ACTT Workshop: Tennessee
April 6-8, 2004, Knoxville, Tennessee
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 (DOT). The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) jointly fund ACTT workshops.
On April 6-8, 2004, The Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) hosted an ACTT workshop that brought together 82 transportation professionals from 19 States, including Washington, DC. The main objective of the workshop was to draw on the expertise of the participants to help TDOT achieve its primary goal of minimizing construction time for its Interstate 40 (I-40) widening project through Downtown Knoxville.
The project focuses on a 2-mile stretch of I-40 between Interstate 275 (I-275) and Cherry Street in Downtown Knoxville. The project involves the widening of I-40 and the reconstruction of several associated interchanges in Knoxville, Tennessee. The project limits extend from the Cherry Street interchange east of the central business district to the interchange with I-275 in downtown Knoxville. Built in the early 1960s, the existing facility includes substandard features like short weaving sections, left-hand entrance ramps with short acceleration lanes, and inadequate shoulders. While I-40 has a minimum of six through lanes east and west of downtown Knoxville, the section within project limits is a "bottleneck" with only four through lanes. The $160 million project is to upgrade this stretch of I-40 to today's standards and add capacity. Also, as part of this project, James White Parkway/SR-158 (JWP) will undergo some improvements. A combination of additional lanes and geometric improvements at the I-40/SR-158 interchange is expected to help address the capacity issue of the project. The primary project challenge is to minimize construction time while minimizing right-of-way requirements and adverse environmental and socioeconomic impacts to the community, which include several historical districts adjacent to the highway.
At the opening session, Weston Gaffron, TDOT Assistant Chief Engineer, and Bobby Blackmon, FHWA Division Administrator, expressed support for the workshop as they welcomed the participants. Dr. Donn Hancher, Assistant Dean of the College of Engineering, the University of Kentucky, gave the keynote address on "Why ACTT? Why Now?" which included an overview of several projects accelerated across the nation and their success stories. The opening day concluded with a project overview by the project management team and a bus tour of the project site.
The following day, attendees broke into six predetermined skill set teams as follows:
- Construction/Materials/Accelerated Testing/Constructibility.
- Innovative Contracting/Worker Health/Warranties.
The skill set teams examined different aspects of the project and assessed the potential for accelerating various phases of the project. Each team focused on applying the ACTT process to the specific concerns of their expertise while the teams collectively searched for methods and measures to help TDOT achieve its primary project goal of a 4-year construction time through a 14-month mainline closure.
Workshop participants remained focused throughout the workshop and made numerous recommendations, many of which were deemed viable and will be pursued, according to TDOT. As the host agency, TDOT will examine the recommendations and determine which will be implemented on this or other projects.