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Oregon Demonstration Project: Alternate Project Delivery And Accelerated Bridge Construction On OR 38, Drain To Elkton
Data Acquisition and Analysis
Data collection on the ODOT HfL project consisted of acquiring and comparing data on safety, construction congestion, quality, and user satisfaction before, during, and after construction. The primary objective of acquiring these types of data was to provide HfL with sufficient performance information to support the feasibility of the proposed innovations and to demonstrate that the D-B method of project delivery coupled with the use of accelerated bridge construction technologies can be used to accomplish the following:
This section discusses how well ODOT's project met the specific HfL performance goals in these areas.
The HfL performance goals for safety include meeting both worker and motorist safety goals during construction. For ODOT, safety of the workers and the traveling public was more than a performance goal; it was a requirement under the Oregon Transportation Investment Act program. All site personnel, field crews, designers, inspectors, and owner's representatives received site-specific orientation and safety training before working on this project. In addition, all construction workers received quarterly safety training and attended mandatory weekly safety meetings.
During the construction of the bridges on OR 38, few worker injuries were reported and these injuries were minor in nature. Ten incidents were reported over a 2-year period (i.e., 0.4 incident per month), including cases of lower back pain, scorpion bite, and poison oak exposure. None of these injuries resulted in loss of work for the workers. Overall, the contractor exceeded the HfL goal for worker safety (incident rate of less than 4.0 based on the OSHA 300 rate).
As for the safety of the traveling public, ODOT's foremost solution was to minimize traffic disruption and interaction with construction activities and workers. In the 3 years before construction began (2004–2006), data showed a crash rate slightly higher than the statewide crash rate for a rural principal arterial (i.e., 0.69 crashes per million vehicle-miles versus 0.67 crashes per million vehicle-miles statewide).
During construction, the contractors took extraordinary steps to assure that incidents were kept to a minimum. The many safeguards put in place to prevent crashes during construction were effective. These included procurement of Oregon State Police during major traffic changes and peak construction periods. Other effective measures included scheduled open houses, regular news releases, and establishment of a dedicated phone line and Web site. A review of the individual incidents showed that only three crashes occurred in the vicinity of the project's bridge sites. However, as reported by ODOT, none of these crashes was attributed to the construction activities.
Expedited construction was a key HfL performance goal, which specifies a 50 percent reduction in the time highway users are impacted during construction compared to traditional practices. ODOT believes that, through overlapping design and construction using the D-B method of project delivery and using incentive/disincentive clauses and innovative accelerated construction technologies such as HSS, it was able to dramatically reduce the impact of construction activities on neighboring residents, businesses, and roadway users.
ODOT estimated that under conventional methods, the construction of crossings 3 and 4 would have taken an extra year to complete and the impact of construction-related activities on roadway users would have been dramatic. By putting to work an innovative and proven technology (HSS), ODOT dramatically reduced the impact on highway users to just two weekend closures. In addition, by using a temporary structure during the reconstruction of crossing 5, ODOT reduced construction time and impact on the traveling public from 6 months to only 6 weeks. With a well-thought-out staged construction plan for crossings 1 and 2, ODOT was able to eliminate the interference of construction activities on traffic flow.
Although the quality of the replaced crossings on OR 38 potentially was improved because most of the work was done in a controlled environment and prefabricated bridge components were used, the replacement process in general had no impact on pavement noise and smoothness.
As indicated in earlier sections, during the planning stages of the project, ODOT undertook an aggressive and comprehensive effort to communicate with affected residents and businesses along the corridor and near the bridges, keeping them abreast of all activities before, during, and after construction. The HfL requirement for user satisfaction included a performance goal of 4–plus on a Likert scale of 1 to 7 for the following two questions:
A post-construction stakeholder survey conducted by ODOT clearly indicated that the neighboring residents and businesses were extremely satisfied with the construction approach and the final product. ODOT exceeded the HfL expectation by a large margin. The answers to questions 1 and 2 illustrate ODOT's overall performance during the project and stakeholders' overall satisfaction with the project results. A total of 376 respondents provided feedback to these questions.
How satisfied are you with the new bridges between Drain and Elkton, compared to the previous bridges and roadway alignments? Are you (CHOOSE ONE):
88.3 percent (332) Very satisfied 6.9 percent (26) Somewhat satisfied 3.5 percent (13) Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied 0.0 percent (0) Somewhat dissatisfied 1.3 percent (5) Very dissatisfied
How satisfied are you with the approach ODOT took in constructing the new bridges so as to minimize disruptions to the traveling public? Are you (CHOOSE ONE):
86.4 percent (325) Very satisfied
Figure 28. User satisfaction with the final product.
Figure 29. User satisfaction with the project approach.
Figure 28 and Figure 29 illustrate the 376 respondents' level of satisfaction with the project approach and the new bridges between Elkton and Drain. For comprehensive results of ODOT's user satisfaction survey, see Appendix A.