ACTT Workshop: Utah
Spanning the Future
Chapter 3: Skill Set Recommendations
The geotechnical skill set offered the following recommendations, including a number of issues that will be addressed in UDOT's reassessment of the project.
- Consider subsurface exploration and seismic issues.
- Ground penetrating radar.
- Seismic piezocone.
- Test borings.
- Vane shear testing.
- Lateral spreading.
- Strong motion study.
- Implement a lab testing program.
- Consolidation testing.
- Shear strength.
- High-quality samples.
- Evaluate full-scale test embankments: use SR-126 embankment or do a new test embankment.
- Study lake clay deposits for 1) settlement, both during construction (primary) and after construction (secondary), and 2) stability. Consider the impact of staged construction.
- Keep grades as low as possible on embankments, especially in the landfill area. Consider column-supported embankments for the landfill area.
- Give special consideration to the landfill area:
- Post-construction settlement.
- Obstructions for deep foundations - spudding.
- Flexible pavement.
- Capping requirements (check with DEQ).
- Potential communication with aquifer: make sure to grout when drilling.
- Methane gas/passive venting.
- Consider deep dynamic compaction of landfill waste with lightweight fills.
- Determine the effect of settlement on existing utilities and structures, including railroad facilities.
- Use MSE walls.
- Likely some two-stage walls.
- Modular block.
- Use an observational approach for instrumentation.
- Can adjust stage heights or consolidation times in the field based on instrumentation data.
- Can push the envelope with a good instrumentation program.
- Will provide cost and schedule benefits for the owner (UDOT).
- Use deep foundations for bridges.
- Use closed-end concrete-filled pipe piles (12-inch and 16-inch) or H-piles with shoes.
- Use caissons, pre-cast concrete.
- Possibly pre-drill through the landfill.
The geotechnical team spent some time discussing contracting mechanisms and made the following suggestions:
- Need to understand that interfacing geotechnical concerns with a D-B contract is a big issue.
- Use a high-quality pre-bid geotechnical baseline investigation to reduce uncertainty.
- Use post-construction settlement criteria.
- Compare construction and lifecycle costs for lightweight fill versus a column-supported embankment in the landfill area.
- Do not install abutment piles before primary consolidation is complete (where vertical settlement exceeds four inches).
- Hire a full-time instrumentation engineer.
- Insist on quality assurance/quality control (QA/QC) from design engineers of record.
- Recognize that, on soft ground projects, the greatest risk for the contractor is below ground.
- Work with the geotechnical engineer on innovative ways to reduce cost and meet the aggressive schedule UDOT desires.
- Work with the geotechnical engineer to minimize construction risks:
- Conduct high quality subsurface characterization (exploration and lab testing).
- Perform full-scale tests prior to construction.
- Keep the geotechnical engineer involved with construction monitoring (QA/QC).
- Install and monitor instrumentation (the "observational approach").
- Do not use pre-bid engineering.
- If it's too conservative, the contractor cannot be competitive.
- If it's not conservative, additional costs can end up being added to the project after award.
- There's no room for error.
- There's no time for the final design effort!
The team also identified several issues that require additional discussion:
- Contaminated soils.
- Maintenance of traffic (MOT).
- Material availability (steel and cement).
- Advance contracts.
The structures team discussed several factors viewed as key to an accelerated construction schedule.
- Create a structure development document that identifies the following:
- Mainline structures.
- Railroad structures.
- Overpass structures.
- Pedestrian structures.
- Retaining walls (types).
- High performance materials.
- Corrosion protection strategy.
- Ways to minimize joints with use of integral bridges.
- Foundation requirements.
- Consider prefabrication of the following:
- Deck (full or partial depth panels).
- Use innovative construction techniques, such as:
- Incremental launching.
- Lateral slide.
- Heavy lifts.
- SPMTs (self-propelled modular trailers) for transport and erection.
- Consider bridging the landfill area, using geofoam or constructing a pile-supported structure at the 31st Street interchange:
- Would have a higher initial cost but lower long term costs.
- Would lower foundation risks.
- Would provide the least disturbance to the landfill.
- Use bridge construction phasing:
- Incorporate concept into the design process.
- Temporarily widen the mainline bridges for MOT.
- Reuse fill from the temporary widening in the mainline construction.
The team went on to discuss contractual and infrastructure issues.
Modified Project Delivery Process
- The owner hires a consultant.
- The consultant prepares 30 percent of the design with a 20 percent variance in quantities.
- The estimate is updated at critical points.
- UDOT would bring the contractor on board with the consultant to create the final design and construct the project.
- Complete traffic signing and language (TS & L) plans for railroad structures.
- Do at the RFP stage to begin the railroad agreement process.
- Still allow D-B to change the structure type.
- Build a collector/frontage road from 31st Street to 21st Street.
- Fits within existing ROW.
- Eliminates close ramp spacing and improves safety.
- Facilitates reconstruction of I-15 mainline.
- May reduce the number of lanes needed on I-15.
- Upgrade SR-126 from 12th Street to 450 North.
- Helps with MOT.
- Reduces traffic on I-15 mainline.
- Reduces traffic on collector/frontage road (if used).
- Could be used as an emergency route.
- Temporarily close cross streets.
- Sequentially route mainline traffic to ramps at 31st, 21st and 12th to facilitate mainline bridge construction.
- Develop ramps for mainline traffic.
- Not possible on 24th Street.
I-15 and 12th Street
- Raise I-15 and 12th Street partially on retained fill (12 to 15 feet).
- Reduces grade on ramps.
- Reduces grade on I-15.
- Increases embankment requirements and adds retaining walls.
3.3. Right-of-Way, Utilities, Railroad Coordination
The right-of-way, utilities, railroad coordination group made the following recommendations.
- Discuss 12th Street, and coordinate with stakeholders to determine the best configuration.
- Recognize that design elevation changes may involve more stakeholders than you think (FAA, gravity flow utilities, UPRR, etc.).
- Coordinate daily with UPRR during construction.
- Be aware of additional easement requirements when relocating utilities.
- Plan for possible utility adjustment moratoriums with water, gas, fiber and irrigation during the project.
- Recognize that relocation of power transmission lines or pipelines can be very costly and time consuming.
- On a nearby intersection, it cost $6 million to relocate the utilities.
- Railroad relocations may require up to one and a half years of coordination before construction.
- Understand that 2:1 side slopes are hard to maintain and may require retaining walls.
- Be aware that the limited right-of-way provides no access for roadside maintenance.
- Recognize that UDOT has a limited time to secure agreements.
- FAA (cranes near flight path).
- Utility companies (agreements and betterments).
- Avoid conflicts and relocates wherever cost effective.
- Conduct a consultant utility review as part of roadway design to ensure that there are no known utility conflicts.
- Award points during the procurement process for innovative utility coordination.
- Obtain a memorandum of understanding with utility and railroad companies as soon as possible.
- Explain project parameters, commitments and schedule.
The team also offered some general comments regarding key areas of concern.
- The 31st Street interchange presents a unique set of utility and third party challenges. One suggestion is not to realign the Hill Field industrial lead if at all possible: reconstructing a structure carrying rail involves a lengthy approval process that could delay the project. Also, by not reconstructing these three structures, UDOT would incur significant cost savings that could be added to the scope of phase one construction.
- Maintain the existing alignment where practical. There is a power transmission line in the area and, if relocation could be avoided, it would help reduce the possibility of a delay.
- Obtain all horizontal and vertical clearances for the UPRR mainline crossing ahead of time. By knowing these clearances, UDOT can adequately determine the required length of the structure and come up with a betterment agreement with UTA for the additional length that they are requesting. UDOT could arrange to deliver the girders for the new structures on rail to promote additional coordination with the railroad on this part of the project.
- Consider the cost of relocating utilities at 21st Street, 24th Street, 450 North and 2700 North: there are most likely transverse utilities at these interchanges. If practical, UDOT should avoid expensive relocates during design.
- Recognize that 12th Street presents numerous challenges that prevent a solid recommendation. There is a rail line approximately 800 feet south of 12th Street that will have a minimum clearance requirement of approximately 24 feet. Currently, both the SPUI and diamond alternatives require separate structures. The inclusion of two additional structures over this rail line would not be enough of an issue to keep the jug-handle interchange that currently exists. If other issues in the area create complications that could delay construction, there would be justification for maintaining the current configuration. There is one known high pressure gas line running parallel on the east side of the freeway between the railroad and 12th Street: UDOT will need to address this when designing the 12th Street interchange ramps.
- Locate the utilities on SR-126 to determine the viability of widening this road to temporarily accommodate four lanes of traffic. Two gas lines, a high-pressure gas line owned by Questar Gas and a petroleum pipeline owned by Chevron Pipeline, could be very costly to relocate. If widening these roads requires either of these utilities to be relocated, it may be cost prohibitive to widen SR-126 at this time.
3.4. Innovative Contracting
After discussing the project goals, the team split innovative contracting into four sub-categories: project delivery methods, procurement methods, contracting methods and other tools. This allowed the group to be more creative in brainstorming.
Project Delivery Methods
Consider innovations in the D-B contract (D-B had already been decided upon before the workshop).
- Operation and maintenance options.
Consider the following with a fixed budget/best value baseline:
- A-plus-B (time plus cost).
- A-plus-B-plus-Q (time plus cost plus quality).
- Best value.
- Qualification-based selection (QBS).
- Additive alternates.
- Alternate design concepts.
- Lump sum bidding.
Consider the following with a unit price baseline:
- Incentive/disincentive payment methods.
- Lane rental.
- Active management payment mechanism (AMPM).
- Award fees.
- No-excuse incentives.
- Cost reduction incentive proposals.
- Flexible start dates/milestone dates.
- Maximum payment curve.
- Contractor QA/QC.
- Performance-related specifications.
Consider the following with shared contingency pools:
- Owner controlled insurance program (OCIP).
- Pre-construction workshop.
- Dispute review boards.
This led to recommendations in the following areas:
Partnership with Design and Contracting Community
- Make the costs of the proposal more equitable for the consultants by providing a "reasonable" stipend.
- Clearly define and prioritize project goals.
- Clearly define the scope for the basic configuration alignment: only develop 30 percent design where necessary.
- Develop a well-defined proposal evaluation plan.
- Provide a transparent review process.
- Weigh/prioritize the project objectives.
- Define what innovations are expected.
- Create UDOT standards that set the criteria for the review panel and scoring. Scoring criteria should be uniform among discipline groups, with the proposals scored individually and the scores averaged together to provide the group tally.
- Consider pre-meeting with industry and third parties to discuss risk allocation strategies.
- HAZMAT - unit prices.
- Landfill issues.
- Utilities, permits, railroad coordination.
- If high risk is apparent, consider a shared contingency pool.
- Award to the proposal with the highest quality and most scope.
- Consider alternate technical concepts (ATCs).
- Management of traffic.
- Not based on design deviations.
The traffic/ITS/safety skill set discussed six areas of concern: first order work, alternate routes, ATMS elements, incident management, phasing and demand management.
First Order Work
- Perform detailed construction traffic modeling and impact study.
- Perform user-delay analysis for different construction options (phasing, construction materials, full structural replacement versus rehabilitation, etc.).
- Construct an SPUI at 2700 North.
- Would improve spacing between ramps and SR-126.
- Would provide a viable alternate route for southbound traffic to SR-126.
- Would provide a vital upgrade to the system: this road is functioning poorly, and demand will continue to increase.
- Install ATMS devices (variable message signs or VMS, closed circuit television or CCTV, signal interconnects) early: this would support the incident management plan, signal timing and traveler information efforts.
- Consider dual lefts at 2700 North onto SR-126: they are needed to better accommodate southbound movement.
- Build additional lanes on SR-126: two lanes would be preferable, but UDOT could consider one additional southbound lane that could be used during phasing.
- Address I-84 to 31st lane continuity.
- Add a fourth auxiliary lane from the I-84 on-ramp to the 31st eastbound off-ramp.
- Drop the right lane at 31st westbound off-ramp.
- Eliminate inside lane merge by continuing both inside lanes: this would better meet drive expectations and reduce the number of sideswipe accidents at this location.
- Re-time the signals on Wall Avenue to provide better movement in both directions, with priority placed on the northbound movement.
- Use SR-126 and Wall Avenue as alternate routes.
- Make Wall Avenue the principal northbound alternate route.
- Use SR-126 as the principal southbound alternate route.
- Build dual lefts at the intersection of SR-126 and SR-79 to help southbound movement on SR-126 return to the freeway at 31st Street.
- Bring southbound detour traffic back to the mainline at the 31st Street southbound on-ramp to avoid congestion at 5600 and 5300 South.
- Use signage on US 89 from 1100 South in Brigham City to the Ogden area to encourage motorists to avoid I-15 altogether.
- Make corresponding ramp improvements.
- Where appropriate, build ramps that will allow two lanes of traffic to bypass the structures.
- Recognize that this would require closing cross streets. If this happens, will need alternate closures to maintain east/west movements.
- Establish communications early on and assure continued operations.
- Get in early for traffic signal coordination.
- Install a longitudinal conduit throughout the corridor to support communications.
- Ensure that ducts are installed in the bridge structures.
- Use permanent and portable CCTV.
- Require contractor to ensure operation for the duration of the project.
- Provide live video feeds of the construction zone.
- Use Highway Advisory Radio, or HAR, for on-site construction updates and local traffic advisories.
- Coordinate traffic signals.
- Install traffic signal detection where needed to accommodate modified intersection striping plans.
- Investigate connectivity to signals.
- Connect to central i2TMS system.
- Develop and implement traffic signal construction action sets.
- Utilize permanent VMS on northbound I-15 south of 5600 South and on southbound I-15 north of the Hot Springs interchange. Install early to support construction MOT.
- Use temporary VMS signs where and when needed.
- Utilize permanent and temporary traffic monitoring stations (TMS) to monitor travel speeds.
- Consider installation of non-intrusive detection (NID) such as video detection and radar on alternate and mainline routes.
- Use travel speeds for displaying travel times on mainline and alternate routes. Provide travel times on VMS to provide travelers advance notice when selecting alternate routes.
- Require contractor to create an incident management plan.
- Require clearance times consistent with UDOT's goals.
- Create two additional IMT patrols.
- Have a contract in place with towing companies.
- Use a dedicated operator at Region 1 TCC. Could be either a contractor- or UDOT-funded position.
- Build emergency pullouts to be used by law enforcement and distressed motorists.
- Contract with local law enforcement to have a stronger police presence, especially where major movements are taking place or where closures begin.
- Establish a connection with emergency management services (EMS/EMT) dispatch.
- Emphasize nighttime and weekend closures.
- Build full depth shoulders and ramps.
- Work on one direction of the freeway at a time.
- During the first season of construction, move one southbound lane over to the northbound prism, maintaining two lanes in the northbound direction.
- Use positive separation to separate opposing traffic flow.
- Plan for east-west closures.
- If east-west closures are required, alternate or stagger closures.
- Ensure sufficient local signing.
- Utilize PR (newspapers, radio, flyers, etc.) to notify local traffic.
Demand Management Programs
- Increase transit service and lower fares during the project.
- Promote employer-based van pools.
- Encourage employer-based programs such as staggered shifts and alternating work schedules, focusing on Hill AFB and other large employers.
- Create an extensive outreach program to explain construction impacts and traveler options.
The construction team identified a number of concerns and made the following recommendations:
- Need to keep the request for qualifications (RFQ) realistic and include minimum requirements.
- Make a decision on the designs for the different interchanges. This will minimize redundant work of the DBs.
- Solicit feedback on a sample request for proposal, or RFP.
- Establish minimum needs and criteria for RFP submittals.
- Allow flexibility for alternative concepts in the RFP.
- Address geotechnical issues in the RFP.
- Do the maximum prep work prior to the start of construction.
- Provide a realistic stipend for bidders ($500,000 to $1 million).
- Do as much advanced right-of-way purchasing as possible.
- Have a single point of contact for the utility companies, the railroad and the Highway Patrol.
- Define the contractor's and UDOT's role in obtaining permits.
- Evaluate the need to maintain two lanes of traffic in each direction.
- Could split one direction.
- Could use reversible lanes for peak hour use.
- Consider two northbound lanes and one southbound lane.
- Widen to the inside to minimize costs and duration.
- Define closure limitations for ramps and cross streets, and evaluate full closure opportunities.
- Use pre-cast structure elements to accelerate construction.
- Maintain irrigation canals through the irrigation season.
- Recycle existing materials such as concrete, asphalt and base.
- Use UDOT-owned concrete barriers.
- Assign the hazardous waste risk to appropriate parties.
The skill set noted that 1) heavy consideration needs to be given to the issues presented in order to get the project into construction in 2006, and 2) railroad, utilities and right-of-way issues need to be resolved up front to minimize construction delays.
3.7. Roadway and Geometric Design
The roadway and geometric design team discussed two possible scenarios for the I-15 project:
- Reconstructing all facilities along the project corridor (south to north).
- Using existing facilities where possible to put money toward increasing mainline capacity, which is the real goal of the project.
They identified the following as key to increasing capacity:
- Provide additional through lanes.
- Minimize the number and spacing of interchanges.
- Improve interchange geometry.
- Reduce weaving conflicts.
- Increase acceleration/deceleration lengths.
- Meet driver expectations.
They then turned their attention to the various interchanges in the project corridor.
31st Street Interchange
- Use wide diamond geometry. (Eliminate loops.)
- Utilize existing ramps.
- Do not re-align the railroad.
- Do not construct any new bridges over the river (future projects).
- Use signal coordination for northbound to eastbound MOT.
- Leave the railroad bridges in place.
- Shut down/close track to allow replacement on the current alignment.
- Provide for alternative cargo transport.
- Rehabilitate the existing bridge at 31st Street with a seismic retrofit, and replace it in a future project.
24th Street Interchange
- Keep the current configuration.
- Utilize existing ramps.
- Raise the grade of I-15 to accommodate a future full interchange.
- Establish toe of fill as soon as possible for ROW.
21st Street Interchange
- Keep the current configuration.
- Utilize existing ramps.
- Raise the southbound on-ramp early.
12th Street Interchange
- Consider a wide diamond geometry.
- Utilize the two existing ramps.
- Establish the impacts as soon as possible for ROW.
450 North Interchange
- Recognize that this is the lowest priority interchange.
- Keep the existing configuration.
- Utilize signal coordination.
2700 North Interchange
- Do first to facilitate detours.
- Keep the existing configuration.
- Utilize signal coordination.
- Move southbound traffic off right to left for detour.
The skill set wrapped up with some general recommendations.
- Consider placing a southbound auxiliary lane between I-84 and 31st Street.
- Consider placing auxiliary lanes between 31st and 24th Street.
- Make the northbound on-ramp acceleration lane at 21st Street a northbound off-ramp at 12th Street (lane drop).
- Change the southbound on-ramp acceleration lane at 12th Street to a southbound through lane with a normal tapered off-ramp at 21st Street.
- Make the northbound through lane an off-ramp at 2700 North (lane drop).
- Perform traffic modeling to evaluate:
- When two lanes in each direction are needed on I-15.
- If three or four lanes on SR-126 are needed.
- If 2700 North should be done first.
- Evaluate the costs of SR-126 improvements (i.e., utilities, ROW, drainage, etc.).
- Consider a temporary southbound off-ramp north of 7th South to connect to SR-126.
Items to Include in the RFP
- Complete topographic survey.
- Base CADD files.
- Design software files (geometry, typicals, etc.).
- Thirty percent design.
- Required interchange configurations.
- Required lane configurations.
- Traffic control requirements from traffic model.
3.8. Public Involvement/Public Relations
The public involvement/public relations team based their recommendations around their pre-established goals for the ACTT workshop.
Gain Community Acceptance
Requires direct interaction with the public:
- A booth at the Weber County Fair.
- A construction web site.
- The use of trinkets.
- Public open houses.
- School presentations.
Develop a Communications Plan
Requires interaction with and notices to the following:
- Tourist attractions.
- Religious groups.
- Civic groups.
- Special interest groups.
- UDOT employees.
- Elected officials.
- Media sources.
Minimize Community Impacts
- Provide education on alternate routes:
- Media traffic reports.
- Project and Commuterlink web sites.
- The use of VMS.
- Advertising campaigns.
- Bulletin board postings at local businesses.
- Address impacts to local economy (closures):
- Minimize the length of any closures.
- Accelerate ROW negotiations.
- Maintain commuter and community access throughout the life of the project.
Collaborate on Emergency Response
- Coordinate construction activities with emergency response needs.
- Invite Utah Highway Patrol, sheriff, EMT, local law enforcement and fire departments, etc., to project coordination meetings.
Publicize Project to Alter Travel Patterns
Use multiple communication mediums:
- A project web site.
- Public open houses.
- Business flyers.
- Supermarket bags.
- Radio and TV ads.
- E-mail trees.
Collaborate with Media and Traffic Team
- Invite media to project-related public events.
- Promote alternate routes.
- Use HAR.
- Provide construction updates on project web site.
- Provide progress notices and celebrate milestone events.
- Promote the project in AAA publications.
- Alert trucking companies of closures.
Develop a Strategic Marketing Plan
- Use CCTV.
- Hold annual special events.
- Use billboards.
- Develop alternate routes with the traffic/ITS team.
- Receive input from the EIS committees.
- Provide notices at tourist attractions.
- Use OnStar and GPS links.
- List travel times for routes on VMS.
- Use various media outlets (radio, TV, newspaper, Internet, etc.) in multiple languages.
- Coordinate with other government agencies, i.e., tourism bureaus.