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Accelerated Construction Technology Transfer Toolkit

Archived: What is ACTT?

What is ACTT? Accelerated Construction Technology Transfer is a process that assembles a team of national leaders in standard highway project skill sets and delivers them to a site to work side by side with local experts on the planning of a major highway project. They meet in a three-day structured workshop that targets ways a State agency can reduce construction time, save money, improve safety, elevate quality – or all of the above. The result is a thorough review of the myriad details of a major project by some of the best minds in the business to help agencies meet – or exceed – project goals.

More than half of the 50 States have completed an ACTT workshop in just five years. Some have held multiple workshops. Powered by Federal, State and industry partners committed to cutting construction time and curbing congestion for customers, the Accelerated Construction Technology Transfer process is taking root as a standard way to fast-track quality construction.

The resources in this chapter provide a background on the ACTT program and include two presentations that will bring you up to speed on how the process generally works. This chapter also includes a discussion of how ACTT differs from Value Engineering as a way to enhance the outcome of highway projects. Subsequent chapters will provide more detail, offering tools and information to help you propose, plan and host an effective workshop.

ACTT: A program summary

The unprecedented increase in traffic volume and increased funding levels, coupled with an aging infrastructure, has caused highway construction activities to intensify in recent years in an attempt to accommodate the ever increasing traffic demands. Historically, highway construction time has been extensive and construction operations have further compounded traffic congestion particularly in our nationÕs larger cities. The negative feedback from our customers is indicative of their displeasure with both highway construction time and related traffic congestion. Although highway construction is unavoidable, excessive construction time must be avoided because it is costly and exposes highway workers to traffic and the motorist to substandard conditions longer than necessary.

FHWA Position:
In recent years we have heard a lot about the term "Get in, Stay in (and get it done right), Get out, and Stay out." The Accelerated Construction program focuses on achieving this objective. Using national transportation leaders to identify strategic planning goals, innovative techniques, and newer technologies, the Accelerated Construction Technology Transfer (ACTT) process has proven to be a viable approach to addressing the construction time and traffic congestion concerns of today's large, complex multi-phase projects. Recognizing the value of and fully supporting the ACTT program, the FHWA and the AASHTO's Transportation Implementation Group (TIG) joined forces to advocate and promote the accelerated construction approach.

Based on a recommendation by Transportation Research Board (TRB) Special Report 249, published in 1996, calling for the creation of a strategic forum to accelerate innovation in the highway industry, TRB Task Force A5T60 (now AFH35T) was formed in 1999 with the following objectives:

  • Facilitate removal of barriers to innovation;
  • Advocate continuous quality improvement and positive change;
  • Encourage the development strategies that generate beneficial change; and
  • Create a framework for informed consideration of innovation.

Since the initial pilot projects in 2002 (IN and PA) the ACTT management team has coordinated over 30 workshops. Projects have ranged in size from $1 million to $3.5 billion dollars. The program has also recruited and incorporated experts from the local, state, federal and private industries.

Implementation-oriented reports such as the ACTT II, ACTT Now, A "How To" Guide for State Highway Agencies, and ACT III – Transition to Tomorrow aim to assist states in developing their own programs. The latest report, "ACTT – Building on Success," was released in January 2007. These reference materials along with State ACTT workshop reports are available on our website at: https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/construction/accelerated/.

Action Needed:
The Office of Asset Management and the Resource Center, in cooperation with the AASHTO TIG, continue to work with FHWA Division offices to deploy the ACTT workshop as an effective step in the project delivery process. The ACTT management team is working jointly to continue serving as the central point for coordination of skill set experts and facilitation needs. In addition to the 34 workshops completed during the past five years, three States (WV, AR, MA) and the Ontario Ministry of Transportation, Canada have expressed an interest in the program for 2008.

Points of Contact:
Christopher Schneider, Construction & System Preservation Engineer, Office of Asset Management, FHWA, Office number: (202) 493-0551, e-mail Christopher.Schneider@dot.gov

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Updated: 02/27/2019
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