ACTT Workshop: Minnesota
June 14-16, 2004, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Chapter 1: Accelerated Construction Technology Transfer
Highway construction continues to produce significant disruptions in communities across the nation as Departments of Transportation (DOTs) work to update an aging infrastructure system. While highway construction is unavoidable, excessive construction time is unnecessary and often can be dangerous. It is costly, prolongs workers' exposure to traffic, and subjects travelers to substandard conditions. The Accelerated Construction Technology Transfer (ACTT) initiative aims to minimize travel delays and community disruptions by reducing cost and construction time and improving quality, traffic control, and safety.
ACTT is a process that encourages the use of innovative technologies and methods to accelerate the construction of major highway projects to reduce user delay and community disruption. A complete accelerated construction approach involves evaluating the planning, design, and construction activities within a highway corridor using multiple strategies and technologies. Successful ACTT deployment requires the thorough examination of all facets of a highway corridor with the objective of improving safety and optimizing cost effectiveness while minimizing adverse impacts for the benefit of the traveling public.
Recommendations by Transportation Research Board (TRB) Special Report 249 called for creating a strategic forum to promote accelerated construction in the highway infrastructure. TRB Task Force A5T60 was formed with the objectives of:
- Facilitating removal of barriers to innovation.
- Advocating continuous quality improvement and positive change.
- Enhancing safety and mobility.
- Encouraging the development of strategies that generate beneficial change.
- Creating a framework for informed consideration of innovation.
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 in an outreach effort. The result was the formation of a national resource pool known as the "National Skill Sets Council" and completion of two ACTT pilot workshops (one in Indiana and one in Pennsylvania). Following the pilot workshops, TRB Task Force A5T60 transferred the concept to FHWA and AASHTO to continue the effort by conducting future workshops.
With the successful completion of several ACTT Workshops, including workshops in Texas, California, Montana, Washington, Tennessee, and Oklahoma, the Minnesota Department of Transportation (Mn/DOT) hosted an ACTT Workshop in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in June 2004 that focused on its Crosstown I-35W/TH 62 interchange (Crosstown) project.
I-35W traverses the Cities of Minneapolis and Richfield and shares lanes with Trunk Highway 62 in the Commons section bordering both cities. Mn/DOT has proposed to reconstruct I-35W between 42nd Street in Minneapolis and 66th Street in Richfield, which includes the Commons. Currently, the I-35W and Highway 62 Commons interchange serves a heavy demand but operates very poorly—resulting in significant user delay and safety concerns. This project was considered an ACTT candidate for the following reasons:
- Project development had progressed such that a preferred design had been developed into a detailed geometric layout.
- User delays caused by traffic impacts during construction needed to be reduced.
- The project was ready for a formal Value Engineering study.
1.2 Purpose of ACTT Workshop
The purpose of this ACTT Workshop was to explore innovative ways that would help Mn/DOT complete and open to traffic its Crosstown Project faster and with less adverse impact on the traveling public and/or environment. The workshop brought together a national team of recognized experts in skill areas to meet with their local counterparts from Mn/DOT and SRF Consulting Group, Inc. Over the course of 2 days, the ACTT Workshop team explored innovative ways to accelerate construction throughout the project. The workshop included plenary sessions, breakout sessions, skill-set interaction, recommendations, and closing remarks.
1.3 ACTT Skill Sets
The following skill sets were identified for this ACTT Workshop:
- Right-of-Way and Utilities.
- Innovative Contracting.
- Traffic/ITS/Safety/Public Relations.