October 10, 2014
Innovation Implementation: Alternative Technical Concepts
Alternative technical concepts allow for early contractor involvement in projects that can lead to innovation and better value for taxpayers and road users. Use of ATCs gives contractors the opportunity to propose creative, cost-effective solutions that are equal to or better than a transportation agency's requirements for a project.
Through the Every Day Counts initiative, many highway agencies and other industry stakeholders have added ATCs to their construction project toolkits:
- Twenty-two states have used ATCs on demonstration projects with the design-build or construction manager/general contractor delivery method, and 18 now have institutionalized processes. The New Mexico Department of Transportation used ATCs as part of its Paseo del Norte and I-25 interchange reconstruction design-build project in Albuquerque, set for completion this month.
- Several states have combined ATCs with the design-bid-build project delivery method. The Michigan Department of Transportation used ATCs to accelerate the construction schedule on its project to rehabilitate eight bridges and the roadway on a stretch of U.S. 10 in Midland County.
Two States Sign STIC Charters
Delaware and Maryland are the latest states to formalize State Transportation Innovation Councils. Delaware Department of Transportation and Federal Highway Administration Delaware Division leaders signed a STIC charter on September 26. The charter identifies STIC objectives, key representatives and team member responsibilities. After Maryland State Highway Administration and FHWA Maryland Division leaders signed a STIC charter on September 29, Prince George's County submitted an application for FHWA STIC Incentive funds. The project involves developing standard drawings for low-cost bridges and culverts to accelerate the design process.
Florida Hosts Regional Coordination Workshop
About 40 representatives of the Florida Department of Transportation, metropolitan planning organizations, transit groups and FHWA attended a two-day regional coordination workshop in Tampa. Participants at the late September event discussed multijurisdictional transportation planning and identified best practices that could be useful to state agencies and MPOs nationwide. They also explored opportunities to increase coordination in the region.
STIC Incentive Funds Approved for Idaho
The Idaho STIC recently supported an application for $100,000 in STIC Incentive funds to develop design standards for geosynthetic reinforced soil integrated bridge system technology. The funds will be used to implement GRS-IBS on a local bridge replacement project in Jerome. The Local Highway Technical Assistance Council also plans to develop standard details, conceptual designs for a range of spans and configurations, and special provisions for use on future projects.
Iowa to Build Diverging Diamond Interchange
Iowa cities Waukee and West Des Moines plant to break ground October 15 on the Grand Prairie Parkway interchange with I-80, the state's first diverging diamond interchange. The project will provide balance and access for regional travel to support planned commercial, retail and residential land development. The project, estimated to cost $24 million, is set for completion in 2016.
Nebraska Showcases First Use of GRS-IBS
GRS-IBS technology is being used for the first time in Nebraska on a project to replace a Boone County bridge with accelerated bridge construction techniques. The intent is to gain experience using GRS-IBS and show local and county officials how they can use the technology to build bridges faster and more easily than with conventional construction methods. The Nebraska Department of Roads held a September 30 showcase to demonstrate GRS-IBS on the project. The Nebraska Local Technical Assistance Program's Work Zone Cam shows progress on the project.
South Carolina Uses Design-Build on Interchange
The Orangeburg County Development Commission held an October 8 groundbreaking ceremony for the I-95/U.S. 301 project in Santee, South Carolina. The $34 million project, which received a $12.1 million TIGER grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation, will be built using the design-build project delivery method. The project involves reconstruction of the interchange at I-95 and U.S. 301 and extension of U.S. 301 from I-95 to S.C. Highway 6.
Texas Opens Roundabout Pair
The Texas Department of Transportation and city of Fort Worth collaborated to open a pair of roundabouts at the U.S. 287/Harmon Road interchange in Fort Worth, the first modern roundabouts on the Texas state highway system. The upgrade is a temporary improvement to handle traffic impacts from construction on I-35 and will likely remain in place until Harmon Road is widened to four lanes. The single-lane roundabouts cost $600,000 to install, comparable to the cost of temporary traffic signals at what was originally a four-way stop. Because roundabouts were used, no bridge widening was needed and delays have been reduced significantly. Initial public feedback has been positive.