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SEP 14: Annual Report 2009: Capital Beltway HOT Lanes Project

3 Institutional and Project Management Issues

3.1 Community Involvement and Coordination with Elected Officials

Project Partners recognize the importance of regular interaction and proactive communications with citizens and elected officials. Accordingly, over the past year the Project Team has held more than 35 meetings with Fairfax County Supervisors and their staffs.

Additionally, Since March 2008, the project team has held over 175 meetings and continues to perform monthly outreach, including:

  • Over 60 Community Meetings
  • Over 80 Business Meetings
  • Direct Impact Mailings and Door-to-Door Communications
  • Continuous Interaction with Elected Officials
  • Project Updates, Fact Sheets, News Releases, and FAQ's on Web sites
  • Paid Advertising - Radio and Print Ads

Each month the project sends electronic communications to over 1000 individuals including elected officials, staff and interested stakeholders. The e-mails include:

  • Weekly Construction Activity and Lane Closure Reports
  • Weekly Megaproject Calendar Updates
  • Weekly Megaproject Bulletins
  • Monthly Northern Virginia Project News
  • VDOT News Releases

3.2 Soundwalls

Noise protection and soundwalls have become touchstone issues for communities bordering the project and their elected officials. Soon after clearing began in summer 2008, affected communities began raising concerns to VDOT and to local elected officials regarding both the pace of soundwall construction and the height of the soundwalls. Residents wanted the new soundwalls to be built earlier in the project, and many communities expressed a desire for higher soundwalls, particularly where the sound receptors were high-rise residential buildings.

In response, VDOT has worked with the Commonwealth Transportation Board to fund some additions to soundwall construction Additionally, the Design/Builder is revisiting the project schedule to determine where soundwall construction can be accelerated.

3.3 Issues

The proliferation of PCOs on the Design-Builder's list has become a significant management issue for all parties involved in the project. Currently, some 85 PCOs are identified by the Design-Builder, 28 of those involving the Department. The remainder are to be resolved between the Design/Builder and Concessionaire.

Immediately after financial close in December 2007, the project partners developed an "Issues Resolution Ladder," consisting of five or six levels of progressively higher responsibility, to be used in resolving issues that had the potential to become change orders. The Resolution Ladders for Design and Construction are depicted Exhibits 6 and 7, respectively.

Exhibit 6 Resolution Ladder - Design
Exhibit 6 -Resolution Ladder - Design as discussed in the previous paragraph

Exhibit 7 Resolution Ladder - Construction
Exhibit 7 - Resolution Ladder - Construction as discussed in the previous paragraph.

The intent of these ladders was to resolve the majority of issues at Level 2 or below, and to quickly escalate those issues that could not be resolved. The reality proved to be that the partners were generally unwilling or unable to resolve issues at the lower levels, such that most issues made their way to Level 3 or above.

Because this has proven untenable, all parties have now agreed to investigate a modified process for addressing issues.

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Jerry Yakowenko
Office of Program Administration
E-mail Jerry

Updated: 04/07/2011

United States Department of Transportation - Federal Highway Administration