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ACTT Workshop: Washington
SR 520 Project | March 16-18, 2004, Seattle, Washington

Appendix C: ACTT Skill Sets and Issues

The following skill sets were assembled for the SR 520 Bridge Replacement and HOV Project ACTT Workshop. They were asked to review, discuss, and recommend solutions for their identified issues. The skill set groups (see Appendix B) met on the first day of the workshop to talk through and brainstorm on the issues as they relate to the SR 520 Bridge Replacement and HOV project.

Innovative Contracting and Financing

This group was tasked with aligning the financing options with the goals of the project by matching anticipated cash flow with project management, while recognizing competing priorities for existing resources. This group was asked to consider the following issues specific to the SR 520 project:

  • Financing
    • What lessons have national experts learned about forecasting toll revenue, both cash flow and total proceeds?
    • How can we structure toll bonds 5 years or more before the open-to-traffic date in order to finance construction?
    • Although the public seems to accept the notion of tolling, is acceptance based on a faulty premise - such as the toll would only be 35 cents? If so, what do we do? How have tolls been introduced successfully in other states, especially those that didn't have a history of tolling?
    • Can/should facility be tolled during construction? If so, why and how?
    • If project is constructed in phases, how will this affect ability to toll?
    • Current construction schedules — and the purpose of this workshop — are based on the notion of build as fast as you can. If, however, you have to build based on a "metered" funding package, construction might be delayed until 2011. How does that change things?
    • Which states and/or projects are doing the best job with financing mega-projects via tolling and/or other innovative financing? (Not concerned with project financing packages under $1B.)
    • There's an HOV free or not question for this skill set. What is being done nationally? How does the approach affect bond rating, overall debt service, public opinion of tolls, public opinion of HOV, etc?
  • Contracting
    • Construction Duration
      • Environmental window limitations
      • A + B format?
      • Constraints on public closures and maintenance of traffic
    • Incentives
      • Early completion
      • Liquidated damages
      • Cost reduction incentive proposals (CRIPs)
      • System and resources to monitor, evaluate and respond
    • Delivery Methods
      • Design-Bid-Build (DBB)
      • Design-Build (DB)
      • Design-Build-Operate (DBO)
      • Prequalification and selection
      • Other methods
    • Oversight
      • Schedule and constructability reviews
      • Budget accountability
      • Biddability and claims audits

Environmental and Right-of-Way (ROW)

This group was tasked with ensuring that the scope-of-work and construction activities reflect a comprehensive view of the environmental and ROW concerns. Environmental, right-of-way, and utility issues need to be given thorough consideration with up-front coordination with all affected parties (agencies, public, jurisdictions, etc.) in order to ensure the most accelerated construction possible as well as to provide the most accommodating and cost effective project while minimizing environmental and socioeconomic effects. This group was asked to consider the following issues specific to the SR 520 project:

  • Environmental
    • Parks and 4(f)
      • 10th Avenue E and E Roanoke St
      • Bagley Viewpoint
      • Montlake Bike Path (Bill Dawson Trail)
      • McCurdy Park
      • East Montlake Park
      • Washington Park/Arboretum
      • Fairweather Nature Preserve
      • Points Loop Trail
      • SR 520 Trail (proposed)
    • Wetlands
      • Portage Bay/Union Bay
      • Washington Park Arboretum
      • Fairweather Creek
      • Cozy Cove
      • Yarrow Bay
      • Yarrow Bay Creek
    • Endangered Species Act
      • Chinook Salmon
      • Bald Eagle
    • Tribal Treaty Fishing Rights
      • Sensitive habitat
      • Negotiation strategy
    • Displacements
      • Residences in Medina
      • Commercial and government buildings in Montlake
    • Noise
      • Most of corridor exceeds FHWA criteria
      • Restricted noise levels during construction
    • Stormwater
      • Virtually no existing treatment
      • Location of facilities
    • Right-Of-Way
      • Early acquisition process
      • Funding
      • Acceleration of title transfer
      • Business relocations
      • Air leases
      • Temporary easements

Construction (Techniques, Automation, and Constructability)

This group was tasked with how to provide accelerated construction while still ensuring that the contractor delivers a quality product within confined time frames and areas, often while maintaining traffic. This group also considered ways to allow contractors to have input on design elements that would impact time or quality during construction in order to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the overall project completion. This group was asked to consider the following issues specific to the SR 520 Project:

  • I-5 Interchange
    • Limited construction staging area
    • Existing traffic and staging work
    • Poor soil condition near I-5
    • Large cut on the south side
    • Reconstruction of city street bridges and staging local traffic
    • Girder placement over I-5
    • Construction of center piers
  • Portage Bay Bridge
    • Phasing work with existing traffic
    • Work over water
    • Barges / work bridges
    • Work over existing facilities (e.g., Queen City Yacht Club)
  • Montlake Interchange
    • Staging Montlake Blvd reconstruction
    • Existing south retaining wall to remain
    • Construction of center piers for Montlake Blvd OC and Lid
    • Staging mainline traffic
  • West Approach Structure
    • Working in/over shallow water
    • Barges/work bridges
    • Construction staging
    • Use of existing "Ramp to Nowhere"
    • Access for delivery and placement of 250 ft girders
    • Closure of Lake Washington Blvd. ramps
  • Floating Bridge
    • Graving dock availability (e.g., Port Angeles or private facility)
    • Pontoon delivery
    • Completion of pontoon superstructure (off-site or on-site)
    • Anchor Placement and conflicts with the existing bridge anchors
  • East Approach Structure
    • SR 520 closure to make the tie in
    • Delivery and placement of signature truss transition span
    • Steep hillside above lake to Evergreen Pt Road
  • Evergreen Pt Road to 108th
    • Traffic staging
    • Limited construction staging areas
    • Maintaining local traffic

Geotechnical/Materials/Accelerated Testing

This group was tasked with exploring subsurface conditions and issues and assessment of their impacts on the project. This group was asked to consider the following issues specific to the SR 520 project:

  • Floating Bridge and Approaches
    • Anchor fabrication, shipping and placement
    • Drilled shafts and/or foundation
    • Seismic considerations
  • Mainline Bridges and over/under-Crossings
    • Substructure and foundation types
    • Material considerations
    • Seismic considerations
  • Tunneling
    • Cut and cover or boring
    • Materials types
    • Spoils
    • Seismic considerations
    • Fish window limitations
  • Retaining Structures
    • Types and applications
    • Foundation considerations
    • Pool soil conditions near I-5
  • Pavements
    • PCC or AC
    • Subgrade and structural section
    • Borrow sources

Roadway/Geometric Design

This group was tasked with considering the highway geometrics as they can greatly impact project funds and integrity. This group was asked to consider the following issues specific to the SR 520 project:

Design Standards and Guidelines

  • 60 MPH design speed
  • Full Shoulders (10 ft inside and outside)
  • Provide required sight distance (west of floating bridge)
  • Minimize ROW impacts
  • Maintain mainline and local traffic to the fullest extent possible
  • Construct north half outside of existing footprint
  • Eastside roadway widening anticipated
  • Reconstruct and establish new pedestrian/bike connections

Roadway and Geometrics

  • Widen existing highway east of floating bridge
    • Super-elevation design
    • Vertical clearance
  • Move HOV to inside
    • Rebuild transit stops on inside
    • What needs to be constructed to make HOV transition from outside to inside
  • Are three transit stops needed
  • Is flyer stop design appropriate for projected transit & passenger demand?
  • Should project include direct access ramps at Montlake Blvd E and at 108th Avenue NE
  • Should all ramps have metering and HOV bypass
  • Flyer stop/HOV direct access acceleration and merge lengths
  • Foster Island area mainline and LWB profiles
  • Staging areas and haul routes

Structures (bridges, retaining walls, culverts, miscellaneous)

Accelerating the construction of structures requires deviation from standard practices for design and construction and needs to include early coordination between designers and contractors. As such, this group was tasked with exploring a systems approach from the "ground up" versus the traditional emphasis on individual components. This group was asked to consider the following issues specific to the SR 520 project:

  • Range of Structures
    • Retaining walls and sound barriers
    • Bridges
    • Tunnels
    • Maintenance facility
    • Freeway lids (non-ventilated)
    • Bus transit facilities (in-line flyer stops)
    • Others
  • Construction
    • Work trestle and construction access at Arboretum and wetland areas in both Lake Washington and Portage Bay areas
    • Eastside work trestle and access for constructing north half of east approach in Lake Washington
    • Barge and derrick access in shallow waters near shoreline and use of existing dredged channels near Foster Island and Arboretum
    • East Approach staging adjacent properties outside R/W
    • Temporary anchorage of east cross-pontoon on south side.
    • Staging areas for equipment and materials
    • Maintenance of traffic and switch-overs
  • Environmental Concerns
    • Noise and event restrictions and their effect on work windows
    • Fish and other permit related windows
  • Maintenance of Traffic
    • Future staging for HCT and lane transitions
    • Lane tapers from eastside flyer stop extending onto floating bridge.

Traffic Engineering/Safety/ITS

This group was tasked with considering enhanced safety and improved traffic management through corridor contracting. This group considered construction alternatives and their associated affects on traffic through the corridor. This group also considered ways to provide better information to the traveling public and politicians during construction. This group was asked to consider the following issues specific to the SR 520 project:


  • When and for how long can the corridor be closed?
  • What bypass routes could be used during closures?
  • How and to what extent should we consider event traffic in the analysis and design (e.g., UW games/graduation; Mariner, Seahawk, Sonic)?
  • Can transit service be increased and subsidized during construction?
  • How will cut-through traffic be handled during construction?
  • No-build baseline network assumptions versus cumulative effects for this project; and then comparing to what I-405 has assumed.
  • Project limits - primarily for the 8-lane - satisfy logical termini test?
  • Reasonable short-term and long-term detour routes

Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS)

  • Ramp metering issues - adequacy of storage, need for HOV bypass, overall ramp design
  • Variable message signs
  • Corridor security and monitoring
  • ETC

High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV)

  • WSDOT HOV Policy
  • HOV - tolled or free?
  • Near-term HOV benefit vs. long-term HOV benefit


  • Near-term vs. long-term transit benefits
  • Are three transit stops needed
  • Is flyer stop design appropriate for projected transit & passenger demand?
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Updated: 10/27/2015
Federal Highway Administration | 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE | Washington, DC 20590 | 202-366-4000