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Semi-Annual Reports to WSDOT

Semi-Annual Project Delivery Report
With data from Federal Fiscal Year 2011 Quarters 1 & 2 (October–March 2011)
Issue IX, May 27, 2011

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Washington Division (WADIV) has developed the following Project Delivery Report which highlights some of the broad array of activities / initiatives / approvals we perform to assist the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) and local agencies in delivering projects.


RIGHT- SIZING ENVIRONMENTAL DOCUMENTATION FOR COLEMAN DOCK

The FHWA Washington Division Office lead the effort to streamline the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process for the Washington State Ferries (WSF) project on Colman Dock in Seattle. FHWA, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), and WSF issued a notice of intent to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) in March of 2006 for a project which would have reconfigured and expanded the ferry terminal at Colman Dock in Seattle. The proposal included off-site parking, transit-oriented developments, potentially including a hotel, on the dock itself, and expansion of over-water coverage. The project was shelved for several years. When the project was reinitiated, it was with a very different scope. The purpose and need was revised and focused on reconstruction of the existing terminal building and a portion of the dock, as well as safety upgrades including improving accessibility for those with disabilities.

The changes to the dock in the current proposal will not result in any increase in over-water coverage, and there is no longer any work proposed outside the current facility. Despite these changes, FTA was advocating continuing with an EIS. While FHWA initially deferred to FTA, the Division ultimately decided that an EIS was not warranted, and elevated the issue. Upon our urging FTA agreed to re-visit the level of NEPA documentation required, and the co-lead agencies eventually agreed to prepare an Environmental Assessment (EA). This right-sizing from an EIS to and EA will likely save WSF hundreds of thousands of dollars and at least a year of time. The Notice of Intent (NOI) was rescinded on February 3, 2011.


TRANSPORTATION INVESTMENT GENERATING ECONOMIC RECOVERY (TIGER)

The following three TIGER II projects in Washington State were awarded a total of $45 million on October 20, 2010: South Park Bridge Replacement in King County ($34 million); East Foster Wells Road Extension Phase 2 in Franklin County ($ 1.01 million) and West Vancouver Freight Access Project in Clark County ($10 million). All three projects are designed to enhance safety, reduce congestion and revitalize economically depressed areas.

As of today, all three TIGER II agreements and performance measures have been executed and the Washington Division played a key role in this achievement. The Washington Division staff made it their priority to assist in the delivery of these projects, from a quick turn around in the environmental process, to an expedited PS&E approval, and review / approval of other agreements in a timely manner to keep the projects on schedule. The South Park Bridge Replacement and the East Foster Wells Road Extension projects were the first two executed agreements in the country. These first two projects are well on their way to construction. Both contracts have been awarded and the ground breaking ceremony for the South Park Bridge Replacement was held on May 5, 2011.

The Washington Division played a major role in aiding the State and local agencies in delivering these projects. The great collaboration was key element to this success as noted in the following:

On behalf of the Port of Vancouver, I would like to express heartfelt appreciation to the FHWA, Washington Division for its exceptional effort in the recent race to obligate funds for the port's TIGER II grant...Thanks to the diligence of the FHWA, in particular your staff, the port was able to obligate the grant. April 8, 2011. The timely obligation could not have occurred without the quick response of your staff who ensured port staff had the necessary tools and feedback to appropriately complete the obligation process within the compressed time constraints...Their can-do attitude and attention to detail reflected well upon the FHWA , demonstrating an outstanding spirit of cooperation...Thank you again for your support.

    – Todd Coleman, Deputy Executive Director, Port of Vancouver



Status of Recovery Act Projects

The chart shows the current status of the Recovery Act projects. More than half of the ARRA projects have been closed. To date 89% of ARRA funding has been expended for a total of $434,739,499.61.

The chart shows the current status of the Recovery Act projects. More than half of the ARRA projects have been closed. To date 89% of ARRA funding has been expended for a total of $434,739,499.61.

Approval of Documented Categorical Exclusions

This chart shows the timeliness of approval of documented categorical exclusions (DCEs) semi-annually from FY2007 to FY2011. As the chart depicts, we are approving the vast majority of DCEs within the first 10 days of receipt.

This chart shows the timeliness of approval of documented categorical exclusions (DCEs) semi-annually from FY2007 to FY2011.

As the chart depicts, we are approving the vast majority of DCEs within the first 10 days of receipt.


Approval of R/W Cert 3s - This chart shows the timeliness of approval for right-of-way (R/W) Certifications 3 (Cert. 3s) • A Cert. 3 occurs for parcels where not all rights have been obtained or there may be some displacees remaining. • Our goal is to take action on / approve 90% of certification 3s within 10 days of receipt. Certifications that took longer than 10 days required negotiations that took additional time to finalize.

This chart shows the timeliness of approval for right-of-way (R/W) Certifications 3 (Cert. 3s)

  • A Cert. 3 occurs for parcels where not all rights have been obtained or there may be some displacees remaining.
  • Our goal is to take action on / approve 90% of certification 3s within 10 days of receipt.

Certifications that took longer than 10 days required negotiations that took additional time to finalize.

* Approval of certifications 1 and 2 have been delegated to WSDOT.
** In order to authorize the advertisement of a project for construction, the State must certify the R/W has been cleared, per 23 CFR 635.309.
*** Certification 3s are to be used only in very unusual circumstances.

OTHER APPROVALS/ACTIONS

Design Approvals

Design Deviations

Access Actions

Environmental Document Approvals


Timeliness of Authorizations / Modifications
(All Federal-aid Projects Including ARRA)

Number of Days 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011
0 to 5 Days 208 780 858 724 1327 1463 1456 943 1451 1645 2261 1936 836
6 to 10 Days 24 241 307 121 90 101 103 68 175 128 113 131 10
11 to 15 Days 12 77 109 39 10 22 24 13 37 12 7 18 4
16 to 20 Days 9 29 34 21 5 3 8 1 18 5 1 3 1
20 + Days 31 152 68 98 52 15 17 8 16 13 5 1 0
Totals 284 1279 1376 1003 1484 1604 1608 1033 1697 1803 2387 2089 851

This table reflects the number of authorizations / modifications approved within certain timeframes since 1999.

  • For FY2011 our approval is at 98%. The 98% exceeded our goal of 90%!

(Note: the FY begins on October 1 and ends on September 30 of the following year. )

WASHINGTON STATE EVERY DAY COUNTS (EDC) IMPLEMENTATION PLAN

The WSDOT EDC Implementation Plan has been submitted and uploaded to the FHWA EDC Portal. The following initiatives will be implemented by WSDOT and the Division Office. Included with the initiatives are the intended metrics:

Warm Mix Asphalt (WMA): By December 2011, WSDOT will have a specification &/or contractual language that allows WMA on Federal-aid or Federal Lands projects. By December 2012, WSDOT will have achieved set targets for WMA usage.

Prefabricated Bridge Elements and Systems (PBES): By December 2012, to accelerate bridge construction, 100 cumulative bridges have been designed and/or constructed rapidly using PBES. By December 2012, 25 percent of single- or multispan replacement bridges authorized using Federal-aid have at least one major prefabricated bridge element that shortens onsite construction time relative to conventional construction.

Geosynthetic Reinforced Soil (GRS): By June 2012, WSDOT will have adopted the GRS Integrated Bridge System (IBS) specifications and special provisions within their standard bridge documents. By December 2012, a total of 30 bridges have been designed and/or constructed using GRS IBS on the National Highway System (NHS) within 20 states and 75 bridges have been designed and/or constructed using GRS IBS off the NHS.

Safety Edge: By December 2011, WSDOT will have used the Safety Edge on projects and will have adopted safety edge specifications. By December 2012, WSDOT will have adopted the Safety Edge as a standard for paving projects.

Adaptive Signal Control Technology (ASCT): By December 2011, ACS-Lite (one ASCT system) will be comprehensively evaluated and demonstrated to underscore the opportunities and benefits of using Adaptive Control Technology. By

December 2012, ASCT / EDC tools will be utilized by WSDOT to guide the implementation of arterial management and traffic signal projects which improve safety and reduce congestion.

Expanding Use of Programmatic Agreements: Nationwide FHWA will expand, revise, or create 15 programmatic approaches at the state and regional scale by December 30, 2011. WSDOT/FHWA will assess potential for and initiate where feasible development of regional programmatic approaches by December 30, 2011.

Flexibility in Utility Relocation and Accommodation: By December 2011, WSDOT will use a new agreement, construction provision, or reimbursable agreement to expedite the accommodation or relocation of utilities.

This chart shows the  timeliness of approval for emergency relief (ER) damage inspection reports. Our goal is to approve 90% of these reports within 10 days of receipt. • For the 1st/2nd quarters of FY 2011 we fell 10% short of our goal. • For the 3rd/4th quarters of FY 2010 we fell 15% short of our goal due to the increase Recovery Act work load and internal staff turnover. • For the 1st/2nd quarters of FY 2010 we fell 7% short of our goal due to the increased work load resulting from the Recovery Act. We approved 83% of the damage inspection reports within 10 days of receipt. • For the 3rd/4th quarters of FY2009 we fell 16% short of our goal due to the increased work load resulting from the Recovery Act. We approved 74% of the damage inspection reports within 10 days of receipt. We met our goal of 90% for the 1st/2nd quarters of FY2009.

This chart shows the timeliness of approval for emergency relief (ER) damage inspection reports. Our goal is to approve 90% of these reports within 10 days of receipt.

  • For the 1st/2nd quarters of FY 2011 we fell 10% short of our goal.
  • For the 3rd/4th quarters of FY 2010 we fell 15% short of our goal due to the increase Recovery Act work load and internal staff turnover.
  • For the 1st/2nd quarters of FY 2010 we fell 7% short of our goal due to the increased work load resulting from the Recovery Act. We approved 83% of the damage inspection reports within 10 days of receipt.
  • For the 3rd/4th quarters of FY2009 we fell 16% short of our goal due to the increased work load resulting from the Recovery Act. We approved 74% of the damage inspection reports within 10 days of receipt. We met our goal of 90% for the 1st/2nd quarters of FY2009.

ADAPTIVE SIGNAL CONTROL TECHNOLOGY (ASCT) GAINING MOMENTUM IN WASHINGTON

Poor traffic signal timing contributes to traffic congestion and delay. Conventional signal systems use pre-programmed, daily signal timing schedules. ASCT, one of the five technologies highlighted in the Every Day Counts (EDC) Initiative, adjusts the timing of red, yellow, and green lights to accommodate changing traffic patterns and ease traffic congestion. The main benefits of ASCT over conventional signal systems are that it can reduce congestion by creating smoother flow, and prolong the effectiveness of traffic signal timing. In Washington state, the City of Bellevue has recently implemented an ASCT system and the initial results are showing impressive reductions in vehicle delay. A number of other local agencies are also showing interest in ASCT. As part of the EDC Initiative, the FHWA Washington Division Office and WSDOT Headquarters Traffic Office have taken the lead in developing an ASCT Implementation Plan. The plan calls for the creation of an ASCT Task Force to complete a feasibility scan of potential traffic signal systems that would benefit from ASCT. The result of this scan will identify a signalized corridor for a near-term ASCT pilot project. It is envisioned that the pilot will be a joint WSDOT/ local agency project on a corridor that include signals operated by both WSDOT and a local agency. Through the pilot project and additional outreach efforts in the state on the benefits of ASCT, the Washington Division and WSDOT will be working closely together through the next few years to ensure ASCT is considered and deployed in appropriate locations throughout Washington state where delays and congestion caused by traffic signals can be reduced and made more reliable.

Dan Mathis
Division Administrator
FHWA Washington Division
360-753-9480
Daniel.Mathis@dot.gov
Yamilée P. Volcy
SW and Eastern Regions Area Engineer
FHWA Washington Division
360-753-9552
Yamilee.Volcy@dot.gov
Green Washingtion State with Department of Transportation Emblem
Page last modified on April 1, 2013.
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