|Accelerating Infrastructure Innovations|
|Federal Highway Administration > Publications > Focus > September 2003 > Value Engineering 2003: Conference Features Success Stories, Lessons Learned|
|September 2003||Publication Number: FHWA-RD-03-021|
Value Engineering 2003: Conference Features Success Stories, Lessons Learned
Value engineering (VE) success stories and lessons learned from across the United States and worldwide were in the spotlight at the 2003 American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials’/Federal Highway Administration (AASHTO/FHWA) Value Engineering Conference. Held in Tampa, Florida, from July 15–18, 2003, the conference drew 145 attendees, including many international participants. The event featured three tracks: Case Studies, Starting and Maintaining a VE Program, and Advanced Tools and Techniques.
“The conference was good for the people just getting into value engineering and also useful for the long-term practitioners,” noted Jim St. John, Division Administrator in FHWA’s Florida Division Office. “You could see a lot of mentoring going on during the sessions. It was really a community of practice.” In addition to the State highway agencies that participated, engineers came from Greece, Japan, India, Canada, Korea, and other countries to learn more about the VE concept and process.
Using the VE process, a highway agency reviews a project’s features and looks for ways to improve quality, foster innovation, and lower owner costs. A VE study typically takes 4–5 days to perform and involves a multidisciplinary team. At the concept stage, this team might include planning and right-of-way staff, environmentalists, and private citizens. A study done during the design phase of a project might involve a team of construction, design, traffic, and maintenance staff.
Conference sessions looked at everything from the basics of VE to setting up a VE training program to incorporating VE with design-build contracting. A presentation on the Florida Turnpike’s Orlando South Interchange looked at how VE analysis was used to improve this often confusing interchange, which connects two freeways and three surface streets. Eight of 12 recommended VE alternatives have been accepted to date, at an estimated cost savings of $48.4 million. In Ottawa, Canada, meanwhile, VE review of the planned rehabilitation of King Edward Avenue identified significant potential cost savings. King Edward Avenue is a main arterial route in Ottawa that also leads across the Ottawa River to the Province of Quebec, serving as the primary interprovincial link for car and truck traffic. The VE analysis was performed in the planning stage of the project. An independent team identified $6 million in potential savings from the original project budget of $18 million. The VE recommendations included making modifications to the interchange design at the North End of the project.
The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) highlighted lessons learned from its Caltrans Value Analysis (VA) Program. Over the last 7 years, Caltrans has completed 175 VA project studies, resulting in cost savings of $870 million and a return on investment of 92:1. Other benefits of the Caltrans VA process is that it saves on project development time, provides a method to quantify the project scope, and helps in building consensus among project stakeholders. Key project performance criteria that are analyzed include the highway operations, system preservation, and environmental impact aspects of a project, as well as the project schedule. “The VA program assures the project stakeholders that viable alternatives have been thoroughly considered and evaluated,” said George Hunter, the VA Program Director for Caltrans.
Ken Smith of the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) reported on the many resources available in AASHTO’s VE Toolbox, which can be found on the AASHTO VE Web site at www.wsdot.wa.gov/eesc/design/aashtove. The toolbox includes VE evaluation and criteria matrixes and a cost model. Also available are Caltrans’ Value Analysis Report and Team Guide and the WSDOT’s VE Study Template, information on Value Engineering for Small Transportation Projects, and a Value Engineering Workbook Template.
The conference also featured the presentation of the FHWA Value Engineering Outstanding Achievement Awards, which recognize accomplishments by State highway VE programs over the past 2 years, and the AASHTO National Value Engineering Awards, which honor outstanding VE projects. The FHWA awards were presented to Florida, New Jersey, Tennessee, and West Virginia (see sidebar).
The AASHTO awards were given for the Most Value Added Project and the Most Innovative Project in the categories of Design Engineering, Process Improvement, and Construction (see sidebar).
To learn more about the 2003 VE Conference, visit the AASHTO VE Web site at www.wsdot.wa.gov/eesc/design/aashtove. Presentations and abstracts from the conference have been posted on the site. For more information on VE, contact Donald Jackson at FHWA, 202-366-4630 (fax: 202-366-3988; email: firstname.lastname@example.org) or check the FHWA VE Web site at www.fhwa.dot.gov/ve/index.htm.
United States Department of Transportation - Federal Highway Administration