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ACTT Workshop: Ohio
Enhancing Mobility: The I-70/I-71 South Innerbelt Corridor

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.

Executive Summary

In 2003, over 62,800 kilometers (39,000 miles) of highways in the United States had peak period congestion, and of these, over 10,900 kilometers (6,800 miles) were in rural areas.

Source: "Focus on Congestion: Traffic Congestion Factoids,"
Federal Highway Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation,
Accessed March 24, 2007.

As the number of lanes miles traveled in the United States each year escalates, the issue of roadway congestion continues to gain prominence as a driving factor in transportation asset management.

This issue is of paramount importance to the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) as it completes the Columbus Crossroads – I-70/I-71 South Innerbelt Corridor Study.

The I-70/I-71 South Innerbelt Corridor in downtown Columbus, known locally as the "downtown split," is one of the busiest and most vital sections of highway in the region. Built in the 1960s, the roadway lacks the capacity for the 170,000 vehicles that traverse it daily; hourly traffic volume trends indicate that the number of vehicles on the freeway system peaks at around 7 a.m. and continues at near peak volume until 7 p.m.

Knowing this, ODOT approached the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) about hosting an Accelerated Construction Technology Transfer (ACTT) workshop for the I-70/I-71 South Innerbelt Corridor. A key goal is to find innovative funding solutions for the $850 million project.

Together, the planning team identified the following skill sets for the I-70/I-71 South Innerbelt Corridor workshop:

  • Construction/Maintenance of Traffic (MOT).
  • Innovative Contracting and Financing.
  • Traffic Engineering/Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS).
  • Structures (Major Bridges).
  • Retaining Walls/Geotech.
  • Roadway/Geometric Design.
  • Right-of-Way (ROW)/Utilities/Railroad Coordination.
  • Environmental.

Each team focused on how the ACTT process applied to their area of expertise. The group as a whole searched for methods and measures to help ODOT achieve its goal of delivering a major rehabilitation project to the public beginning in 2010.

As the workshop progressed, each team summarized their thoughts and narrowed them down to a list of priority recommendations. On the final day, each skill set presented their suggestions to the conference attendees. Now that the workshop is complete, ODOT will evaluate the various recommendations and decide which ideas should be implemented as part of the project.

1. Workshop Details

1.1. Opening Session

The Columbus Crossroads – I-70/I-71 South Innerbelt Corridor Study ACTT workshop took place January 9-11, 2007, at the Marriott North Columbus Hotel in Columbus, Ohio.

The workshop opened with remarks from ODOT Value Engineering (VE)/ACTT Coordinator Jeanne Braxton, followed by comments from FHWA ACTT Coordinator/Workshop Moderator Jerry Blanding. FHWA Ohio Division Assistant Administrator Patrick Bauer, ODOT District 6 Deputy Director Jack Marchbanks and Director of Public Service, City of Columbus Henry Guzman each shared their vision for the workshop. Following that, the participants introduced themselves. The day ended with an orientation to the project and introductions amongst skill set members.

1.2. Workshop Process

The ODOT workshop followed the traditional ACTT process. On Wednesday morning, the ACTT management team discussed the brainstorming process with workshop attendees. The skill sets then broke apart to discuss the project and brainstorm preliminary ideas, reconvening before lunch to share initial thoughts.

Discussions continued during lunch, with attendees sharing some of their brainstorming ideas and other issues regarding the project. After lunch, the skill sets continued their work, intermingling with other teams to ask questions and share ideas. (The synergy created during these discussions is the heart of the process.) The teams spent the remainder of the afternoon preparing final recommendations for presentation to the group on Thursday morning.

1.3. Skill Set Goals

The project management team established the following goals for the Columbus Crossroads workshop:

  • Sequence the work to minimize traffic and utility disruption.
  • Provide practical schemes for traffic diversion.
  • Reduce or control noise impacts during and after construction.
  • Provide better connections across the freeway for vehicles and pedestrians.
  • Maintain or improve emergency services response times during and after construction.
  • Provide structure and retaining wall options that work within ROW and utility constraints.
  • Refine horizontal and vertical geometry to simplify construction while still avoiding sensitive sites.

In addition, participants in each skill set had an established group of goals that was unique to their subject area:

  • Identify viable sequencing and packaging options.
  • Refine possible innovations to accelerate construction.
Innovative Contracting and Financing
  • Consider innovative financing methods, including project packaging, that will enable ODOT to accelerate construction.
Traffic Engineering/ITS
  • Identify risk areas.
  • Identify options to minimize disruption times in a cost-effective manner.
  • Identify appropriate technologies and methodologies to be considered.
Structures (Major Bridges)
  • Review structure selection, cut/fill, drainage and future cap options.
  • Assess constructability of proposed design.
Retaining Walls/Geotech
  • Recommend the type of retaining walls most appropriate to the project corridor.
  • Address project drainage issues.
  • Ensure subgrade stabilization.
Roadway/Geometric Design
  • Shift/move ramps to avoid Africentric School property.
  • Improve access at Miranova.
  • Reduce visual and noise impacts.
  • Suggest alternatives to the proposed scissor intersection configuration, i.e., Parsons/Town Streets.
  • Resolve geometric conflicts within the I-670/I-71 interchange.
ROW/Utilities/Railroad Coordination
  • Minimize impacts to parcels and costs to the project.
  • Ensure availability of accurate utility information.
  • Assess risks associated with environmental document and commitments.
  • Ensure that ODOT can proceed quickly with construction and avoid pre-construction and construction-related delays due to litigation.
  • Make sure appropriate documentation is provided to prove there are no feasible or prudent alternatives to avoiding sites, i.e., the Africentric School.
  • Address staging area concerns.
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Updated: 10/27/2015
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