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Lessons Learned

This section of the Center for Innovative Finance Support Project Delivery webpage provides lessons learned derived from the Project Delivery Team's involvement and review of a number of major projects underway or recently completed around the country. The information is presented in a variety of formats and provides a rich source of lessons learned from actual project experience with some of the United States' largest and most complex transportation improvements. The lesson learned documents may be viewed by project or by topic matter as shown below.

By Project

2002 Olympic Winter Games Infrastructure
When the Olympic Committee announced in June 1995 that Salt Lake City, Utah won the selection to host the Winter Games, it started a chain of collaborative events. The transportation professionals associated with the planning for the Utah infrastructure came together to develop partnerships between federal, state, and local stakeholders to ensure the success of the Winter Games. The efficiency and reliability of transportation would be among the most important benchmarks in determining the success of the Winter Games. This case study describes how local transportation practitioners developed and implemented a transportation plan to ensure efficient operations during the games.

Alameda Corridor Project
The Alameda Corridor consolidated rail traffic between the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach and the rail yards near downtown Los Angeles. The project placed 90 miles of rail with 200 roadway crossings into a 20-mile high capacity transit corridor between the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles, California. The $2.4 million project increased capacity in the corridor from 3.5 million containers to 12.7 million containers per year. The project involved a wide array of partners as well as a mix of private and public funding. This case study describes effective and collaborative leadership provided by the project's champions, in this case, the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach and a great deal of flexibility from other partners including the Federal level made the project come together, providing helpful lessons learned that are applicable to all mega projects.

Alaskan Way Viaduct & Seawall Replacement Program, Washington State (PDF)
This document, prepared by consultant Hatch Mott MacDonald for the FHWA, provides lessons learned related to the Earned Value Management System (EVMS) now in place in the Alaskan Way Viaduct and Seawall Replacement Program currently being delivered by the Washington Department of Transportation.

Big I (I-25 & I-40)
The Big I was the largest transportation project constructed in New Mexico and involved the replacement of the junction of two major interstate highways I-25 (Pan American Freeway) and I-40 (Coronado Interstate), which was one of the most congested interchanges in the country. The Big I project started in June of 2000 and was completed in May of 2002. This case study documents the successful collaboration that enabled the project's 55 bridges to be constructed in record time, less than two years for a cost of $270 million.

Central Artery, Massachusetts
This document provides a brief description of the 34 recommendations made by the Federal Task Force on the Central Artery/Tunnel Project located in Boston, Massachusetts.

The Hyperfix Project
The Hyperfix Project involved the rehabilitation of Interstates 65 and 70 in Indianapolis, Indiana to remediate deteriorating joints, potholes and rough pavements. The Hyperfix project was expedited by 85-day complete shutdown of I-65 and I-70 between May 27 and August 20, 2003 at a cost of $33 million. An early completion incentive was offered totaling $3.6 million or $100,000 every day the contractor opened travel lanes prior to the 85-day contract limit. Given that I-65 I-70 served a total of 170,000 vehicles per day, their closure required the cooperation of numerous stakeholders. This case study describes how INDOT and FHWA developed a collaborative partnership that also included IndyGo (the local transit agency), Indianapolis Department of Public Works, and the Indianapolis Metropolitan Planning Organization to implement the Hyperfix Project. Ultimately the project was completed 30 days ahead of schedule due to the successful planning and cooperation of its stakeholders offering an effective model for future projects.

I-15 Reconstruction Project
This case study describes the collaborative leadership project management approach used on the reconstruction of I-15 in Salt Lake City Utah. This $1.59 billion design-build project involved the reconstruction of 26km of Interstate mainline and the addition of new general purpose and high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes, construction and reconstruction of more than 130 bridges, the reconstruction of seven urban interchanges, reconstruction of three major junctions with other Interstate routes including I-80 and I-215, construction of an extensive region wide Advanced Traffic Management Services (ATMS) function. At the time it was completed in 2002 it was the largest single highway project and it was completion of the project ahead of schedule and under budget. The case study describes the contributions that collaborative leadership made to this successful outcome.

Marquette Interchange, Wisconsin (PDF)
Prepared by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, this document summarizes the best practices regarding the delivery of a major project, covering topics such as project leader responsibility, risk management, cost control, schedule management, program oversight and documentation.

Transportation Expansion (T-Rex) Project: Final Lessons Learned Report, June 2007
This document summarizes the lessons learned in the Transportation Expansion (T-REX) Project, which was an exceptionally successful example of a Design-Build (D-B) contract delivery method applied to a multi-modal (highway and light rail transit) infrastructure major project.

Woodrow Wilson Bridge Project, Washington D.C. area
This video, prepared by the FHWA, summarizes the lessons learned on the $2.5 billion Woodrow Wilson Bridge project in the Washington, DC area. This video discusses the challenges and opportunities associated with managing a major public works project as it evolves from planning through design and construction.

By Topic

Best Practices

Management Tools

Collaborative Leadership

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