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


<< Previous Contents Next >>

Michigan: Spanning the Past: The I-94 Rehabilitation Project

Skill Set Recommendations

3.1. Innovative Construction

The innovative construction skill set offered the following recommendations:

  • Coordinate all utility work before beginning construction.
    • Incorporate utility work into the construction contract.
  • Begin utility relocation and railroad work first.
  • Construct service drives and bridges.
  • Sequence the bridge closures to maintain access.
    • Use a construction planner.
  • Close the freeway in stages.
    • Utilize closures between the major interchanges.
    • Base limits on traffic considerations.
  • Utilize detour routes for through traffic.
  • Maintain local traffic on service drives.
  • Utilize constructability reviews.
  • Consider partnering.
  • Provide incentives/disincentives.
  • Consider D-B (one contract).
    • Pros
      • Makes contractor responsible for utilities, coordination, etc., and on-time delivery.
      • Allows contractor to optimize scheduling.
      • Reduces procurement time.
      • Lowers the risk for MDOT.
      • Shortens contract duration.
      • Has lower administration costs and one mobilization cost.
    • Cons
      • Is counter to MDOT's D-B experience.
      • Will lose control of project at MDOT.
      • Have no D-B firms in Michigan. MDOT would have a small pool of bidders, which could increase the cost.
      • Faces lack of political support.
      • May not be able to get an Act 51 match from the City of Detroit.
      • May encounter D-B claims.
  • Consider design-bid-build (multiple contracts).
    • Pros
      • Falls within MDOT's comfort zone.
      • Has the potential to attract more bidders, particularly more local bidders. More bidders means lower bid prices.
      • Requires a smaller initial-dollar commitment.
      • Faces greater political buy-in.
    • Cons
      • Allows less innovation.
      • Will likely take more time and more coordination.
      • Will likely have to address multiple claims under multiple contracts.
  • Utilize alternate pavement designs. Address State law constraints with regard to life-cycle cost analysis.
  • Pre-purchase materials with long lead times.
  • Pre-coordinate suppliers.
  • Establish automated material certification.
  • Utilize innovative materials, such as:
    • Fiber reinforced polymer (FRP).
    • Precast bridge deck panels, walls, sub-structures and beams.
    • High-performance pavement.
    • High-strength steel or concrete beams.
  • Maintain local access.
  • Use buses to shuttle local motorists.
  • Provide "bridge bucks" – incentives for commuters to stay away from the construction area.
  • Establish evacuation routes and routes for emergency vehicles, special events and incident management activities.
Additional Recommendations
  • Purchase/lease staging areas for the contractor.
  • Hire local labor. Hire local organizations to recruit and train staff (environmental justice, or EJ).
  • Allow no design exceptions.
  • Provide a contingency to accommodate delays.
  • Ensure maintenance coordination.
  • Identify contaminated materials and relocation areas early.
  • Validate the location of utilities prior to construction. Utilize subsurface utility engineering (SUE).
  • Have an SUE coordinator on board during design and construction.
  • Coordinate railroad work:
    • Temporary bridges.
    • Railroad flagging.
    • Train schedule.
    • Work planned by railroad.
  • Utilize innovative demolition methods.

3.2. Structures

The structures team offered the following recommendations:

Shallow Structure Types
  • Consider shallow structure types, such as:
    • Channel bridge.
    • Cable-stayed bridge with slab superstructure.
    • Tied-arch bridge with slab superstructure.
    • Conventional beam bridge with integral supports.
    • Segmental voided slab.
  • Utilize prefabrication as much as possible:
    • Segmental concrete superstructure.
    • Precast piers.
    • Precast abutments.
    • Precast deck panels.
    • Precast bridge barrier.
    • Temporary bridges (Bailey/Acrow).
High-performance Materials
  • Use high-performance materials, such as:
    • Polymer asphalt.
    • High-performance concrete (HPC).
    • High-performance steel (HPS).
    • Self-consolidated concrete (SCC).
    • High strength concrete.
    • Initial overlays.
Retaining Walls
  • Remove retaining walls, purchase additional ROW and lay slope back at 3:1.
  • Install soldier pile, soil nailed or secant walls.
Service Drive Expansion
  • Expand the service drive over the slope near the Wayne State University (WSU) parking garage.
  • Consider cantilever construction over the mainline.
Foundations for Interchanges
  • Utilize single/mono shaft foundations.
  • Consider large diameter foundations closed in steel pipe pile.
  • Use a post grouted shaft.
Railway Crossings
  • Construct temporary railroad bridges as necessary.
  • Divert rail traffic onto one bridge in areas with multiple tracks.
  • Roll in a prefabricated bridge during a short closure.
  • Use an edge girder floor beam system.
Interchange Construction Staging
  • Build new ramps before eliminating movements.
  • Use a construction planner to manage the construction sequence for the whole interchange.
  • Consider segmental box or steel box/plate ramp bridges.
  • Utilize temporary structures to move traffic.
Advanced Contracting
  • Identify bridges for early construction/replacement due to poor condition.
  • Let an advance contract for relocation of utilities.
Minimizing Future Maintenance
  • Design to minimize future maintenance:
    • Eliminate expansion joints.
    • Design for continuity.
    • Minimize the number of bearings.
Erection Methods
  • Use innovative erections methods, such as:
    • Self-propelled modular transporters (SPMTs).
    • Roll in.
    • High-capacity cranes.
    • Erection gantry.

3.3. Public Relations/CSS

The public relations/CSS crew offered the slogan "Getting More Out of I-94!" and centered their recommendations on the "Identify, Involve, Inform" model:

  • Identify:
    • The "community."
    • Project vision, challenges and potential conflicts.
    • Key messages.
    • Stakeholders, customers and partners.
    • Work force.
    • Funding options.
    • Political ramifications.
    • Policy issues.
    • Integrated transportation needs.
  • Inform:
    • Develop a marketing plan to share the project vision.
    • Utilize extensive public outreach efforts.
    • Discuss project funding.
    • Use a communications toolbox.
    • Develop a "face" for the project.
    • Establish rapport with the media.
    • Share all mitigation plans.
    • Manage the public's expectations.
  • Involve:
    • Invite public participation.
    • Show commitment, trust and continuity.
    • Seek out and support CSS.
    • Empower stakeholders – build a sense of ownership in the project.
    • Embrace innovation.
    • Ensure that MDOT's actions are consistent with its words.

3.4. Traffic Engineering/Safety/ITS

The traffic engineering/safety/ITS skill set defined the group's assumptions before offering their recommendations:

  • MDOT is focused on accelerated construction techniques.
  • Consider closure during construction.
  • MDOT will phase construction, with a minimum of three phases and three to six years for construction.
  • The continuous service drive will not be available for use.
  • Local roads may be designated as alternate routes.
  • Preconstruction
    • Improve ITS on all non-freeway systems.
    • Install permanent changeable message signs at major decision points.
    • Evaluate the use of probe data for travel times.
    • Coordinate ITS with Ontario, Ohio, the Detroit International Bridge Company (DIBC), other MDOT regions, etc.
  • During Construction
    • Set up temporary work zone ITS.
      • Track and report alternate route travel times.
      • Provide queue detection and warning at key locations.
      • Supplement the permanent system.
      • Integrate video and data into the permanent system.
Traffic Operations
  • Preconstruction
    • Retime the signals on the alternate routes.
    • Make safety/capacity improvements on alternate routes.
    • Provide signal priority for public transit.
    • Conduct an extensive public information campaign.
  • During Construction
    • Monitor and evaluate alternate routes.
    • Coordinate special events.
    • Maintain continuous communication with media outlets.
Access Management
  • Preconstruction
    • Work with the City of Detroit and local businesses to control access along alternate trunk line routes and service drives.
    • Work with stakeholders to ensure access to businesses and institutions.
  • During Construction
    • Use barrels/barriers to limit the number of local access driveways to the service drive.
Incident Management
  • Preconstruction and During Construction
    • Establish a traffic incident management task force (IMTF) during the design phase.
      • Identify geometric requirements for incident management.
      • Push quick clearance legislation and technologies.
    • Solicit input by emergency service stakeholders during the design and construction processes.
    • Expand the freeway courtesy patrol for the life of the project.
    • Identify field equipment and other incident management resources needed for the construction zones.
Travel Demand Management (TDM)
  • Preconstruction
    • Use model information to develop detour routes/construction staging.
    • Work with businesses to promote telecommuting and alternate work hours.
    • Explore the use of incentives for public transportation.
  • During Construction
    • Establish a traffic management coordinator.
Transit and Other Modes of Transportation
  • Preconstruction
    • Identify alternate bus routes.
    • Establish Ann Arbor to Detroit rail.
    • Coordinate with the Detroit Department of Transportation (DDOT) and Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation (SMART).
    • Work with the private sector on vanpooling during construction.
  • During Construction
    • Provide signal priority for public transit.
    • Use established vanpooling.
Work Zone Mobility
  • Preconstruction
    • Utilize process improvement intervention during the design phase to test and modify different traffic schemes.
    • Implement recommendations of the IMTF.
    • Update emergency response plans and routes.
  • During Construction
    • Maintain operations on alternate and detour routes.
    • Hold bi-weekly incident management review meetings.

3.5. Innovative Construction Contracting and Financing

The innovative construction contracting and financing team discussed the State's funding situation before exploring innovative financing options for the project:

  • MDOT's current annual road and bridge program is $1.3 billion.
  • The cost for the I-94 project is estimated to be $1.2 billion in 2004 dollars.
  • The I-94 project is one of several high-cost projects in the planning phase.
  • State/Federal dollars are inadequate to meet condition goals.
  • Offers a traditional contracting method.
  • Provides a pay-as-you-go process.
  • Allows MDOT to contract design and construction separately.
  • Can award one or multiple construction contracts separately, concurrently or over time.
  • Make the selection based on low bid.
  • Use MDOT's capital.
A-plus-B-plus-C Contracting
  • Offers a traditional contracting method (A-plus-B).
  • Rely on contractor to provide bid for cost and schedule.
  • Make the selection based on low bid.
  • Can include performance options pertaining to traffic capacity, safety during construction and/or the present value of maintenance costs.
  • Use MDOT's capital.
  • Let one contract for design and construction.
  • Can utilize one or more D-B contract(s).
  • Make selection based on best value.
  • Use MDOT's capital.
  • Is similar to D-B.
  • Make contractor responsible for long-term maintenance and/or operations.
  • Shifts responsibility of maintenance to contractor.
  • Make selection based on best value.
  • Use MDOT's capital.
  • Define contract specifics and ongoing performance requirements in the request for proposals (RFPs).
Public-Private Partnerships (PPP)
  • Seek private capital investment in exchange for future revenue.
  • Contract between public and private entities to lessen the public entity's involvement.
    • Shifts the risk for future profit from the public entity to the private entity.
  • Secure a long-term lease agreement.
  • Make selection based on best value.
  • Use the private vendors' capital.
Innovative Construction Contracting and Financing
  • Consider the following options:
    • Existing revenues, i.e., State user fees, Federal revenue (advanced construction), bonds/notes, local matches, economic development funds.
    • Grant Anticipation Revenue Vehicle (GARVEE) Bonds.
      • Utilize to leverage Federal-aid.
      • Pay bond debt with future Federal dollars.
    • Revenue bonds.
      • Pay bond debt with future State dollars.
    • Private Activity Bonds (PABs) – private entities utilizing tax exempt bonds.
      • Must be Title 23 eligible.
      • Note: The current Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) authorization is for $15 billion.
    • Transportation Infrastructure Finance Innovation Act (TIFIA) financing, a USDOT financing program.
      • Can use for both public and private entities.
      • Finance one-third of the project cost with a subordinate lien position. This results in a lower interest rate for the primary loan.
      • Provides a new source of revenue.
      • Pay back over 35 years, with first payment due in 5 years.
    • Tolling.
      • Have user pay for the concept.
      • Creates a revenue stream.
      • Is applicable with added capacity or congestion pricing.
      • Consider pilot program with FHWA to toll for rehabilitation of existing Interstates.
      • Consider a pilot program with FHWA for an express lane demonstration program.
    • State Infrastructure Bank (SIB), Rail Infrastructure Bank (RIB) or Section 129 loans.
Non-user Revenues
  • Utilize economic development funds.
  • Consider local option taxes.
  • Work with regional authorities.
Financial Plan
  • Develop a financial plan that is a working document. It needs to be updated as the project changes.
  • Note that this plan is subject to FHWA approval.
Final Recommendations
  • Change State law.
  • Conduct a toll feasibility study.
  • Consider private participation.
  • Increase user fees.
  • Tap non-user revenues.
  • Consider a single D-B contract.
    • Provides access to innovation.
    • Offers single-point coordination.
    • Advances the project schedule.

3.6. Utilities/Railroad Coordination

The utilities/railroad coordination crew offered the following recommendations:

Utilities Coordinator
  • Designate a full-time MDOT utilities coordinator to oversee all aspects of utility coordination, communication and cooperation during design and construction.
  • Will act as "go to" person for MDOT, utilities and vendors.
  • Update current SUE data.
  • Have SUE provider available during design and construction.
  • Utilize SUE deliverables effectively with stakeholders.
  • Utilize SUE to expedite conflict resolution.
Municipal Utility Issues
  • Establish early and frequent communication with municipal utilities.
  • Identify potential "show stoppers" early on.
  • Identify all relocation work and proposed work.
  • Coordinate with stakeholders.
Public/Private Utility Issues
  • Establish early and frequent communication with public/private utilities.
  • Identify potential "show stoppers" early on.
  • Identify all relocation work and proposed work.
  • Identify reimbursable relocations.
  • Consider advance utility relocations.
  • Coordinate with stakeholders.
  • Participate in preliminary engineering costs for public/private utilities.
    • Provides incentive to public/private utilities to cooperate in a timely manner.
    • Increases cooperation during design phase.
  • Form a steering committee consisting of officials from MDOT and the railroads.
    • Give the committee the authority to make high-level decisions.
    • Expedite railroad decision-making, i.e., trackage rights, union work rules, etc.
  • Form a design engineering committee.
    • Establish early and frequent communication with railroads.
    • Identify design constraints early on.
    • Identify potential "show stoppers" early on.
  • Provide adequate time in the MDOT process for railroad coordination.
    • Need a two-year minimum coordination time. Coordination time begins with MDOT's submittal of preliminary plans to the railroad.
  • Contract with qualified vendor to perform railroad coordination.
    • Ensure that vendor is knowledgeable in railroad operations and effective in obtaining railroad approvals.
    • Involve MDOT railroad experts in vendor selection process.
At-grade Crossings
  • Coordinate at-grade crossings with service roads.
  • Hold the diagnostic team review meeting well in advance of construction, if required.
Maintenance of Railroad Traffic
  • Establish early and frequent communication with railroad.
  • Construct temporary runaround/"shoo-fly" tracks.
  • Consider part-width bridge construction.
  • Roll in/lift in the superstructure.
  • Build the new (permanent) bridges parallel to the existing railroad structures.
  • Establish trackage rights agreements between the railroads during construction.
  • Consider eliminating two railroad structures over I-75. This will require the railroad's approval.

3.7. Roadway/Geometric Design

The roadway/geometric design group reviewed the VE study completed in May 2004 and concluded that the proposals presented are valid design items, noting that they do not appear to accelerate construction or significantly reduce costs. The team then offered the following recommendations:

Freeway-to-Freeway Interchanges
  • Establish the design speed of the reconstructed freeway.
  • Consider a posted speed limit increase to 70 mph with a design speed of 75 mph.
    • Note that a design speed of 75 mph was not used to complete the preliminary engineering work. This may impact proposed design and ROW requirements.
  • Incorporate the new geometric design guides that are awaiting approval. (The design is based on the old design guides.) This may increase the ROW footprint of each interchange.
  • Maintain lane configurations and traveling speeds along the ramps within the interchanges. This will reduce broken back curves and unexpected lane drops.
    • Ensure that ramp speeds adhere to current AASHTO policy.
    • Note that this may increase the ROW footprint of each interchange.
Balancing Access versus Operation
  • Re-examine the proposed access points (entrance and exit ramps) to address I-94 capacity and operational issues. Changes to the current design may re-open the ROD.
Balancing Geometrics, Safety and Access
  • Review the proposed geometry at the Packard curve and other constrained locations.
  • Avoid design exceptions.
  • Maintain continuous pedestrian access (sidewalks) along the service drives, through the M-10 and I-75 interchanges and over the Dequindre Yards area.
    • Note: Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards and Non-Motorized Guidelines will have to be followed, which may have impacts throughout the corridor.
Items Outside of Listed Goals
  • Consider cantilevering the service drives over the mainline to minimize ROW needs, costs and community impacts. Since there are soil stability concerns, further study is recommended.
  • Use retaining walls versus 1:3 slopes.
    • Needs to be investigated due to ROW, constructability and soil stability concerns.
  • Address drainage issues by keeping the construction site dry.
  • Evaluate whether the proposed design should consider a longer planning and operational horizon.
  • Name the resident engineer early. He or she needs to provide input on constructability issues during design.

3.8. Geotechnical Engineering/AcceleratedMaterials Testing

The geotechnical engineering/accelerated materials testing skill set discussed the strength of the clay and the potential instability of various slopes along I-94 before offering their recommendations:

Stability Approaches
  • Reduce the depth of the excavation. Consider a slender bridge beam.
  • Acquire the ROW needed for flatter slopes and raised structures.
  • Utilize mitigation measures to prevent instability, such as:
    • Geofoam/lightweight fill.
    • Ground improvements.
    • Tie backs/soil nails.
    • Internal bracing at the railroads.
    • Chemical stabilization of the subgrade.
  • Use slopes instead of retaining walls where possible.
  • Flatten slopes, i.e., 1:3.
Retaining Walls
  • Provide mitigation as necessary to ensure adequate stability.
  • Consider the following wall concepts:
    • Concrete cantilever.
    • Mechanically stabilized earth (MSE).
    • Soil nail.
    • Tieback.
Other Recommendations
  • Retain a local geotechnical consultant.
  • Review existing subsurface information.
  • Perform a feasibility study of the project retaining walls/slopes.
  • Conduct an early stability analysis to size the wall and mitigation components.
<< Previous Contents Next >>
Updated: 10/27/2015
Federal Highway Administration | 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE | Washington, DC 20590 | 202-366-4000