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Project Bundling Webinar Series

A Strategic Approach to Project Bundling: What Does Success Look

June 15, 2021 at 2:00-3:00 ET


[ captioner standing by. ]

THANK. Just looking at these results, 64 agencies had goals from project funneling or objectives for the efforts that is fantastic. Often with see them one time thing and now we're seeing multi-participants on this. And their looking at their goals and it objectives. We may have funding coming into agency seen see how they can use the money and the funneling that they play in that. I'm going to end the poll here and go back to the presentation. Thank you, everyone for responding.

today we have three presenters from federal administration. They both are colleagues of this everyday counts initial I have for the federal highway administration and also from applied research associates. He is a former New York State Department of transportation FACILITATOR. I'm also from New York stay dot and was also involved with the everyday accounts programs and my main job what I left there was director of design project delivery. Today's agenda, we're going to cover five items. We only have 45 minutes. But we're going to provide you with a lot of resources for more information on each of the topics that we're talking about we'll start out and explain why the project funding is important p and David will join in and help us to establish an agency bundling goal. I'll jump in and talk about some case studies that we've learned from our peers and you'll see that there are a lot of great examples out there and they cover a lot of different scenarios. And Mr. Bill will talk about some tools to help you with the organization analyze where you are with the project funding and how you can improve it. So we'll talk about the self assessment tool. And we'll just end by PROVIDing some other eDC created generated project funneling resources. So at this point, I'm going to turn over to you. If you want to introduce yourself, please do.

thank you very much, dan. Greetings to all. So why a stage quick strategic approach to project fun bundling. It is a process by which a sing contract award is used to deliver multiple preservation, rehabilitation or replacement projects. In the concept of bundling has been other than for some time and may have been called by different terms like consolodate, grouping and tying. So it is most old and new to the transportation. Bundling is a newer term but not necessarily being used in a symptomatic way. It comes in various forms and there are vary cases for bundling. And we'll talk about these in the next few slides. As shown in this graphic there, is plenty, plenty of opportunities to bundle a project. Why bundle? well, it saves costs. Bundle projects with shared featured and leverage design expertise. It saves time. Using a single project award for several similar projects design in construction and space procurement time. And it saves resources. Project bundling delivers strategic program solutions by streamlining various budget delivery requirements such as environmental agreements and standardized designs. And the graphic here chose a case study with Georgia. That it will be highlighted further during this webinar. So how are the agencies bundling? they're basically two main approaches to bundling. On the left side, bundling can be done by individual projects by previewing the program, programs for opportunities to bundle projects. And by conducting massive management activities in identifying the needs and there have budgets that can be bundled. On the right side, it can be done by special initiative. In this case, bundling will be used as a tool to deliver a specially funded program such as ArA or use to make a case for initiative to secure additional funding. So both methods have their benefits. One benefiting individual project but combining them together. And the other approach to achieve a specific initiative or make a case for one. So another way to look at project bundling is in terms of CATEGORIES are used cases as listed on slide. They are listed mostly as an acknowledgement of what we have seen across the country. The terms are noted and not official. They are just terms that we have come up with. For starters, traditional or specialty bundling, that follows an informal process and procedures. It used everyday available transportation funds. No especially designated program funds for this type of bundling. Some is maintenance and safety type projects. The initiative or bundling is incidental to a program. It is for one that needs a special need. It is incidental to dedicated funds that needs to be spent in a short time frame and others are large bridges of that needed to be spent in a short time frame. And a program many states were the recipient of the award of such and initiative. Last moment bundling. These are projects that are bundled as a last-minute decision or opportunity. For example, tide projects. The contract decides to bid a single or bundled project. Oklahoma and Iowa have this type of practice in their states. And ei are on task quarters to bundle various damaged sites. And one is catch-all bundling. This is one-stop shopping that is horizontal and vertical. They may use a touch of job or the contracting. Last but not least is the advanced or optimized bundling. This type of bundling is strategic and begins EARLY in the planning process. It has well established processes and process and business rules and it uses everyday transportation funds. A couple of examples are Indiana and the city of oakwood, Georgia that will be highlighted further in the webinar. This type of bundling leads to more successful results and is what we are promoting in the project. These are some CATEGORIES of bundling that can lead up to some measure of success when bundling projects. David will take us on a more in depth discussion of an agency bundling goal. David?

I failed to mentioned -- if you have any questions at all, please arm the chat pod. We'll open up the lines later if you would ask them over the phone line. Also, if you are looking for a training certificate, if you could type in your e-mail address in the chat pod, we'll make sure that you get that to confirm that you attended the class. Sorry, David. That is all.

No problem, dan. Thank you for reiterating that we definitely would love to be more interactive and make sure that we meet your needs and answer your questions. So I guess this -- now we're going to dive a little bit into how to be more strategic. The whole premises of this series and the starting webinar is the idea of being strategic. Some of the methods that he shared with you or really more ad hoc. They're done out of convenience for bundling. But really where we have seen states leverage the maximum benefit from the tool of project bundling is when they are more strategic and the stage generally begins with setting goals, having a leadership vision for what you're trying to accomplish with bundling and then setting some goals to go from being and add hock approach. So with those goals, you also give yourself away to measure your success. So let's get into IT A LITTLE BIT here. So it is really important with most initiatives that your leadership defines what is the vision and their goals for bundling. What leadership decides, the programmatic or agency level or the project level, generally is what is going to drive the action. So the leadership to appropriate staff to define what are the project bundling goals and objectives are important. And those goals can be as I've eluded to in a couple of levels one might be a more programmatic approach to your goals, meaning what is it that we like to accomplish with bundling across the agency? and then when you get down to bundling on a particular set of projects, what are the goals for that set of projects? as you pointed out, some -- many of the bundling efforts that we've seen are initiative based. And they're generally aimed at specific goals that where the money that was provided to them are guided by those goals. So I think it -- the point is having to get the most out of bundling, try to set some goals. Think about what the desired end state that you're looking for. What does the success of a bundling program look like? for example, are you trying to aim the safety? cost and time as dan pointed out in the poll are more traditional things that people understand bundling can do for you, the economies of scale. But what we find is that bundling is a tool that -- it is flexible and it can be built to address the goals that you come up with. So we've seen people have safety goals. We've seen people with optimizing staffing and resources. We've seen people addressing the system performance goals. For instance, in the way of pavement smoothness or other performance newers that bridge poor quality and things like that. So you really can build bundling around the goals and we'll show you a tool that will help you think about that. I guess the last point there is, of course, the bundling goals programmatic tub in line with your agency's goals. I think that is something that is built into the process to kind of cascade your agency's goals broader goals down into the bundling, make sure they're doing what your leadership is wanting. I wanted to point out one source of -- thinking about bundling goals and ways to measure and become more strategic when you think about data. What sources of data and strategy do you already have available to you? things that bundling can lay over and help you accomplish in a more effective way. So I think all dots and states have these programs and I think there may be a similar component for local public agencies where there are local road transportation plans or safety plans. There are transportation asset management plans and then of course there is the state transportation and improvement program and the tip aspect of that for locals. All of those include projects that are meant to meet specific agency goals. So to begin to consider the different sources of data that you have in place, the sources of strategic planning that you already have in place and to consider how bundling might support them, help to deliver them more effectively is the main point that we want to make here. I guess another point here that these sources of data and plans will also have more specific information below them like a number of crashes or congestion or other issues that you may be trying to address. Again, they can guide you to some specific bundles of projects to address those goals. I think the transportation asset management plans is one place where a lot of that is brought together. A good source of information for making your bundling strategic. So I think this is maybe stating the obvious. But part of the goal setting is -- the point here is defining what is success for you for your agency for your program and for your set of projects. So we just outlined a few things in a little more details. Time or speed is often important. For what reason, though? so that we can extend the funds quickly, in other words get the benefit to the public faster. If infrastructure is serious condition, how can you address in the most -- in the quickest way. It will typically be through bundling on one-on-one projects or part of your goals or definition of success. Of course, cost savings. I think we covered that pretty well. The idea of reducing the amount of staff that it takes to deliver or maybe moving them to things that they can make a greater contribution and economy of scale just in the idea when you bundle projects, you leverage the economies to scale. Efficiency, we talked about human resources. That with go up from preconstruction to utility coordination, permitting. If you begin EARLY, you can bring that efficiency all the way from the beginning and then move it into construction through more coordinated contribution that mean less inspections, staff or needed and so forth. And then quality, by Bunnelling often, we find that certain work types are the focus of the bundles and that means you're getting an expert in that particular type of work, whether AdA ramps, guardrails, a particular type of work that you may get more quality and a quicker time frame because they're experts. Other areas that I wanted to mention that we didn't mention here, I think that we've seen them in other states, are stimulating the local economy. We saw that as a goal. We've seen the goal of working across the jurisdictions, for instance across different DIVISIONs, state D.O.T. or district and we're working with several other agencies where they're working across counties or they're working with cities in the neighboring areas in order to create more economies of scale or maybe trying new techology technology or more project methods. Some participants wanted to try try out new contracting methods. It is not a one size fits all. Project bundling, you can set the goals and build your bundles to those goals. But it is important that you know what you're aiming at or as they say, you'll -- if you don't don't know what you're handing out, you'll hit it every time. And it may not be what your leadership desires. So I guess this slide is focused on the idea that if the bundling and the goals are developed and then can begin and used EARLY in the transportation planning process, you will guide a more strategic approach as I suggested, you're taking advantage learn leveraging the benefits from the project being putting to. It is more of the left side of the chart that we were showing that bundling becomes something that you think about EARLY and you look at some of these planning objectives EARLY and also at the project level. Later we're going to go through a self assessment tool that was built for our initiative, Abc5 initiative. It is -- we'll go into more details about how the tool can help you think about what to incorporate into your project bundling program to make it more strategic based on the best practices that we found across the country. I think this is my last slide. This is a slide that represents the process that we have laid out in the bridge bundling guide book that is any project bundle type. And we so once you have a strategy and you have goals, you can see the second step of this process and you can continue through the process and we have lots of information on to help you work through these different steps. So back to you, dan. Thank you.

Great. Thank you for describing how project bundling should be done and importance of having goals. So we'll look at what others have done, what goals have they established. And we'll give you some case examples to demonstrate how others have demonstrated project funding. We have a second pole to go through here and we're looking at -- based on what David just described, we'll give you a little sense. Where do you think your agency is or the agency that you work for, where do you think they are in the level of project bundling in one through six? the second question is , is there anything that your agency should be including or does include in -- project bundling process? if you have any insights on that, we would love to hear from you. We'll give 30 seconds or so for people to respond.

Levels one through three. And that is consistent with what we've seen. We saw one agency, the first case study. One agency that is probably more advanced than any other agency. That is Indiana D.O.T. But very few people have that strategy in place. We have seen nobody that is measuring the performance right now. Any other important things for strategic bundling? we can reopen this poll at the end after we give you some more examples. So let's go back to the presentation and thank you for your responses. Case studies. We have researched and have had numerous case studies by agencies to utilize project bundling. The follow case says there are a few samples of why the agencies decide to bundle their work. There are case studies of state D.O.T.s doing statewide bundles and the whole geographic area of the state own more specific areas of bundling the work. And there are states that look at bundling the work to control work zones and maintenance protection issues. There are case studies of state D.O.T.s working local public agencies and case studies of local public agencies bundling their own work and local public agencies bundling work together with other agencies. There are or no defined goals. It will help you determine how the one bundling will help you achieve the goals. As each agency may have different goals, each bundling project has unique goals to achieve. They -- when we look at all the data and analyst, they fall under the umbrella. They tend to save money, time and agency resources and there are a lot of secondary goals that come into play. So let's jump into a few examples. I will start out with the Indiana D.O.T. This the state that I mentioned the more advanced than any other state at this point. They tried bundling EARLY on. They had great results. They had PERDUE university that did a study for them. They did another parallel study that were not tide together and came up with the same results, this is really beneficial for Indiana D.O.T. bundling with the fund that they have had. They're so successful, they are using artificial intelligence to identify what is the appropriate bundles. This cable shows you different ways that they look at different projects and bigger is not always better. There is a point of return where it is not worth and they're taking it the data and analyze what is the best way to bundle projects. They look at quarters, location and work types. They've seen tremendous amount of staff time using the machine and the analysis which has taken days, as opposed to weeks at work with. and now it is more complex and scenario. There is a flight of 40% savings. That is impressive. The 40% savings that is more projects and more infrastructure that they can improve. So they can expand this into local program and agencies and helping local agencies take advantage of bundling. This is a case study of an example of that is pretty far advanced in the business process and using data in details to help them optimize their business program. These are not in any particular orders. We'll give you examples of agency goals and why and what they are driving together. This is a public agency that wanted to use a new pavement treatment and realized that the work and their city did not have enough quantities to get COMPETITIVE prices. So he reached out to neighboring cities and said do you have these? and they said yesterday so they bundled it all together to use a new treatment and be more cost effective. In my home state of New York, if you're familiar with New York state Albany and the Hudson river, there is a bunch of amtrak and conrail lines that rundown the east side of the river. There are a historic side of the river. So the -- the decision is that we bundle he's these out and get one big contract and have the same work done by the similar contractor. A lot of efficiencies here if you think from the coordination from the rail road and cost effective doing the same kind of work. One contract gets familiar with the processes. And it was to improve access to the river for the railroad and cyclists. Thing that was ingenius to reach out to other agencies and said, hey, let's combine our work. This is a great example from the state of Minnesota. They had high exit locations that they were trying to figure out how to improve and reduce accident. Instead of one project and part of another project, why don't we come together and come up with solutions and build in this situation. That solution was on and once it was proven, they were able to apply it and across the state in all of these locations. I have why the exact safety data. But when it comes to safety, anything like this is important. And they were able to improvement the safety at these intersections by bundling the work together. Sticking with Minnesota. They also decided to bundle sign replacement projects. The activity and across the state. Most of the states in New York, we did this common. We replaced and upgraded the signs when we did the project in that and the prices could be high. I've been on projects where the same sign, depending on the low bid situation, the item is $500 and the other one is 15 and one is $3,000. It is all over the place. It is not just the standard business. Minnesota found out by bundling this, you can reduce the costs significantly. Again, this is a safety improvement. Minnesota has done a lot of great unique things with bundling. Every state has AdA requirements, the sidewalks and the crossings. They are often done when you are doing a project or going through a village or area, we would upgrade the AdA. Why not take that specialty work and bundle it together and have a contract or multiple contracts that do this across the geographic area. Make sure that you get the efficiencies and experience and doing that work and you'll get more quantities that will lower your prices. If you have any questions, put them in the chat pod. We'll open up the phone lines soon and we would love to hear from you guys. Make sure your e-mail is in the chat pod. This is an example. You may have heard about the bridge in Kentucky. They had a lot of bridges in poor conditions and they wanted to improve as fast as they could. So they looked at a statewide bundling program. It is not one bundle. It is multiple bundles. They look at big big, areas and work types. You can see the bridges that are being replaced or upgraded under that program. So this is an example of a statewide goal to improve bridge conditions as quickly as possible. If you ever look at their between site. They did an outstanding job of outreaching to stakeholders in the communication and the explanation for the program. The engineering community and the construction community and the enterprise community did a really great job of explaining the program and how it would work. So far, they have been very successful, from my understanding. Here's an example of a local agency. This is in Erie county in New York. That is Buffalo, New York, the home of this year's Super Bowl champions. If you disagree about them being the Super Bowl champs, you can put them in the chat pod, also. They knew they had certain types of work to do on the bridges. So they bundled in multi-year contracts on work to repair and maintain their bridges. You see the work types. It is all driven by saving money and more efficient with the economies of scale. Here is another great example. We all face emergencies every now and then, hurricanes, heavy rain and the climate change issues that we're facing. In this case, they use project bundling to do repairs as the result of an emergency situation. There was a lot of flooding in Colorado. Other states that have had hurricanes had used project bundling to respond to emergency. You can bundle emergency repair contracts and stand by contracts. So this is another kind of swift on how the project bundling can be used to deal with the emergency situations. This is one of the case studies that we mentioned earlier. What do we have next? Mississippi statewide D.O.T. bridge program. This was to focus on a local bridge program. They did a statewide program to address the bridge conditions. All of these case studies that I'm talking being, full blown studies are available on the website or the guide book. We have more studies coming out in a quick reference guide that we'll talk about in a few minutes. Here is a unique program. This is Nebraska. Very innovative and very successful. They had a statewide program and statewide funding to improve local bridges in poor condition. It was a competition. So you had to submit an application. And they said if you bundle with your neighboring counties and bundle bridges together, we'll rate you higher in the evaluation criteria. So that is what they did. They used funding and a special program and they used innovation project bundle to encourage locals to work together and come in and fill out applications than they were funded. So a project bundling, the bridge bundling programs and politics got higher priority. So it is away to help the locals in a more COMPETITIVE process. And they were able to get more work because the cost is now lower and more efficiency use of the dollars. We'll go back to my home state again of New York. New York, same thing. We had a bunch of bridges and bridge decks. They were in very poor condition. The bridges were in good shape. But we wanted to get another ten years out of the decks. This was a bundling program. It was done by four geographic areas of the state. It was also a time that they were trying to -- ONE OF THE other goals was to employment, trying to create jobs in certain parts of the states that were struggling a little bit. They have a couple goals here of improving the bridge deck conditions and getting longer life of the bridges and to improve the economy and create jobs. I'm giving you an example of a lot of different reasons why the statewide agencies bundle. So this is another example of preventive maintenance at a statewide level. They may do them in different zones. Each one has a bundle for similar work types and bridges. It will get efficiencies and the economy onto a scale. Here is another great local example of a county in Florida. This goes back a few years. OSCEOLA county. We know we say work types is important. They're goal in this situation drove them to bundling pavement and bridges together by corridor. And the need for this project was driven by economic growth. This is the Walt Disney area, the Orlando area. They wanted to accelerate the work and improve the quarter it's. Because of traffic and so forth, their goal was driven to bundle bridge and pavement projects by quarter to get the work done as as soon as possible. They used cmgc, working with a design tore come up with a better solution for the quarter s. And they were able to come up with the most efficiency ways of doing that. I know that went really fast through the case studies. But the last one I have. I'm going to turn this over to Mr. Phil bell about the tool that you have for agencies that help you implement in an advance level. On July 20th, we have scheduled a workshop from 1 to 3 on the use of these tools. We'll take a look at what this tools and the database and hopefully you can join us on July 20th to get hands on experience with using this tool to improvement your bundling practices and your agency for your project. So, Phil, I'm going to turn over to you.

Thank you, dan. Can you hear me okay?

Yes, we can.

Great. As dan mentioned, there are tools available for agencies to use to help them with the project bundling initiatives. The first one I would like to discuss is the self assessment tool. This tool is designed to help and agency assess the current project bundling practices and capabilities. Those include policies, procedures, that are consistently applied across the agency. The self assessment tool helps the agency identify the current state and establish where it intends to be in the future for advancing the implementation. It follows a structured format consisting of work sheets and tabs that walks the agency's assessment process. So it is a interactive tool. It is exceptionally effective in terms of identifying where you are and where you want to be. You'll see this is AND ADVANCED bundling list of practices. And the first four listed here are items that these are required practices in the self assessment tool that are minimum practices necessary for a mature project bundling process. As you can see, there is EARLY bundling decisions. Determine an open an optimized bundle size and look at geographic proximity. And some of the case studies earlier, addressed each one of those areas. The second tool that I would like to discuss is the reference database. It provides project bundling information to inform and assist state and local agencies and others in the development of project bundling. So if you're developing projects, programs, initiatives, this is a terrific resource to help those agencies learning where they want to be with exceptional amount of information to help them identify where they can get some assistance from. The database includes programs and research capabilities. It is interactive as well. We want to mention that each resource is linked to the relevant self assessment practices that were identified in the self assessment tool. So it is extremely helpful with you're going back and forth depending on where the strengths and the capables are and where you intend to be in the future. The last thing I want to mention is that the tool will be updated as more data is COLLECTed throughout the coming year. So it is a work in progress. It has a considerable amount of information there now. And we want to mention it is going to include more as time goes on. This is just screen assessment of the relationship with the database that is showing the references it illustrates how well all are linked together. That's it for the tools.

Thank you, Phil. We'll make sure that we get an invitation to get to the workshop on that tool and how it works with the reference database. So I'll pause here. If could you explain the unmuting to have questions asked over the phone, that would be great.

Thank you. If you wish to ask a question, please press star 1 on yourself key pad. It will indicate when your light is opened. You may remove yourself from the q and A by hitting the star key and digit 2. Again, pleas president star 1 at this time.

Thank to. If anyone wants to ask a question over the phone, now is the time to do it it looks like you're responding questions in the chat pod. Is there anything that you want to bring up at this time or talk about in response?

No, other than to ask about the bundling on small businesses at the D.O.T.s. If you want to mention other examples where you've seen bundling not only not hurt small businesses but actually help. I think we had said that we've seen work types that have work types bundled that lend themselves to small business things of that nature. If you have anything else to add, please do.

I think that is a great explanation. It doesn't eliminate any of the federal requirements. It still applies. We've seen where it has beneficial to project bundling where you do one contract and the contractor -- it is geographic based. We look at what work types do they do in that geographic area. They went around the state and had workshops and conferences in Kentucky. We see that statewide and big programs and they are publicizing the program more and much more proactive in achieving to help them meet their goals.

One other example that came to mind is Michigan who did a presentation on this very topic. So if you are interested, week make sure to contact them and provide you with some more background information.

Very good. Any other questions? does anybody have any other questions on the phone line or in the chat pod?

There are no questions over the phone at this time.

thank you, Christina. If you think of a question later, like I often do, just e-mail myself or David and we'll be glad to answer that. In the file share pod, there are several resources available for you to download. One is the bridge bundling guide book that David mentioned. Is a bridge bundling guide book. If you take away the bridge and use pavement or safety, the process of the steps are all the same. Is it the date at a and the data and the risk assessment on the projects. We'll talk about five other great webinars are going to build off this one. there is a fact sheet on project bundling and technical services flyer on the support of hwA is providing to agencies. If you're looking for more support, you can look at that flyer and the copy of this power point is in there, the pdf verse version of this power point.

and I'll turn back over to to you row mario.

I'm going to list some project bundling resources. And dan mentioned that you can get some of this information from the download file. But these are two web sites that are particularly very informative. One is the ADC5 website and another website is one that links to bundled facilities. A lot of good information on those two links. Other available resources that dan mentioned some of them. We have the agency self assessment. We have the resources database published. We have a number of resource case studies and on demand webinars, or the webinars that have already taken place. And this is a list of the webinars. There are six of them in the first series. You can see that the various titles for the webinars of that taken place and the links. A very good source of information. And there are resources that are coming soon. We have a supplement to the bridge bundling guide book that we're calling the quick start reference. So it is supposed to go a little bit beyond the guide book and provide some additional information. Also, we're developing some how to briefs. In this case, the how to will have supplement to the guide book and also to the quick reference -- the quick start reference. So we have a number of -- at least four of them in particular. All of them intended to add more dimension to the project bundling. We have a project course that we're preparing. Also there are some webinar series coming he'd. I'll pass the baton to dan to take us through the two last slides.

Thank you for that. I'll add that it has a fun exercise in there to help with staff and agencies, not just college students but it is Taylored towards graduate students but also useful for agencies. This is the first of six webinar series. So the next webinar which will be in August. We'll make sure that everyone gets an invitation or you can download the flyer and register today for the web nares. We'll webinars. We'll show you some states that got into it and how they go there. And this webinar was about setting goals and strategy. The next one is if you have a business process in place. And the third webinar, will be how do you put the bundles together and identify them. And we'll finish with the RISKs considered and the delivering methods that go into bundling. The fifth one will be a little twist on the overall strategy, more for local agency partners. so we'll dive into some experiences and lessons learned from what weave see seen across the country on local agencies. We mentioned some case studies earlier. And the last part will be contract consideration. You have a strategy and business part. And deliver it. And you may put that together. So the contract contribution are things that you need to consider from the contractor's perspective. That is the whole second webinar series. So I hope everyone can join us for that series and I encourage your coworkers and peers to join us if they are interested in these topics and how to learn more about project bundling. With having said that, we're done. I want it thank everyone for their participation and the feedback through the polls and the questions in the chat pod. David and rAmoo, do you have any closing remarks?

I think we want to ask people for their e-mail if they want a certificate? is that how you want to do it, dan?

Yes, correct. If everybody wants one -- we prefer that you put your e-mail in there. If you're looking for a training certificate in your state, just enter your name and we'll get them out in the next day or two.

I see some names being entered in there. So thank you for reminding me. Don't forget the download pod. We can leave this open for a few more minutes. I think that is all I have. Did you have any closing remarks?

Just thank you to everyone for joining us on this webinar this afternoon. We look forward to the next webinar. Join us if you're schedule permits. Thank you.

thank you. I think that the pod will be remain open but the call will need to end at this point, right, operator?

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