September 27, 2013
Innovation of the Month: Locally Administered Federal-Aid Projects
As both state and local public agencies pursue smarter ways of doing business, Every Day Counts is promoting three approaches to help them administer local Federal-Aid Highway Program projects more effectively. They include stakeholder partnering, certification programs and consultant services.
At a time when staff and resources are constrained, many agencies are taking advantage of the flexibility that using consultant services offers in delivering local programs and projects. State agencies can adopt a variety of practices, such as establishing policies and procedures to help their local counterparts procure and manage consultant services effectively, developing contracting options for local agencies and using consultants to manage local programs.
The Wisconsin Department of Transportation, for example, uses consultants for local program management and maintains a roster of prequalified firms. And the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet has a statewide on-call contract for consultant services that local agencies can use on projects.
The Federal-Aid Essentials website for local agencies features how-to videos on Federal-Aid topics, including this overview on consultant services:
Owners Discuss Design-Build Lessons
Innovative project delivery techniques was the topic of a September 17 design-build transportation panel discussion on “Owners’ Lessons for the Local Design-Build Practitioner” in Washington, D.C. Attendees represented the Virginia Department of Transportation, Maryland State Highway Administration, District Department of Transportation and Federal Highway Administration.
Officials Break Ground on Massachusetts Bridge Project
Officials broke ground September 13 on the Braga Bridge Project along Route 79 in Fall River, Mass. The $197 million design-build project is one of five mega-projects in the Massachusetts Accelerated Bridge Program to repair or replace structurally deficient bridges. It will bring the roads and bridges up to current standards, remove the elevated section of Route 79 and rebuild nine “spaghetti” ramps connecting Route 79 and I-195. The result will be improved safety for drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists and increased access to the Fall River waterfront.
Montana Showcases Innovative Bridge Construction
A September 18 showcase in Dupuyer highlighted the first geosynthetic reinforced soil integrated bridge system built in Montana. The bridge crosses the South Fork Dry Fork Marias River and consists of GRS abutment walls with prestressed, voided-slab beams. The bridge is designed as a grizzly bear undercrossing. Nearly 40 representatives of county, state and federal agencies and private industry attended the classroom presentations and site visit.
Pennsylvania Reviews Incident Management
Pennsylvania’s State Transportation Advisory Committee hosted a policy and legislative best practices peer review on traffic incident management on September 17. A panel representing various states, industry and agencies offered their perspectives and best practices, followed by an information exchange among the stakeholders attending. This vision-setting meeting explored the importance of partnerships, multiagency coordination, communications, education and leadership in traffic incident management and identified obstacles to success. The committee plans to issue a report with recommendations in February 2014.
Rhode Island Expands Peer Exchange Agenda
As part of the September 24 EDC Exchange on locally administered Federal-Aid projects, Rhode Island attendees discussed state EDC initiatives and how to implement them in cities and towns. The initiatives include warm-mix asphalt, Safety EdgeSM, traffic incident management and accelerated bridge construction. The Rhode Island Department of Transportation, Statewide Planning Program, Local Technical Assistance Program and FHWA also plan roundtable discussions around the state over the next six months to discuss transportation issues cities and towns face and innovative techniques to address them.
Virginia Workshop Covers Local Programs
The Virginia Department of Transportation’s annual local programs workshop September 25 and 26 provided an overview of local programs and training on program management and project development. The workshop – with "A Network for Success" theme – brought together local government, state agency and private sector staff to discuss delivery of the local transportation program. The day before the workshop, the Virginia DOT also offered a boot camp on locally administered projects.