ACTT Workshop: Louisiana
December 15-17, 2003, West Monroe, Louisiana
Chapter 1: ACTT Background & Purpose
In recent years, communities have witnessed a tremendous increase in highway construction activity, addressing the need to preserve or rebuild our highway infrastructure. Although highway construction is unavoidable, unnecessarily long construction time should be avoided because the process is costly, exposes construction workers to traffic, and subjects motorists to substandard conditions. ACTT can help to minimize traffic delays and community disruptions by reducing construction time while improving construction quality and work zone safety.
ACTT is a strategic process that uses innovative technologies and techniques to reduce construction time on major highway projects while improving construction quality and work zone safety. A complete Accelerated Construction approach involves the evaluation of all aspects of highway projects, from planning and development to design and construction, within a highway corridor. Successfully deploying ACTT for the benefit of the traveling public requires a thorough examination of all facets of highway corridors, with the objective of improving safety, optimizing cost effectiveness, and minimizing adverse impacts.
Recommendations outlined in Special Report 249 from the Transportation Research Board (TRB) called for the creation of a forum to promote accelerated construction in the highway infrastructure. Based on this recommendation, TRB Task Force A5T60 was formed in 1999 with the following objectives:
- Remove barriers to innovation.
- Advocate continuous quality improvement and positive change.
- Enhance safety and mobility.
- Encourage the development of beneficial strategies.
- Create a framework for evaluating proposed innovations.
Fully supporting the task force's mission and objectives, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the Technology Implementation Group (TIG) of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) joined the task force's outreach effort. This resulted in the formation of a national resource pool known as the "National Skill Sets Council" and completion of two ACTT pilot workshops. With successful completion of the two pilot workshops (one in Indiana and the other in Pennsylvania), A5T60 passed the concept off to TIG and FHWA to continue the effort by conducting all future workshops.
In 2003, the ACTT Management Team, consisting of TIG and FHWA representatives, started implementing the ACTT program by sharing its work plan with State DOTs and soliciting their consideration of the concept on major highway projects by hosting an ACTT workshop. LDOTD selected the I-20 rehabilitation project as the focus of its workshop. The rationales for choosing this particular project, which involves the rehabilitation of a 40-year-old section of I-20 in Monroe, include:
- The route passes through Monroe just south of the original downtown area on a 2.9-km (1.8-mi) section of elevated highway that includes the spans crossing the Ouachita River.
- The elevated section of I-20 has remained in service with routine maintenance and only one major rehabilitation performed since 1965.
- The current traffic volumes and lack of realistic detour routes would create gridlock within the area highway system, including the Interstate, during the planned rehabilitation.
- The project site and required work did not seem compatible with achieving traffic control and construction time goals.
1.2 Purpose Of ACTT
The purpose of an ACTT Workshop is to explore innovative ways that highway corridors could be brought to full service more quickly and safely, and with fewer adverse impacts on the traveling public. The Louisiana workshop brought a multidisciplinary national team of transportation professionals together with their local counterparts. The workshop participants explored innovative ways to accelerate the rehabilitation of I-20. The workshop included plenary sessions, breakout sessions, skill set interaction, closing remarks, and a follow-up action plan.