible, promote sharing of the same trench/box. This will reduce the number of utility crossings.
  • Advance utility reimbursable interest notification. This will expedite agreement on the relocation of facilities.
  • Use the same utility agreement for both States. The States' legal councils would have to review the agreements.
  • Incorporate a fiber-optic bridge attachment into the bridge design instead of adding it later.
  • Allow utilities to remain in place in the existing ROW, especially in the downtown areas where the Interstate is being relocated.
Major Project Issues
  • Identify 4(f) properties (1-Iowa, 2-Illinois); determine impacts and possible mitigation solutions early. This will help identify any potential ROW impacts.
  • Identify contaminated properties early in the process. If these properties are not found until the ROW process begins, there could be delays that affect construction.
  • Look at possible utility relocation issues with the two communications centers in the project area. It would be beneficial to use SUE in these areas. Also, the underground infrastructure must be verified, even though the buildings are not being acquired.
  • Begin railroad grade separation agreements early. The project team needs to determine if there are utilities within the railroad ROW and if the railroad will provide access onto their property to relocate them, if needed.
  • Aggressively attempt to incorporate borrow areas with wetland mitigation needs.
Enhanced Project ROW/Utility/Railroad Coordination
  • Ensure that the I-74 PMT includes ROW, utility and railroad disciplines from both Iowa and Illinois.
  • Meet with all utility companies during the planning/phase development stages. The first meeting should take place after the utility inventory (SUE) is complete.
  • Involve external stakeholders in project issues/decisions involving local public agencies, railroads and private utilities.
<< PreviousContentsNext >>
Updated: 10/27/2015
Federal Highway Administration | 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE | Washington, DC 20590 | 202-366-4000