ACTT Workshop: Oklahoma
May 25-27, 2004, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
The Accelerated Construction Technology Transfer (ACTT) is a strategic process that uses innovative techniques and technologies to reduce construction time on major highway projects while enhancing safety and improving quality. The process is implemented by conducting 2-day workshops for State departments of transportation (DOTs). The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) jointly fund ACTT workshops.
In May 2004, the Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT) hosted a workshop that applied ACTT principles to its Crosstown project, which will realign I-40 running along the southern edge of downtown Oklahoma City and points further south.
The $400 million project will replace this primarily elevated section of I-40 on offset alignment to the south. A large section of the new facility will be depressed. The existing facility was built in the 1960s, and designed for an ultimate traffic volume of 76,000 average daily traffic (ADT). Today’s ADT exceeds 110,000 over this section, which passes over 250 fracture critical members of the longest twin bridge structures in the State. Additionally, 90 percent of this section of I-40 is rated as a critically-high crash facility. The existing facility will be removed at the completion of the mainline construction and a six-lane at-grade boulevard will be constructed on the existing alignment for local traffic. Key project challenges include:
- Complete and open the mainline to traffic by September 2008.
- The existing railroad corridor must be realigned five blocks south of its current location. Rail operations in the corridor must continue uninterrupted both during and after construction.
- A six-lane boulevard must be constructed to replace the existing stretch of I-40.
- The project calls for a 112 km/h (70 mi/h) design speed.
- A direct connection must be established to Bricktown and downtown.
- Methods must minimize disruption to downtown and Bricktown traffic during construction.
The workshop was held on May 25-27, 2004, in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and brought together 75 transportation professionals from across the nation. The primary objective of the workshop was to draw on the expertise of participants to help ODOT achieve its primary goal of opening the mainline to traffic by September 2008.
Gary Ridley, ODOT Director, expressed support for the workshop as he welcomed the participants. During the opening session Shirley Ybarra, Transportation Research Board (TRB) A5T60 task force member and former Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) Secretary of Transportation, gave the keynote address on "Why ACTT? Why Now?" Following the opening remarks, a project overview by the project management team and a bus tour of the project concluded the opening day.
Over the course of the workshop, participants broke into skill set teams to examine how the ACTT concept could be implemented to accelerate various aspects of the project. The skill sets selected by ODOT prior to the start of the workshop were: Railroad/Utilities; Structures/Geotechnical; Innovative Contracting/Financing; Long Life Pavement/Maintenance; Traffic/ITS/Safety/Public Relations; Environmental; Construction/Materials; and Roadway Design/Geometrics. Each skill set team focused on how the ACTT process applied to the specific concerns of their area of expertise, while collectively the teams searched for methods/measures to help ODOT achieve its goals of maintaining traffic with minimal disruption; accommodating local/regional/national/international events; providing access to emergency facilities; opening I-40 to traffic by September 15, 2008; constructing the facility within budget; and maintaining a safe work zone.
Workshop participants remained focused throughout the workshop and made numerous recommendations, many of which were deemed viable and will be pursued, according to ODOT. As the host agency, ODOT will examine the recommendations and determine which will be implemented on its Crosstown Project.
With the workshop completed, it now remains for ODOT to sift through the various ideas/recommendations and decide which ideas should be implemented in future planning, design, and construction phases of the "I-40 Crosstown Expressway Relocation."