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ACTT Workshop: Idaho
The I-84 Corridor Improvements Project

3. Skill Set Recommendations

3.1. Construction

The construction skill set offered the following recommendations:

  • Let separate contracts for road work and structure work.
  • Obtain environmental permits early, especially for the Orchard to Gowen portion.
  • Provide access breaks for the contractor to utilize staging areas.
  • Use State-owned constructability reviews; this may allow more out-of-area contractors to bid on the projects.
  • Meet individually with contractors at 60 percent design.
  • Conduct web-based constructability reviews.
  • Use a lump sum contract versus unit pricing.
    • Requires less labor to administer.
    • May cost less over the life of the project; some States report a four to five percent price savings.
  • Pre-negotiate a contract for hazardous waste removal.
  • Utilize incentives to accelerate construction, i.e., A-plus-B bidding, short-time schedules, lane rentals, etc.
  • Incorporate milestones into the contract language.
  • Relocate all utilities prior to construction utilizing advance relocation contracts.
  • Relocate utilities as part of the construction project.
    • Use joint participation agreements.
    • Compile a list of pre-approved utility subcontractors.
  • Restrict new utilities to locating their lines in pre-designated locations.
  • Work with the Joint Trench Commission – Idaho Power Coordinator.
  • Pre-cast structures.
  • Consider time restrictions for construction due to the irrigation season.
  • Utilize self-propelled modular transporters (SPMTs).
    • Allows for quick removal of existing bridges with limited work over the roadway.
    • Provides quicker construction/demolition.
    • Enables construction of replacement bridges in a remote location (not over the roadway).
    • Increases public and worker safety.
    • Provides a high degree of quality control.
    • Also has disadvantages:
      • Is new technology so ITD has limited experience with it.
      • Need temporary bent construction.
      • Requires correct survey with close attention to tolerances.
      • Increases cost.
  • Pre-cast bridge elements, including deck panels.
  • Consider alternate materials for sound walls; post and panel can be built faster than concrete block.
  • Standardize bridge construction. Utilize the existing foundations, abutments and piers, if possible.
  • Package multiple bridges under one contract.
  • Start the bridge projects first.
  • Allow a complete bridge closure for up to one month, and offer an incentive for using less closure time.
I-84 Overpasses
  • Depress local streets to at-grade and make all I-84 structures overpasses.
    • Eliminates clearance issues for Interstate traffic.
    • Allows for future widening without significant ROW concerns.
    • Requires a major change in philosophy. Cost is a concern as well.
  • Maintain two lanes at all times.
  • Improve existing shoulders and shift lanes onto the outside shoulders.
  • Utilize median as work zone for new work.
  • Construct the new bridge on-site in the median.
  • Construct everything but the center span that will cross the local roads. Then close the local roads for a limited time (provide an incentive) and construct the center span. Complete the overpass project:
    • Shift traffic to the new I-84 bridge.
    • Remove, fill and restore local roads to their at-grade configurations.
    • Relocate the on-ramps closer to I-84/within the State ROW.
  • Utilize mechanically stabilized earth (MSE) walls.
  • Consider an un-bonded concrete overlay with an asphalt leveling course.
  • Mill out four to five inches of the existing asphalt pavement and replace it with six to eight inches of Superpave.
  • Consider raising the bridges to obtain clearance rather than excavating and removing the pavement under the structures.
  • Upgrade roadway shoulders before putting traffic on them.
  • Note that concrete can be placed later in the season than asphalt.

3.2. Pavement/Geotechnical & Materials

The pavement/geotechnical & materials crew offered the following recommendations:

Pavements: Challenges or Issues Common to All Pavement Types
  • Vertical clearance issues under structures.
  • Lane delineation/horizontal clearance.
  • Need to construct structures first!
Composite Pavement
  • Consider a concrete slab with a three-inch asphalt overlay.
    • Has initial higher cost but is readily renewable.
    • Eliminates final "concrete" texture.
    • Offers good performance in high-traffic areas.
  • Note issues related to working with two material types, i.e., contractor familiarity.
Concrete/Paving Options
  • Consider jointed plain concrete pavement (JPCP).
    • Is ITD's traditional concrete pavement. Contractors are familiar with this method.
  • Utilize continuously reinforced concrete (CRC), where there are no joints to construct or maintain.
    • Has proven performance. It is used in other parts of the country, but there is a lack of experience with CRC locally.
    • Costs more and takes longer. Utilizing CRC is labor-intensive.
    • Makes phasing of work more difficult.
  • Consider asphalt concrete pavement (asphalt over a granular or cement recycled asphalt base stabilization – CRABS – base).
    • Lessens construction time under traffic.
    • It's a familiar construction technique, so there's a large contractor pool.
    • Ruts more easily.
    • Requires more maintenance.
  • Utilize crack and seat. This will minimize traffic impacts.
    • Break the concrete into three- to four-foot sections and overlay.
    • Can recycle existing material.
    • Face risk of reflective cracking.
    • Does not offer a viable long-term solution.
    • Need to consider vibration concerns for adjacent owners.
Rubblization of Existing Pavement
  • Break up existing concrete to three-inch minus material and overlay with asphalt.
    • Recycles existing concrete.
    • Eliminates reflective cracking.
    • Reduces required sub-base.
    • Is more expensive than crack and seat.
    • Can't run traffic during construction.
    • Limits profile and grade adjustments.
Rigid Pavement over CRABS
  • Lay concrete over an existing pulverized asphalt base; this is a proven process in Idaho.
    • Provides material for a third lane. Some material might need to be removed.
Fast Track Concrete
  • Utilize fast-set concrete for early opening of traffic.
    • Can get in and out quickly.
    • Is more expensive.
    • Has durability concerns, i.e., shrinkage and cracking.
Base Material
  • Utilize an asphalt-treated base or a cement-treated base.
    • Performs well under concrete.
    • Is a familiar product for contractors.
    • Is non-erodible.
    • Is more expensive than an aggregate base.
    • Requires mix design.
    • Note: cement-treated base has a questionable performance history in Idaho.
  • Consider an untreated aggregate base.
    • Performs well under concrete.
    • Is a familiar product for contractors.
    • Has a lower cost than a treated base.
    • Provides for ease of placement.
    • Requires more pavement and is erodible.
  • Evaluate a permeable versus a dense-graded base, noting that a permeable base drains more rapidly.
    • Need edge drains and a drainage system with a permeable base.
    • Incur more expense with a permeable base.
Sub-base Material
  • Utilize a granular sub-base and rock cap.
    • Costs less than an aggregate base.
    • Allows for larger number of sources (because of lower quality requirements).
    • Need to investigate availability of rock cap.
  • Eliminate soil nail wall by removing the loop ramp at Meridian Road. This change may necessitate the addition of lanes to Meridian Road.
    • Eliminates the need to construct another wall.
    • Minimizes construction costs.
    • Will increase left-turn traffic volume at the intersection.

3.3. Innovative Contracting

The innovative contracting team centered their recommendations on four key areas:

  • Contract scope.
  • Contract terms.
  • Contracting methods.
  • Optimal use of available funds.
Contract Scope
  • Phase early work opportunities.
  • Identify critical path items.
  • Issue separate contracts for tasks such as utility relocation, grading and drainage, sound walls and paving. Smaller contracts match cash flow.
  • Start construction before design is complete.
Contract Terms
  • Provide a "no-excuse" bonus that awards early completion.
    • Include a clause allowing no claims.
  • Consider other incentives as well.
  • Expand procurement options to include design-build (D-B).
    • Is a proven delivery method that was used as early as 1436 for the dome of the Florence Cathedral.
    • Saves time.
      • Obligate money earlier.
      • Start/finish construction sooner.
      • Allows for concurrent design and construction.
      • Applies to large or small projects.
  • Consider best value procurement as well.
Optimal Use of Available Funds
  • Align legislative appropriations with the GARVEE program.
  • Right-size each contract.
    • Consider that large-dollar contracts might be more efficient.
    • Note that "smart" work packages are limited by the amount of available funding.
    • Remember that cash flow may impact program delivery.

3.4. Maintenance & Operations

The maintenance & operations skill set offered a number of recommendations for pre-construction, construction and post-construction:

Corridor Manager
  • Hire a corridor manager, and maintain his/her presence throughout the project continuum.
  • Make the corridor manager responsible for coordinating the development of the design, construction, maintenance and public relation activities for all projects. The coordinator would be responsible for coordinating these functions with the following entities:
    • Utilities.
    • Contractors.
    • Canal companies.
    • Police.
    • ITD maintenance.
    • ITD district 3.
    • Public transportation.
    • Other public agencies.
Alternate Route Data Base
  • Assemble an alternate route data base.
    • Inventory information on alternate routes.
    • Update data on geometric and structural limitations.
Construction Phasing
  • Consider preliminary contracts to complete work that does not affect mainline traffic, i.e., work on the interchanges, over-crossing structures, medians and noise walls.
  • Expedite mainline construction to minimize traffic impacts.
Alternate Pavement Treatments
  • Investigate alternate pavement preservation and rehabilitation strategies.
  • Consider extending the pavement service life by utilizing construction staging options.
  • Educate the public; this will require an extensive public relations effort.
Public Transportation
  • Enhance public transportation by providing more services for the following:
    • Buses – additional express bus service.
    • Vanpools – additional vehicles.
    • Carpool – a carpool matching system.
    • Park & Ride – additional parking facilities for bus, vanpool and carpool users.
Incident Management/Response
  • Prepare maintenance crews for what they will encounter within the work zone.
  • Expand the existing incident response program throughout the corridor.
  • Consider outsourcing incident response.
  • Rebuild the incident management team.
Smart Work Zones
  • Utilize real-time message boards.
  • Prioritize signals on the mainline.
  • Consider ramp meters on alternate routes.
  • Utilize 511.
  • Utilize the Advanced Traffic Management System (ATMS).
  • Continue with these measures post-construction.
  • Look at pavement drainage issues, and coordinate with construction.
  • Analyze how grade changes and median construction will affect drainage.
Traffic Safety and Delineation
  • Look at the visibility of pavement markings.
  • Utilize rumble strips.
  • Consider raised pavement markers.
  • Ensure that the maintenance contract defines adverse winter weather maintenance requirements and responsibilities.
  • Develop a comprehensive vegetation management plan.
  • Promote an asset management philosophy that includes:
    • Network and corridor approach.
    • Short- and long-term costs.
    • Bridge management.
    • Pavement management.
    • Maintenance management.
    • Safety.
    • Operations.
  • Optimize median barrier treatments based on maintenance and operations costs and performance.
  • Develop an all-inclusive, activity-based, long-term maintenance contract for fence-to-fence maintenance.

3.5. Public Relations

The public relations team offered the following recommendations:

Market Research
  • Use university students and programs.
  • Explore existing research/publications.
  • Hire a market research company, if necessary.
Stakeholder Identification/Communication
  • Develop stakeholder mailing lists.
  • Utilize signage on roadways.
  • Promote the project at the State fair and other major events.
Key Messages
  • Develop key messages that:
    • Articulate the benefits of the project.
    • Discuss traffic impacts.
    • Develop support for the project.
    • Promote safety.
Corridor Brand
  • Brand the corridor.
  • Institute a public education campaign.
  • Develop a media campaign.
Corridor Spokesperson
  • Designate an ITD representative to speak to the media.
  • Consider the community liaison as an alternate spokesperson.
Community Liaison
  • Hire a community liaison to answer high-level questions and represent the project at community events.
    • Explore funding partnerships.
    • Make this a full-time position.
Community Information Center
  • Establish a community information center to be staffed by the community liaison.
    • Partner with local agencies for funding.
    • Note the importance of location, location, location!
Additional Recommendations
  • Promote corridor and project events. Utilize an outside firm, if necessary, since some projects are ready for construction.
  • Mitigate traffic impacts.
  • Collaborate with emergency medical service (EMS) providers.
  • Ensure the communication of project information internally.
  • Establish rapport with communication partners.
  • Dedicate a minimum of one percent of the project budget to public relations.
  • Seek additional funding sources, i.e., FHWA, local employers and other partners.
  • Consider cost sharing.

3.6. Roadway Design/Utilities

The roadway design/utilities crew offered the following recommendations:

Get In, Stay In, Get Out, Stay Out (GISIGOSO)
  • Conduct a reverse engineering process to establish the project timeline.
  • Perform an overall cash flow analysis.
  • Consider GARVEE funding; it supports GISIGOSO.
  • Utilize this philosophy to lessen traveler impacts, beat inflation and enhance safety.
  • Avoid any adverse perception of the duration of the project.
Garrity to Meridian Projects
  • Build the corridor so it is open to three lanes in each direction.
    • Provides optimal traffic maintenance opportunities. There aren't any air quality conformity issues.
  • Design the overpasses for two lanes now but expandable for the future.
Gowen Road to Isaac's Canyon Crack and Seat
  • Prepare a comprehensive life-cycle cost analysis comparing a crack and seat with a complete rebuild.
  • Will require additional funding during the current funding cycle.
  • Will provide long-term savings.
  • Involve the utilities early, including coordination and surveying.
  • Implement subsurface utility engineering (SUE) to relocate utilities quickly.
  • Create a full-time utility coordinator.
  • Involve the irrigation districts early.
    • Address water quality issues.
    • Note that the irrigation districts trump ITD.
  • Begin immediately.
    • Solicit input on drainage design for both water quality and water quantity.
Materials Standardization
  • Develop process for early approval and acquisition of standardized materials and supplies that can be made available to the contractor. They should be:
    • Owner provided.
    • On hand.
    • Materials for landscaping, color pallets, traffic control items, etc.
Sound Walls and Fiber-optics
  • Address fiber-optic and ROW issues early on; sound walls are a priority.
    • Purchase ROW now to minimize rebuilding the final wall later.
  • Consider conduit sections to minimize fiber-optic relocations and/or ease construction.
Work Zone Access
  • Clearly define work zone access in the D-B documents.
    • Have contractors bid on the exact same project variables.
    • Allow creativity and value engineering (VE).
  • Consider prescribed access breaks, i.e., every three miles.
Interchange Footprint
  • Review interchange concept layouts to reduce ROW and utility impacts and create a buffer zone.
    • Review traffic operations analysis as well as lane numbers and arrangements.
    • Consider optimized bridge width based on traffic operations.
    • Incorporate this into the CIP work flow and corridor design process.

3.7. Structures/Railroad Coordination

The structures/railroad coordination team offered a number of recommendations:

Design/Construction Collaboration
  • Create a win/win/win environment.
  • Initiate partner agreements among the contractor, designer and owner.
  • Provide continuous communication, both periodic and ad hoc.
  • Develop goal-oriented processes.
    • Conduct onboard reviews.
    • Address railroad issues early.
    • Define environmental constraints early.
  • Provide project coordination.
    • Requires early and continuous involvement of all disciplines.
Acceleration of Project Development (Design and Construction)
  • Set a benchmark of 30 percent preliminary design for bidding, similar to CALTRANS' design sequencing.
  • Establish parallel tracks for design and construction.
  • Incorporate the contractor's means and methods into the design.
  • Maintain owner control.
  • Ensure that the designer is independently contracted with the owner.
  • Provide contract incentives for the designer.
  • Promote a high level of partnering.
Accelerated Design Development
  • Pre-contract on a task order basis for design consultations.
  • Conduct pre-design bridge workshops for type, size & location (TS&L) development.
  • Utilize an accelerated design review process with collaborative meetings.
  • Minimize design details.
  • Consider prefabricating the following:
    • Foundations.
    • Piers.
    • Abutments.
    • Girders.
    • Deck slabs.
    • Barriers.
    • Spans.
    • Retaining walls (MSE).
    • Sound walls.
Innovative Construction Methods
  • Consider innovative construction methods, such as:
    • Roll in.
    • The use of SPMTs at near-by staging areas.
    • Longitudinal launching.
    • The use of cranes for component erection.
  • Pre-procure the following materials:
    • Steel H piles.
    • Beams.
    • Cement.
    • Pre-cast components.
    • Drain pipes.
    • Manholes.
High-performance Materials
  • Use high-performance concrete (HPC) in all areas possible:
    • Decks.
    • Overlays.
    • Girders.
    • Piers.
  • Consider carbon fiber wrap.
  • Use high-performance steel (HPS).
Economy of Scale
  • Package multiple structures into a single contract.
  • Utilize a phased approach to control sequencing and packaging.
  • Consider standardized designs.
Temporary Structures
  • Utilize temporary structures to maintain traffic flow.
  • Consider a temporary superstructure. Value will be added by reuse.
  • Consider temporary substructure bents.

3.8. Traffic Operations/ITS

The traffic operations/ITS crew offered the following recommendations:

Maintaining Corridor Capacity
  • Designate alternate routes and make improvements as needed.
  • Utilize ITS.
  • Establish construction performance measures.
  • Use the median for temporary lanes.
    • Utilize temporary pavement and structures.
  • Utilize reversible lanes.
  • Establish incident management vehicles.
  • Designate a corridor traffic manager with responsibility for the following:
    • Coordinating individual contracts/traffic control plans/construction access.
    • Establishing construction performance measures, i.e., delay times, crashes, queue lengths, speeds, congestion, travel times through corridor, etc.
    • Coordinating with key stakeholders.
Travel Demand Management (TDM)
  • Work with employers, i.e., Micron, to modify shift times.
  • Consider reversible lanes.
  • Promote the use of vanpools, public transit and Park & Ride.
  • Designate alternate routes for large vehicles.
  • Incorporate TDM incentives into the construction contract:
    • Guaranteed Ride Home. (Expand the program.)
    • Fleet vehicle (or others available) for personal trips.
    • Wireless fidelity (WiFi) on buses/vans.
    • Expansion of carpool match program.
    • Education of employers regarding travel demand programs.
    • Carpools/vanpools.
    • Downtown parking for carpool/vanpool vehicles.
    • Flextime.
    • Expansion of public bus system and incentives.
    • Express bus services.
    • Special event transit options.
  • Utilize ITS to disseminate real-time traffic information.
Safety of Travelers and Workers
  • Incorporate safety performance measures and incentives into the construction contract.
  • Develop a worksite traffic control plan for getting trucks in and out of the construction site.
  • Protect workers from traffic.
  • Develop an incident management/emergency response plan that includes the following:
    • The establishment of prestaged wreckers and additional incident response vehicles.
    • Construction phasing for incident plan.
    • Protocol regarding coordination: whom to contact and who is responsible in the event of an emergency.
    • Plan for access to the Interstate.
    • Agreements with law enforcement.
    • Emergency response times for those crossing/using the corridor.
    • A contingency plan in the event of a snow storm or pavement failure.
    • Designation of pull-outs and enforcement areas.
  • Utilize additional law enforcement in the work zone.
  • Increase safety training.
  • Promote safety for pedestrians and bicyclists.
Minimizing Impacts of Construction
  • Coordinate multiple projects simultaneously.
  • Provide financial incentives for minimizing construction time/impacts.
  • Utilize alternate routes. Will require agency and project coordination.
    • Make necessary intersection and lane improvements.
    • Accelerate current projects.
    • Provide public with advance warning.
    • Establish and publicize weight limits.
    • Designate truck and wide load routes.
    • Interconnect all signals on all routes in Canyon and Ada Counties.
    • Use cameras to capture real-time traffic information.
    • Notify employers about alternate routes, especially in the case of delays.
    • Establish temporary routes for temporary closures.
  • Communicate with the public.
  • Use variable message signs (VMS) to provide real-time travel times/construction information.
Long-term Regional Traffic Management
  • Improve local roads.
  • Establish more Park & Ride lots.
  • Promote vanpool and transit options.
  • Utilize ramp metering/peak high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes.
  • Utilize available ITS technology to:
    • Communicate with travelers during and after construction.
      • Highway Advisory Radio (HAR).
      • 511 input for Internet.
    • Collect and respond to data.
      • Variable speed limits.
      • VMS.
      • Real-time travel times.
  • Adjust signal timing on alternate routes.
  • Promote incident detection and emergency responses.
  • Utilize ramp metering.
  • Operate the traffic management center (TMC) 24/7.
  • Identify and address problems, i.e., the cumulative effects of multiple projects.
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Updated: 10/27/2015
Federal Highway Administration | 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE | Washington, DC 20590 | 202-366-4000