August 15, 2014
Innovation Implementation: State Transportation Innovation Council Projects
States across the country are deploying innovation with the help of the Federal Highway Administration's incentive program for State Transportation Innovation Councils. Under the program, STICS can apply for funds to defray some of the cost of making innovations standard practice.
STICs are using the funds to advance a variety of innovations:
- The North Carolina Department of Transportation is pursuing a local government agency certification initiative to improve compliance with state and federal requirements and reduce delivery time on locally administered Federal-Aid projects.
- The Ohio STIC is using funds to develop guidance on how to improve the quality and streamline the production of two environmental documents that are important in project development: feasibility studies and alternative evaluation reports.
- The Vermont STIC is working on a project to institutionalize the design-build contracting method in the state. The Vermont Agency of Transportation is documenting key design-build processes and procedures so they can be used consistently on future projects.
More STIC project examples are on the Center for Accelerating Innovation's STIC Incentive Allocations Web page.
Maryland Project Wins Finding of No Significant Impact
FHWA has issued a finding of no significant impact document, also known as a FONSI, for the Maryland Route 5 Leonardstown project, which is needed to address public safety and operational issues. The FONSI, a collaborative effort between the Maryland State Highway Administration and FHWA, was developed using quality environmental documentation strategies. Written for readability and ease of comprehension, the FONSI uses an interactive format with visual references to enhance communication. The Maryland agency plans to continue its efforts to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of National Environmental Policy Act documents to conserve resources and accelerate project delivery.
Michigan Uses CM/GC for Streetcar Project
The Michigan Department of Transportation has awarded the $56 million Package A, the first stage in building a 3.3 mile streetcar project on the M-1 rail line in Detroit. Package A consists of roadway resurfacing and reconstruction, bridge reconstruction and placement of rails for the streetcar. The M-1 streetcar project is a public-private partnership funded with federal, state, local and private funds. It's being delivered using the construction manager/general contractor construction method. Package A is scheduled to be completed in October 2016.
Oregon Bridge Projects Win Top Honors
The Daily Journal of Commerce has recognized two Oregon Department of Transportation bridge projects in its 2014 TopProjects awards. The publication named the Willamette River Bridge project in Eugene as the year's top transportation project. The agency used the construction manager/general contractor delivery method to build the $180 million project. The I-5 SW Iowa Street Viaduct replacement project in Portland placed third. The TopProjects program recognizes the best building and construction projects in Oregon and southwest Washington.