ACTT Workshop: Utah
Spanning the Future
- 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.
In the November/December 2002 Public Roads article, "Does your Interchange Design Have you Going Around in Circles," authors Joe G. Bared and Evangelos I. Kaisar aptly described the nation's congestion problem:
America is facing a national crisis as increased traffic and the ensuing congestion and delays negatively affect commerce, the environment, and quality of life. Traffic congestion is such a problem that engineers and researchers across the country are making it their personal missions to find innovations that will enhance traffic flow, ultimately leading to alleviation of congestion.
As the above indicates, selecting the appropriate interchange design for a transportation corridor can be a challenging task. This was the very issue facing the Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) on an urban project, I-15 (Interstate 15), 31st Street to 2700 North, Weber County, Utah, a corridor that encompasses 9.3 miles of Interstate and 28 bridges. The Environmental Impact Statement, or EIS, process was complete, and UDOT was preparing to implement the preferred alternative identified in the Record of Decision, or ROD. Even so, several key decisions regarding interchange design and traffic management remained. In addition, UDOT was faced with a $250 million cost estimate and a $180 million budget and with the need to complete the project in two years.
Knowing this, UDOT contacted the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) about hosting an Accelerated Construction Technology Transfer (ACTT) Workshop for the Weber County project. Together, they identified eight skill set teams for the UDOT ACTT workshop:
- Right-of-Way, Utilities, Railroad Coordination.
- Innovative Contracting.
- Roadway and Geometric Design.
- Public Involvement/Public Relations.
Each skill set team's goal was to focus on how the ACTT process applied to their area of expertise, while the group as a whole searched for methods and measures to help UDOT achieve its project goals.
As the workshop progressed, each team summarized their thoughts and narrowed them down to a list of concerns, opportunities and priority recommendations for presentation to the group on the final day.
The skill sets' counsel helped Utah recognize several issues that merit further discussion and prompted a reassessment of project goals and options before proceeding with the I-15, 31st Street to 2700 North, Weber County, Utah, project. (Key areas of concern are interchange design, funding availability, the goal of maintaining two lanes of traffic in each direction for the duration of the project, and the sensitive landfill area at the 31st Street interchange.) This report summarizes attendee discussion and highlights innovative practices and technologies that may prove useful in the eventual undertaking of the I-15, 31st Street to 2700 North, Weber County, Utah, project.