ACTT Workshop: Wyoming
September 21-22, 2004, DuBois, Wyoming
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 Transportation Officials (AASHTO) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) jointly fund ACTT workshops.
In September 2004, the Wyoming Department of Transportation (WYDOT) hosted a workshop that brought together transportation professionals from around the Nation. The primary objective of the workshop was to draw on the expertise of participants to help WYDOT achieve its goal of minimizing construction time for its US-287/26, between Moran Junction and Dubois. The $100 million project is to reconstruct this 37-mile stretch of the highway to upgrade to a super-two facility with passing lanes. The primary project challenge is to complete the project under traffic while minimizing socioeconomic, environmental, and wildlife impacts. The construction season in this part of the country is short and coincides with tourism, which the small communities along the corridor rely on as a major source of retail sales. Prior to the workshop, WYDOT was evaluating several scheduling options including an accelerated 5-year construction option, a 7-year option, and a 9-year option. The corridor project was being designed as five projects that could be constructed individually or combined. The first project, approximately 10 mi (16 km) in length, was scheduled to begin in 2005 with completion in the 2006 construction season. To accelerate construction of the corridor, WYDOT is now considering combining contracts as recommended by workshop participants.
At the opening session on September 21, Pat Collins, WYDOT's Engineering and Planning Engineer, welcomed the participants and expressed support for the workshop. Jim Sorenson, FHWA's Senior Construction Engineer, posed the question "Why ACTT? Why Now?" before introducing WYDOT personnel to give an overview of the project. Following the opening remarks and a project tour, the participants spent a day and a half brainstorming, looking for methods and measures that would help achieve project goals.
The skill sets selected by WYDOT prior to the start of the workshop were Structures; Geotechnical; Innovative Contracting/Financing; Pavements; Traffic/ITS/Safety; Public Relations; Environmental; and Construction/Materials/Accelerated Testing. 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 WYDOT achieve its goals of minimizing construction time as well as socioeconomic, environmental, and wildlife impacts.
Workshop participants remained focused throughout the workshop and made numerous recommendations, many of which were deemed viable and will be pursued, according to WYDOT. Sleeter Dover, WYDOT's Director, attended the last day of the workshop. He thanked the participants, expressed support for the workshop, and spoke of the significance of such an undertaking on high-profile projects like this one. With the workshop now completed, it remains for WYDOT to sift through the various workshop ideas and recommendations and decide which should be implemented in the future planning, design, and construction phases of the US-287/26 reconstruction.