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ACTT Workshop: Oregon
Paving The Way

Chapter 3: Skill Set Recommendations

3.1. Construction

The construction skill set made the following recommendations:

  • Develop concurrent environmental process and design for the reconstruction and the rehabilitation alternatives.
    • Develop grind/inlay rehabilitation as a contingency design.
    • Prepare an absolute-minimum rehabilitation design (throw-away).
    • Be prepared: if pavement deterioration accelerates, reconstruction becomes a priority, and the rebuild process will be underway.
    • Have reconstruction PS&E ready by 2009 - funds are programmed for the 2009 STIP.
  • Prepare for reconstruction and modernization at the earliest possible time.
    • Lower pavement grade for minimum requirements.
    • Add six-inch clearance for future overlays.
    • Determine the minimum vertical clearance.
    • Consider closing some bridges and ramps (do a traffic study).
    • Identify capacity improvements corridor-wide and at critical choke points.
  • Construct with full closures of some type.
    • Consider closure by quadrants or halves.
    • Keep both directions of U.S. 26 open to and from I-5.
    • Provide interim milestones with incentives.
    • Ensure that the schedule for closures fits the construction seasons.
  • Prepare for utilities and subsurface work.
    • Do a thorough study of subsurface utilities and substructure.
    • Relocate utilities prior to construction.
    • Replace/rehabilitate inlets and pipe trunk lines using trenchless technology where feasible.
    • Add water quality and/or detention as required.
    • Replace/rehabilitate ODOT-owned illumination systems.
    • Identify hazardous materials areas (contaminated soil, asbestos piping, etc.).
  • Use innovative scheduling and partnering.
    • Change ODOT scheduling specifications to require more frequent updating.
    • Require an on-call partnering facilitator.
    • Advance contract award in time for six-month planning, mobilization, partnering and off-site work. Include a pay item.
    • Require a central field location with owner and contractor.
    • Consider escrow bid documents.
    • Consider dispute resolution board.
    • Consider strengthening claim certification specifications.
  • Address time to construct loop.
    • Get the project on the street quicker.
    • Provide longer time to design and contract.
  • Make safety a priority.
    • Prepare an incident response plan: it is critical.
    • Increase safety by separating traffic from workers (positive staging barriers) or by closing the roadway.
  • Consider innovative construction materials.
    • Thin white topping.
    • Rubblized rolling operation.
    • Pre-cast panels for new bridge construction.
    • Recycled concrete.
    • High-early strength concrete (include in performance specifications).

3.2. Innovative Contracting

The innovative contracting team made the following procurement recommendations:

  • If the contract is greater than $50 million, use D-B.
  • For a $25-$50 million project:
    • Consider design-bid-build (D-B-B) with alternative technical concepts (ATC) and best value.
    • Consider construction manager (CM) at risk.
    • Consider a standard unit price contract with performance specification for maintenance of traffic.
  • If the project is less than $25 million, consider D-B-B.

They went on to discuss each option in more detail.

Design-bid-build with ATC and Best Value
  • Concept is similar to value engineering (VE).
  • It occurs during pre-bid process.
  • Concepts are held confidential.
CM at Risk
  • ODOT selects the designer.
  • It requires early contractor involvement.
  • ODOT selects the CM based on qualifications.
  • The selected CM works with the ODOT designer to complete design.
  • There should be a fixed price/best value or a contractor-proposed guaranteed maximum price, or GMP.
Standard Unit Price Contract with Performance Specification for Maintenance of Traffic
  • Contractor can bid at 80 percent design with estimated quantities.
  • ODOT awards a unit price contract with adjustable quantities.
  • ODOT provides an allowance for the designer to complete the last 20 percent.
  • The contractor would be allowed to modify design at his own cost.

The innovative contracting skill set recommended that, regardless of the procurement mechanism selected, ODOT consider A-plus-B contracting and the use of incentives and disincentives.

3.3. Traffic/ITS/Safety

The Traffic/ITS/Safety skill set began by focusing on questions regarding the project scope:

  • Structure management.
  • Pavement condition.
  • Access management (ramps).
  • Operational deficiencies/safety.
  • End product.
  • Operational goals.

With a grasp on those issues, the team discussed traffic control plan strategies, making the following recommendations.

  • Consider closures (off-peak, full, directional, segmented, weekend).
  • Use incentives and disincentives.
  • Consider selected ramp enhancements.
  • Use ITS (traveler information, incident management, arterial integration, etc.).
  • Promote the use of alternative routes (local and regional).
  • Make coordination with the public and stakeholders a priority.
  • Study origin/destination patterns.
  • Accommodate the different types of vehicles traveling the corridor.

3.4. Public Relations

The public relations team detailed an identify/inform/involve concept to meet the project's public involvement needs. A key component of that effort will be developing a master communications and public involvement plan.

  • Identify communications and public involvement toolbox.
  • Inventory external and internal customers affected by the project.
  • Use activities and techniques designed to engage both external and internal customers in the project.
  • Refer to public relations as "public information and involvement."
  • Start now on the communications and public involvement plan.

3.5. Structures/Geotechnical

The structures/geotechnical skill set identified the following issues with, and solutions for, the I-405 pavement preservation project:

  • Bridges.
    • Most have 30 to 40 years of service life remaining.
    • Most, if not all, are not up to current design standards.
  • Vertical clearance.
    • Most bridges have sub-standard vertical clearance.
  • Light rail and utilities.
  • Lower I-405.
  • Raise or thin bridges.
  • Limit clearance to 15 feet (per AASHTO guidelines).
  • Temporarily close the bridges during construction.
  • Provide access management by eliminating ramps and bridges.
  • Use prefabricated elements.
  • Use rapid construction techniques.
  • Consider an elevated viaduct.
  • Consider capping I-405.

3.6. Right-of-Way/Utilities/Rail

The right-of-way/utilities/rail group made the following recommendations:

  • Focus on partnership and communication with the city of Portland, utility companies, neighborhoods, etc.
  • Assess the limited ROW situation due to historic buildings and high-value real estate (narrow corridor).
  • Seek clarity on storm-water quantity and quality issues: the solutions will affect ROW requirements.
  • Collect high-quality utility information, including field-reconnaissance data.
  • Increase survey limits to capture side street or downstream impacts.
  • Seek early consensus on light rail design and operations constraints.
  • Require early final design decisions.
  • Add capacity with an I-5/I-405 couplet or a vertically separated structure to stay in existing ROW.

3.7. Environmental/Context-Sensitive Design

The environmental/context-sensitive design skill set focused on two key issues:

  • Understand all elements of the problem.
    • The age and condition of the pavement.
    • The age and condition of all structures.
    • Loop study findings (for I-5 and I-405).
    • The needs and patterns of regional and local users.
    • Historic resources.
    • Neighborhoods and connectivity issues.
    • Business interests.
    • Utilities.
    • Light rail and transit.
    • Storm water.
    • Noise.
  • Use a CSS approach.
    • Develop a master plan for engaging stakeholders.
    • Ensure pavement longevity without precluding the master plan.
    • Accommodate the region's mobility objectives.
    • Incorporate opportunities for community livability.

3.8. Pavements/Materials

The pavement/materials group provided some general insights before discussing specific recommendations:

  • There are short-term and long-term pavement deficiencies. Complete replacement is inevitable.
  • The options for addressing short-term safety and rutting concerns include overlays, diamond grinds with or without an inlay, major rehabilitation, etc.
  • The only long-term solution is a complete rehabilitation for the mainline and ramps.
  • The skill set's goal is to correct vertical and other geometrical deficiencies where practical. How critical is it to meet the vertical clearance requirements?
  • Short-term fixes do not address the structural integrity of the section, nor do they extend the pavement life.
  • Vertical clearance issues prohibit the addition of pavement thickness to extend the corridor's pavement life.
  • Five to 10 years is the best-case scenario for remaining service life.
  • ODOT will see maintenance needs increase during the next five to 10 years; they can expect repeated patching, increasing rut depth and an increase in work zones due to the frequency of repairs.
  • The accident history provided at the workshop does not indicate that the pavement is a significant safety problem.
Short-term Fixes
To address potential safety concerns:
  • Use diamond grinding to reduce the depth of ruts and provide texture.
  • Do a thin overlay (one-inch stone matrix asphalt, or SMA). The group is assuming that a one-inch reduction in vertical clearance would be acceptable.
Recommendation for structural concerns:
  • Do nothing except maintenance repairs. This will provide continued service but decreased ride quality.
    • Increase monitoring of pavement distress.
Long-term Fixes
  • Provide a complete rehabilitation (pavement replacement and lower finish grade).
    • For 16-foot clearance, minor adjustments of grade are required.
    • For 17-foot clearance, will need significant grade changes (and more dollars).
  • Include a renewable surface in the design.
    • Add additional thickness that could be ground off.
    • Provide a sacrificial surface.
  • Address storm-water management needs that rehabilitation will likely trigger.
  • Strive for increased wear resistance.
    • Silica fume concrete.
    • Polymer asphalt.
    • SMA.
    • Premium aggregate.
  • Consider long-term creative construction warrantees.
    • Performance characteristics.
  • Base design on best practices and life-cycle costs.
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Updated: 06/27/2017
Federal Highway Administration | 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE | Washington, DC 20590 | 202-366-4000