December 19, 2014
Innovation Implementation: Locally Administered Federal-Aid Projects
Through Every Day Counts, the Federal Highway Administration has encouraged state transportation agencies to implement certification and qualification programs for local public agencies. These programs help state agencies confirm that local agencies have the ability to manage all or part of the process of delivering local projects under the Federal-Aid Highway Program.
Fourteen states have completed demonstrations involving certification or qualification programs, and a dozen have institutionalized the process. States are using a variety of approaches:
- The Ohio Department of Transportation developed online training modules for local agencies and made them a key part of the qualification program it started in 2014. The agency used FHWA State Transportation Innovation Council inc entives to hold Local Public Agency Days throughout the state to introduce the program.
- The Texas Department of Transportation allows local governments to manage various phases of the project development process if at least one person working on the local project”government employee or consultant”has completed the state's 12-hour training course. Since January 2013, 800 people have been certified.
Local Public Agency Peer Exchange on Certification Programs, an FHWA report, recaps a 2014 event the Washington State Department of Transportation hosted on its certification program. The report highlights key information and documents questions and answers from the meeting.
Arizona Continues EDC-3 Caucus
The Arizona Council for Transportation Innovation held an EDC-3 Arizona Caucus on December 9 to continue the discussion on the third round of Every Day Counts innovations members started at the October EDC-3 Summit in Phoenix. The Arizona Caucus included about 40 representatives of the Arizona Department of Transportation, local agencies, metropolitan planning organizations, contractors, consultants, FHWA and other agencies. Arizona is considering advancing 10 of the 11 EDC-3 innovations that FHWA will promote in 2015 and 2016. At the caucus, volunteers stepped forward to champion Arizona's efforts to deploy each innovation and teams began discussing implementation plans.
Tunnel Expansion Project Opens in Colorado
Crews worked this past week to open the newly widened westbound section of the I-70 Twin Tunnels in Clear Creek County, Colorado. The $55 million Westbound I-70 Twin Tunnels project is part of a package of improvements designed to ease congestion on the I-70 mountain corridor. The westbound project included widening the westbound bore to about 53 feet and making large rock cuts on either side of the tunnel to accommodate a future third lane. It used the construction manager/general contractor project delivery method to reduce construction risk and improve constructability.
Milton-Madison Bridge Wins Best Project Award
The Milton-Madison Bridge connecting Milton, Kentucky, and Madison, Indiana, was named Best Project for 2014 in the lateral slide category at the National Accelerated Bridge Construction Conference in Miami, Florida. The 2,428-foot-long structure was slid laterally 55 feet from temporary piers onto the refurbished original piers, making it the longest bridge in North America to be slid laterally into place. The 30-million-pound steel truss bridge over the Ohio River is 40 feet wide with two 12-foot lanes and 8-foot shoulders—twice as wide as the 1929 structure it replaced. An April 2014 video shows the bridge being slid into place.