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Federal Highway Administration > Publications > Focus > January/February 2006 > New NHI Course Introduces Context Sensitive Solutions
January/February 2006Publication Number: FHWA-HRT-06-022

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New NHI Course Introduces Context Sensitive Solutions

A new 3-day course available from the Federal Highway Administration's (FHWA) National Highway Institute (NHI), Context Sensitive Solutions (Course No. FHWA-NHI-142050), highlights this collaborative, interdisciplinary approach to designing and constructing transportation projects that ensure safety and mobility while preserving scenic, aesthetic, historic, and environmental resources.

The course is targeted toward a broad audience, including representatives from Federal, State, and local transportation agencies; consulting firms; private industry; universities; and other organizations engaged in any aspect of planning, designing, constructing, and managing transportation projects. "The course will be most successful if attendees include a wide variety of people representing the various stakeholders in transportation projects," says Jack VanDop, an Environmental Specialist with FHWA's Eastern Federal Lands Highway Division office. Participant interaction is emphasized. "The course is designed to be a team building exercise, where participants will be encouraged to share their different perspectives and concerns for transportation projects, so everyone can become familiar with the various viewpoints that might arise. We want people to come to this course with an open mind," says VanDop.

The course looks at the benefits that use of CSS can bring, including effective and timely decisionmaking, building of public trust and support, improvement of the overall project delivery process, and safe and financially feasible project solutions. "The course covers the whole project delivery process, including the planning, design, construction, and maintenance of transportation facilities," says VanDop. Topics include:

  • CSS's collaborative, interdisciplinary approach to a transportation project.
  • The importance of achieving environmental sensitivity in project planning.
  • How aesthetics and incorporation of community values and themes are an integral part of good design practices.
  • CSS best practices used by States and FHWA's Federal Lands Highway office.
  • Tools and techniques available to obtain consensus among all of a project's stakeholders.
"The course covers the whole project delivery process, including the planning, design, construction, and maintenance of transportation facilities."

The course has a fee of $400 per participant, with a minimum class size of 20 and a maximum of 40. To schedule the course, complete the "On-Site Course Request" form at www.nhi.fhwa.dot.gov/NHIUPLR/Login.aspx. For more information on the course content, contact Keith Moore at FHWA, 202-366-0524 (email: keith.moore@fhwa.dot.gov); or Keith Harrison at FHWA, 415-744-2657 (email: keith.harrison@fhwa.dot.gov). For more information on scheduling a session, contact the NHI Training Team, 703-235-0534 (email: nhitraining@fhwa.dot.gov).

Additional information on CSS can be found at www.contextsensitivesolutions.org.

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Updated: 04/07/2011

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