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87 CHAPTER 6 Implementation and Suggested Research Implementation Websites and webinars--Transportation websites offer more flexibility than other media for acquiring the latest One intent of this research is for other states to learn and news. The TRB website can post an article on this NCHRP selectively adopt some of the identified best practices, and report. The FHWA press releases can include an article about either incorporate them into their core strategies or simply the NCHRP research or provide a link to a report summary. improve an aspect of their operations or organizational struc- The state transportation agencies included in the case ture. Over time, any small improvement may assist in deliv- studies can make reference to this report on their own web- ering projects sooner, providing efficiencies in other areas sites, and encourage upper management and key decision (budgets, schedule, strategy, etc.) that may not have been makers to read the report. Webinars are another option present before. Making this report available to state DOTs for distributing information about the research. Groups will greatly enhance their knowledge base of how a state DOT or individuals can log on at their computers to a webinar or can make transformations to reach new plateaus of perform- series of webinars that discuss topics on a holistic approach ance. The following strategies can help disseminate this infor- to accelerating program and project delivery. mation through various formal and informal channels: Publication in professional journals--Parts of the report Suggested Research or a summary may be published in professional journals Data Collection, Baselines, and Benchmarks such as TR News, Civil Engineering, CE News, and Roads and Bridges. Given the eight case studies, the information could Throughout the interviews with the states, one of the things be presented as an eight-part series in a number of ways. that the research team requested was some form of quantifi- Presentation at transportation conferences--Numerous able data that could provide a measure of how much improve- conferences are held throughout the year for transporta- ment in time the state DOT had experienced. For instance, tion professionals. Presentation of these research findings if a state noted that it was able to deliver a project quicker can be presented at AASHTO and TRB conferences. Other because of a new process, it was asked how it measured that types of transportation societies such as the American result and what the baseline duration was prior to implement- Society of Civil Engineers and American Society of High- ing the new process. If a state noted that a new method reduced way Engineers hold national conferences where new ideas, the timeline and the budget, the research team requested data innovations, and methodologies are topics of discussion. regarding the reduction in time frame as well as how much These venues provide opportunities to learn about new and the project came in under budget. developing research. Many states could provide some type of data that measured Local transportation associations--Local chapters of the a small facet of the project, but very few states could provide a national societies mentioned previously also hold presenta- continuous stream of information that measured most aspects tions and meetings. Informal discussion of the report is one of their programs or projects. For example, design costs were way to encourage more formal distribution of the report. available, but planning costs were difficult to ascertain because Grassroots transportation/engineering organizations may of the nature of the planning process, which requires exhaus- present some opportunities for additional informal discus- tive efforts in collaboration, coordination, and community sions on the topic. outreach. While the construction cost for a given project was

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88 easy to obtain, a baseline to measure it against was not. An resources, and rewards, and collaborative efforts between state inventory of roadway data might exist within a state database-- and private entity, such arrangements offer benefits that might but no tool was in place to apply them on a system-wide basis. otherwise not be realized. Success stories or lessons learned A state might have had information on one aspect of a proj- from states that have experienced PPPs should be developed ect phase, such as the cost of construction, but not on another into case studies and published. This may open up additional phase, such as the cost of environmental permitting. avenues for a state to explore as a means of shared revenue While this is such a broad topic to explore, many states have sources. only begun to collect relevant information and set baselines. For such states, the passing of time will determine how they Procurement Policies will use the data they are collecting today. Additionally, there is a lack of consistency in the data that is gathered. Each state Many states are considering changes in procurement poli- must decide what data to collect and what purpose it will be cies and strategies to accelerate projects and programs. These used for. No two states share the same ratios of state-operated policies often have deep rooted state and federal rules and reg- roadway miles per capita, per budget dollar, per VMT, or per ulations that make change difficult. The concept of a single square mile of area. This diversity of baseline data makes it project manager that sees a project though from its initial ideas difficult for researchers to get a better grasp of the programs' and concepts to the actual implementation and opening is now and projects' efficiencies from a purely numerical perspec- being considered by many states to provide a single source of tive. Research is recommended in the types and level of data contact and project team leader. The corollary to this concept collected, their purposes and uses, and applications to current is the idea that one multidiscipline engineering/planning firm systems and decision making. is hired for all tasks from concept to completion. Procurement rules often prohibit this strategy in order to provide additional procurement opportunities or because of concerns that con- PublicPrivate Partnerships sultants will purposely consider larger projects to raise fees In all cases, the reality of limited funding sources cannot and revenue expectations for their firms. be ignored. States continue to operate under the challenge of Considering new and innovative procurement options with doing "more with less." Some state DOTs have maximized well-thought-out scopes that require documentation of per- their options for federal loans and bonds and must seek alter- formance measures and costs may be a step to help accelerate native funding mechanisms. Common to a number of states projects and to better track and provide a detailed accounting is the use of PPPs. While PPPs require an allocation of risks, of holistic project details.