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ACTT Workshop: New Hampshire
Bridging Multiple Communities
Why ACTT, Executive Summary, and Workshop Details
- ACTT provides a fresh outlook by bringing national experts to your planning table.
- ACTT introduces innovations that have been tested elsewhere.
- ACTT saves time: according to FHWA's ACTT II report, published in March 2005, "most agencies have found ways to slice construction time by 30 percent or more."
- ACTT saves money: ACTT suggestions enabled New Jersey to reduce its budget for the Route 46 bridge project from $10 million to $7.2 million.
- ACTT works for you and your customer!
How Do I ACTT?
- Select a corridor: ACTT is most helpful when applied during the project development phase.
- Make a workshop proposal to ACTT team members, and submit a copy of your proposal to the FHWA Division Office. Include details on the project corridor, timeline and goals.
- Hold a pre-workshop meeting with the ACTT management team.
- Select a meeting site, and coordinate workshop details with the FHWA Division Office.
- Host the workshop.
- Draft a report for submittal to FHWA.
- Incorporate ACTT into project operations.
"As long as the Interstate is the highway supporting our society, economy, and national security, it will forever need to be the beneficiary of our attention and investment. The ribbon cuttings will never end!"
The Roads That Built America:
The Incredible Story of the U.S. Interstate System, 2003
Like many of its counterparts, the State of New Hampshire is grappling with the fact that its Interstate is a vital infrastructure in urgent need of reconstruction.
One particular area of concern for New Hampshire is the stretch of I-93 beginning at the New Hampshire/Massachusetts State line and continuing north 19.8 miles to the I-93/I-293 interchange. The I-93 Improvements project, as the New Hampshire Department of Transportation (NHDOT) calls it, traverses five communities - Salem, Windham, Derry, Londonderry and Manchester - and serves as the primary commuter, tourism and commerce link for the State. With its heavy traffic volumes, regular backups and frequent accidents, this section of I-93 is in need of reconstruction but is constrained by a number of factors that require innovative thinking in order for the project to move forward in a timely manner.
And that's where the Accelerated Construction Technology Transfer (ACTT) process comes into play. NHDOT hosted the I-93 Improvements ACTT workshop in February 2006, structuring it to 1) evaluate innovative means of contracting and financing; 2) identify and expedite critical path tasks such as right-of-way (ROW) and utility relocations; 3) evaluate traffic control; 4) maintain safety; and 5) adhere to environmental commitments. NHDOT and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) utilized the following skill sets to accomplish these goals:
- Geotechnical/Materials/Long-life Pavement/Maintenance.
- Innovative Financing/Contracting.
- Structures/Roadway/Geometric Design.
- Traffic Management/Safety/ITS/Incident Management/Public Relations.
The various skill set teams focused on how the ACTT process applied to their area of expertise, while the group as a whole searched for methods and measures to help NHDOT achieve its goals of 1) maximizing mobility and safety, and 2) reducing the construction timeframe for the $480 million project from 12 to six years.
In the days following the workshop, key NHDOT personnel reviewed the suggestions from the skill sets and developed the list of final recommendations found in chapter four. NHDOT plans on evaluating each proposal to determine which will be beneficial to the I-93 Improvements project. From there, the agency will develop an implementation plan for the final design and construction phases.
1. Workshop Details
1.1. Opening Session
NHDOT hosted the I-93 Salem to Manchester (I-93 Improvements) ACTT workshop February 21-23, 2006 at the Grappone Conference Center in Concord, New Hampshire.
NHDOT Commissioner Carol Murray and NH FHWA Division Administrator Kathy Laffey provided opening remarks, after which the participants introduced themselves. NHDOT Assistant Director of Project Development William Cass provided a project overview. A bus tour of the I-93 corridor followed, with side trips at exits one and three. Peter Stamnas, NHDOT project manger for the I-93 Improvements project, narrated the tour, noting various points of interest. William Cass then provided an overview of the growth that is driving the expansion of I-93.
1.2. Workshop Process
On Wednesday morning, FHWA Pavement Management Engineer and Workshop Moderator Joe Huerta discussed "Why ACTT, Why Now" and provided some insight on the brainstorming process. Following his presentation, the skill sets broke into individual groups and came back together to present their initial findings prior to lunch. The teams spent Wednesday afternoon intermingling and developing their final recommendations, which skill set representatives presented to the group on Thursday morning.
1.3. Skill Set Goals
The project's primary goals are to improve safety and mobility throughout the corridor while preparing for anticipated regional growth. In addition, NHDOT wants to reduce the construction timeframe from 12 to six years. With these objectives in mind, the project team established the following goals for each skill set:
- Employ methods and materials that will accelerate construction without reducing quality.
- Review performance specification opportunities.
- Review winter maintenance considerations.
- Identify new material testing methods that will minimize the time involved or reduce personnel requirements.
- Recycle materials along the corridor.
- Optimize geotechnical evaluations and recommendations.
- Optimize the use of shallow foundations.
- Consider long-term maintenance requirements as well as preventative maintenance.
- Optimize construction sequencing, management and the number/size of contracts to complete construction in six versus 10 to 12 years (financially constrained).
- Optimize contractor scheduling specifications.
- Employ innovative contracting methods to encourage the contractor to accelerate construction.
- Complete all segments during the construction season.
- Fulfill environmental commitments.
- Minimize impact to the following:
- Water quality.
- Cultural/historical sites.
- Air quality (construction vehicles).
- Provide for noise abatement, both permanently and during construction.
- Review anticipated cash flow and the programmed budget with project management.
- Minimize and contain costs.
- Sustain the local construction industry with respect to contract size and construction scheduling.
- Addressing unique corridor characteristics, develop and employ innovative contracting methods that will accelerate construction.
- Coordinate construction phasing/contract sequencing.
- Reduce the construction timeframe, minimize cost and maintain the quality of all structures.
- Develop innovative contract delivery concepts to encourage precasting/prefabrication/preassembly and the use of standardized elements.
- Evaluate various erection/construction methods to accelerate construction.
- Evaluate/review roadway geometry related to constructability and traffic control.
- Minimize the negative impact of live lane construction practices (i.e., deck pours).
Traffic Management/Safety/ITS/Incident Management/Public Relations
- Provide two lanes of traffic in both directions during construction.
- Develop a consistent and fair approach to traffic mitigation.
- Minimize work zone congestion.
- Minimize interchange closures, out-of-direction travel and overall motorist inconvenience.
- Provide and promote ride share/commuter opportunities.
- Maintain project site safety.
- Provide reliable information about traffic impacts to the public.
- Ensure a public message that is consistent, comprehensive and proactive.
- Avoid/minimize disruption to the tourist industry and the local economy.
- Employ Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) or other technologies to reduce traffic congestion along the entire corridor.
- Develop incident management strategies.
- Minimize the number of utility relocations, and accelerate utility relocations to meet the project schedule (advance contracts).
- Identify workable options to prevent utility delays.
- Minimize ROW impacts and complete ROW acquisition to meet the accelerated project schedule.
- Minimize design plan changes after ROW parameters are established in order to minimize or eliminate reappraisals/ renegotiations, etc.
- Provide early and accurate real estate appraisals.
- Complete fair and equitable settlements in a timely manner.
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