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ACTT Workshop: New Hampshire
Bridging Multiple Communities

Chapter 3: Skill Set Recommendations

3.1. Geotechnical/Materials/Long-life Pavement/Maintenance

The geotechnical/materials/long-life pavement/maintenance team focused on reducing future maintenance and promoting the "Get In, Stay In (and get it done right), Get Out and Stay Out" philosophy, recognizing that this approach sometimes conflicts with NHDOT's goal of accelerating construction. The team's recommendations are as follows:

Construction
  • Reclaim pavement in place.
  • Consider consolidation of construction contracts.
    • Consider things such as balancing earthwork, maintenance and protection of traffic, etc.
  • Consider breaking out the final paving contract.
    • Allow a few contracts for placement of the final surface.
  • Build out of traffic.
    • Evaluate the following options: 1) all four lanes in one barrel, or 2) three lanes in one barrel, with a moveable barrier accommodating directional traffic.
    • Utilize the shoulders as travel lanes during construction.
  • Allow an onsite hot mix asphalt (HMA) plant, drum plant, crusher or concrete plant.
  • Consider purchasing ROW for onsite aggregate.
Pavements
  • Utilize perpetual pavements, thicker materials that are designed to minimize any stress to the bottom layers of pavement and keep future repairs to the top few inches. NHDOT would need to use an empirical design method for pavement.
    • Go with a three-quarter-inch mix for the first layer to achieve the desired density; then back up to a one-inch mix.
  • Use modified (polymer) asphalts.
  • Consider a long-life surface that is not porous, i.e., stone matrix asphalt (SMA). (SMA is used primarily as a surface mix.)
  • Use intelligent compaction systems.
  • Consider placement of thicker lifts of mixes.
  • Prevent joint cracking.
    • Pave in tandem to minimize cold joints.
    • Cut back the edge of the pavement joint prior to paving.
    • Use joint adhesive.
  • Look at the maximum allowable amount of reclaimed asphalt pavement (RAP) in mixes.
    • Consider increasing the amount RAP allowed in base and binder mixes.
Drainage
  • Consider using underdrains. Could place an underdrain down the center of the road as well as along the edge of the roadway.
  • Move away from metal pipe.
    • Use only concrete pipe under the roadway.
  • Move towards plastic pipe.
    • Use only concrete pipe under the roadway.
Maintenance
  • Eliminate granite curbing on the bridges.
  • Consider a concrete bridge rail.
  • Flatten slopes to eliminate guard rail where possible.
  • Set the guard rail farther back off of the road when possible.
  • Replace wood guard rail posts with steel.
  • Eliminate the seeding of rock fill slopes: seeding them creates a maintenance problem.
    • Place geotextiles to eliminate plant growth, and leave only the stone slope.
  • Implement the use of alternate materials (plastic, concrete, etc.) for sound walls.
    • Need to eliminate the use of timber walls because of their chromated copper arsenate (CCA) treatment. Wood also becomes a maintenance issue.
Bridges
  • Build bridges in a single phase.
    • Shift traffic to allow bridges to be built in a single phase. The goal should be at least 50 percent of bridges in a single phase.
  • Build bridges with bare decks.
    • Use stainless, stainless clad or concrete with corrosion inhibitor and epoxy coated rebar in the decks.
  • Place thicker lifts of pavement where the bridge decks are paved.
  • Replace all existing bridge steel.
Materials Testing
  • Provide access to NHDOT's laboratory information management systems (LIMS).
    • Provide access through the use of a web-based system. Provide this access to NHDOT field and construction personnel as well as contractors. First, allow individuals to view the data. Second, allow field personnel to enter data.
  • Require performance warranties.
    • Utilize performance warranties with bonding to ensure performance of materials.
  • Implement a quality assurance (QA) specification for soils/aggregates.

3.2. Construction/Environment

The construction/environment group discussed a number of key issues and made the following recommendations:

Sequencing
  • Combine smaller contracts into larger contracts by looking at what makes sense from a construction standpoint. NHDOT should not be limited by contract dollar amount.
    • Lump bridges together.
    • Combine similar work, either by interchanges or roadway segments.
    • Widen four lanes on one barrel, open it to both directions and close the other barrel.
    • Coordinate with local municipalities regarding upcoming projects.
    • Coordinate with other DOT work (NHDOT/MassHighway).
Contract Size
  • Encourage smaller contractors to join together through joint ventures.
  • Eliminate the current $25 million cap.
Incentives/Disincentives
  • Consider incentives/disincentives, such as:
    • Time-specific rewards.
    • Lane rentals.
    • A-plus-B contracts.
    • Holidays.
    • A five-day work week.
    • Weather days.
Soil/Erosion Control
  • Require the contractor to subcontract this work.
  • Space the payment by performance.
  • Hire a corridor-monitoring coordinator.
  • Develop a corridor-wide soil and erosion control plan.
  • Establish an erosion control advisory team.
  • Establish minimum bid prices, which will provide a larger pool of money.
  • Conduct regular audits.
  • Utilize a programmatic approach.
Culverts
  • Show commitment to the environment by having a Fish and Game specialist onsite to advise on issues such as:
    • Wildlife passages.
    • Fish passages.
    • Sediments/washouts.
Additional Recommendations
  • Require the contractor to subcontract landscaping work.
  • Develop a hazardous materials (HAZMAT) risk management plan. It is vital to remain responsive to the environmental sensitivity of the area.
  • Develop a multi-agency technical review team that will be proactive regarding environmental issues such as endangered species.
  • Establish and enforce dust control performance measures.
  • Follow the recommendations in the ROD regarding blasting wells. This will demonstrate NHDOT's adherence to its commitment.
  • Establish the baseline turbidity of water courses to account for natural seasonal fluctuations, which will enable NHDOT to better defend itself should any water quality issues arise.
  • Secure the water supply for landscaping, hygiene and dust control via artesian wells.
  • Limit design-build (D-B) to the smaller bridges to meet current legislative requirements.
  • Consider a corridor-wide traffic control plan/manager, and optimize sequencing based on critical path method (CPM).
  • Finalize the TMDL/chloride issues for an eight-lane section by the end of 2007.

3.3. Innovative Financing/Contracting

The innovative financing/contracting skill set discussed a variety of methods to minimize financial constraints and accelerate construction:

GARVEE Bonds
  • Use to supplement NHDOT's 10-year-plan funds. Bonds are legislated for use on this project and backed by the entire program.
  • Lock in long-term rates to save money.
  • Retain flexibility in the bonding structure.
  • Put a short-term borrowing mechanism in place.
Local Participation
  • Utilize transportation mitigation fees that will be paid by the developers.
Gas Tax
  • Increase the current gas tax. Index it as a percentage of the cost per gallon.
Utility Leasing Revenues
  • Charge for the use of ROW or lease the conduit.
HOV/HOT
  • Generate revenue through a high occupancy vehicle/high occupancy toll (HOV/HOT) lane.
Tolls
  • Establish a pilot program for maintenance on the new lanes.
Public/Private Participation
  • Market commercial use of real estate, and consider leasing the entire corridor.
Delivery Options
  • Pre-purchase materials.
  • Designate an agency program manager.
  • Incorporate the benefits of D-B into the current process.
  • Consider corridor-wide contracts.
Contract Packaging
  • Encourage larger contracts through the use of a subcontracting program.
  • Explore shifting traffic to allow constructing one side and then the other.
Bidding Options
  • Consider contract options such as A-plus-B bidding, lane rentals and tied bidding, where contractors can bid combined contracts with the right to select individual packages.
  • Utilize incentive-based contracting.
    • Provide both incentives and disincentives.
    • Utilize active management payment method (AMPM).
  • Use CPM scheduling.
    • Use integrated cost loaded schedules.
    • Tie design, ROW, utilities and construction together.
  • Establish master utility agreements. Cost-share utility relocations and potential fines for noncompliance.
  • Do constructability reviews. Provide for a 90 percent plan review by contractors and the construction bureau.
  • Establish performance specifications.
    • Require contractor quality assurance/quality control (QA/QC).
  • Change the existing management committee/dispute review board.
    • Streamline the change order process and resolve disputes more efficiently.

3.4. Structures/Roadway/Geometric Design

The structures/roadway/geometric design team offered a number of suggestions on ways to expedite construction and streamline the project budget:

  • Utilize stay-in-place (SIP) steel/concrete deck forms.
    • Would expedite forming during construction.
  • Use steel bridge girders where structure depth is a control.
    • Need six to 12 inches of additional depth for additional span length. The limited vertical clearance prohibits the use of precast structures.
  • Consider Epping rapid bridge construction. This provides a good example of total bridge fabrication.
  • Give the contractor options for bridge construction, i.e., precast vs. traditional. Provide the project timeframe, and let the price determine which option is most feasible.
  • Consider opportunities within the "Buy America" provisions.
    • What about fabrication in Canada?
  • Skid the bridges into place.
    • Build the new bridge alongside the existing bridge, and jack it horizontally into place. A 30-foot shift is possible in one night. Would require close interaction with public relations (PR) and the use of advanced signage. Would need to close the Interstate between interchanges and detour traffic to Route 3.
  • Utilize temporary bridges to offset additional precast costs.
    • Could realize savings by combining rapid construction techniques with short detours.
  • Consider short-term overpass bridge closures.
    • Use rapid construction techniques to expedite construction.
  • Use manufactured fill for embankment material, expediting fill placement.
  • Utilize balanced earthwork contracts.
    • Attempt to let contracts that have balanced cuts and fills.
  • Relocate utilities off of the bridges, either temporarily or permanently.
  • Remove the historical grasshopper bridge, and display it at a location to be determined.
  • Pre-bid the structural steel and precast elements as a separate contract, expediting onsite construction.
  • Consider intent-to-build plans versus shop drawing plans.
    • Reduce the volume of shop drawings to expedite the review periods.
  • Establish procedures for paperless construction management (electronic shop drawings, requests for information (RFIs) and correspondence).
  • Consider a full-scale crossover from northbound to southbound, or vice versa.
    • Build one side with staged construction, move both barrels onto the completed side and construct the other barrel outside traffic.
  • Utilize a roundabout/single point diamond interchange (SPDI) design at ramp termini. This would help minimize the roadway width under the bridges.
  • Consider reimbursement for utility relocations, expediting relocation delays.
  • Investigate supplier capacity: there is concern over the volume of work and the ability of fabricators to meet these demands.
  • Utilize steel and concrete bridges as appropriate by site. Concern over material uniformity is secondary.
  • Use high performance steel, concrete beams and epoxy-coated rebar for long-term durability of structures.
  • Use membrane and overlay on most decks, but consider a bare concrete deck where pavement shoving is a concern.
  • Use pre-fabricated retaining walls to expedite construction.
  • Detour the Exit 1 northbound off-ramp to Exit 2 to expedite bridge and roadway construction at South Policy Street.
  • Construct temporary abutments/bents at the Brookdale Road Bridge. Move the existing deck onto a temporary structure, and construct the new bridge in the existing location.
  • Consider reducing the number of intersections east of the interchange along Route 111.
    • Eliminate the existing Route 111-A/111 intersection near McDonalds.
    • Look at redundant roadways moving away from Route 111.
  • Investigate the feasibility of recycling the existing pavement.
  • Consider winter construction restrictions.
    • Relax limitations on roadway closures.

3.5. Traffic Management/Safety/ITS/Incident Management/Public Relations

The traffic management/safety/ITS/incident management/public relations group made the following recommendations:

Public Relations
  • Consider hiring a full-time PR/marketing firm to develop the message, theme, etc., for the project.
    • Keep the public informed. Focus is needed on helping the public understand the inconveniences of construction.
    • Promote the project.
  • Use the media to help with PR. Consider a public naming of the project: this would help develop pride in the project.
    • Consider focus group surveys.
    • Work with Channel 9 to interview users.
    • Focus on how the project is being done in a small State with substantial growth potential.
  • Consider a booth at fairs to educate users of the project.
Traffic Management/ITS/IM
  • Designate a corridor-wide central authority/oversight for traffic management, incident management and liaison work. He/she would be the central point of contact for all traffic management and incident management (IM) issues.
  • Consider full-time onsite expertise to deal with traffic control and incident management events (i.e., a local emergency traffic management center). Could be contracted out as a separate item. This would provide centralized control over communication and operations capabilities.
  • Develop a work zone safety campaign. Utilize public service announcements (PSAs) and real-time traffic information that would be available on a project web site.
  • Consider smart work zones that would be controlled by the contractors.
    • Identify where to use them, how the information would be disseminated, etc.
    • Use highway advisory signs, traffic sensors, etc.
  • Consider weekend construction.
  • Encourage use of Route 3 through reduced/eliminated tolls, possibly during major incidents only.
  • Establish a command post to coordinate and respond during emergencies: radio communications between agencies has been a problem in the past.
    • Consider using police-use camera phones to record and send information on traffic conditions/incidents.
  • Improve NHDOT's ability to respond to emergency incidents, and consider additional means of access to respond to emergency incidents during and after construction.
    • Must get up to speed before the project is started.
    • Need to be able to locate, verify and respond to all incidents.
    • Provide advanced and continuous training to assist with incident response.
  • Install cameras: they would be helpful in identifying HAZMAT incidents.
  • Consider discounts to encourage increased use of Park and Ride facilities.
Safety
  • Increase the safety of motorists and workers during construction by using techniques such as:
    • Installing temporary/moveable barriers.
    • Shifting traffic to one barrel.
    • Providing emergency pull-offs (shoulders) during construction.
    • Having contractors provide for emergency access at choke points.

3.6. Right-Of-Way/Utilities

The ROW/utilities skill set discussed ways to expedite ROW acquisition and utility relocations. They made the following recommendations:

ROW
  • Provide for early ROW definition.
    • Identify and exclude locations subject to change, such as drainage outfalls and storm water treatment areas. In all other areas, set ROW limits early based on preliminary design approval. Do not wait for approval of slope and drain submission.
  • Simplify the ROW plan process.
    • Look at the revisions NHDOT is making. This may be the time to implement them.
    • Do abstracting updates sooner based on the construction schedule.
  • Establish a dedicated ROW coordinator.
    • Assign a dedicated ROW coordinator to 1) ensure timely project delivery, and 2) provide QA/QC. This could be someone from NHDOT or a subcontractor.
  • Review the Corridor Preservation Statute, and evaluate the benefits of using this statute for the I-93 project.
  • Use incentives to acquire property more expeditiously.
  • Provide stockpiling, staging and construction access. Identify access areas where ROW acquisitions may be required.
Utilities
  • Begin the process of utility coordination early to identify impacts, relocations, etc., and begin looking at solutions and alternatives.
  • Provide for early relocation of reimbursable utilities with property rights, i.e., water, sewer, power transmission, etc. Identify utility relocations that will require ROW acquisitions.
  • Identify unique or long lead materials so they don't delay construction.
  • Utilize subsurface utility engineering (SUE) to accurately identify utilities at all road crossings and interchanges throughout the corridor.
  • Establish a dedicated utility coordinator.
  • Consider utility construction incentives.
  • Identify specific utility corridors adjacent to crossing roadways and interchanges outside of conflict areas.
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Updated: 10/31/2013
Federal Highway Administration | 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE | Washington, DC 20590 | 202-366-4000