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OCR for page 89
89 CHAPTER 7 Conclusions The highway transportation industry in the United States uct that Caltrans is delivering to the public and stakeholders. has evolved rapidly over the last 60 years. Thirty years of indef- Its goal is to strive for 100 percent delivery of scheduled projects inite expansion and new construction, followed by years of every fiscal year. At the same time, under CEQA (California's heavy use and maintenance, have brought it to a state where NEPA delegation), Caltrans has been able to reduce the time overhaul and costly maintenance or replacement is now called required to obtain approved environmental documents. for. Some states are still expanding their existing networks, In Maine, a comprehensive bridge tracking program mon- but not with the vigor that characterized the late 1950s and itors safety, environmental compatibility, functionality, and 1960s. The parabolic bridge profiles and endless miles of high- overall quality of bridges. A team approach has significantly ways that came together to create the visual and symbolic land- helped to accelerate programs through commitment, shared scape that is iconic of the American interstate system are in responsibility, risk taking, and accountability. need of repair. Maryland SHA's best practices focus on performance mea- As that same network is aging, every state is embracing sures for the agency's six modal administrations. The pub- innovative, cost effective ways to extend the useful life of their lication of the Annual Attainment Report encompasses the respective system of roads and bridges. Confronted with an health of its infrastructure and sets new targets for the coming aging infrastructure, the catalyst driving states to maintain years. Considered to be the leaders in CSS, MDOT incorpo- and preserve their infrastructure assets lies in the financial rates CSS as a standard operating procedure. Acceleration is constraints that transportation departments are experiencing. also accomplished through environmental streamlining and Additionally, the loss of tacit knowledge through retirements, designbuild delivery systems. an ever increasing population with greater mobility needs, MoDOT's unique organizational structure emphasizes chronic congestion, and rapidly increasing VMTs press upon three separate wheels for system delivery, organizational sup- them the need to accelerate programs and projects from con- port, and system facilitation. A bipartisan Transportation ception to completion. Commission provides balanced decision making on all trans- Several state DOTs have taken a broader approach to deliv- portation issues. However, Missouri's Tracker measures the ering programs and projects. Their task is even more difficult department's internal and external organizational effective- in today's environment. They must combine modern means ness. Accountability of "drivers" for and transparency of with an organic approach to preserve both infrastructure and results create the momentum for continuous monitoring and environment. It is hard not to be impressed by what DOTs constant improvement of their benchmarks. have accomplished by expanding on smaller successes, com- In New Jersey, pipelines for project delivery selectively map bining winning strategies, and taking a holistic approach to the activities of a project based on its complexity and character- delivering projects. This research has illuminated the best prac- istics. Acceleration is achieved through a customized, well- tices developed and implemented by states in their endeavor to scoped project that follows a defined process and network take an idea from concept to completion. logic. A project management philosophy guides the project In California, the concept of a performance-based man- managers in how projects are initiated, planned, executed, agement program incorporates a strategic plan, operations monitored, and closed. New Jersey's future lies in asset manage- plan, and actual performance measures. The outcome-driven ment involving policies, programming, and program delivery results provide an assessment of Caltrans' system and the prod- based on implementing a performance measurement system.

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90 In North Carolina, a creative realignment provided the move toward common end goals, are in effect accelerating direction for future vision, strategy, and employee engagement. programs and projects from conception to completion, Those efforts culminated in streamlining project develop- using a combination of techniques and proven methods to ment and delivery through concurrence. The Merger 01 bring facilities to the public more quickly. States now prac- process, a multiagency initiative, seeks to formally register tice a very rational method of planning and designing in the concurrence of all concerned parties at strategic points which single or multiple tracks of a process, under challeng- in the development of a project, from the earliest concep- ing scenarios, have opened up many dimensions of creative tion and planning phases. North Carolina's organizational opportunity. performance dashboard also provides a set of gauges that are States have also undergone some shifts in DOT culture. Par- linked to a performance management program. adigm shifts have occurred in the way that departments do Texas has experimented with innovative financing tools business. New skill sets, new ideas, and new relationships have and contracting methods. Procurement strategies such as been developed through the course of these shifts. Account- evergreen contracts, which pre-qualify contractors to perform ability and transparency are the new mantras that require state specific types of work, have helped TxDOT accelerate smaller DOTs to perform a candid self-assessment and then engage in projects. Its comprehensive development agreements allow setting benchmarks, targets, and higher goals at all levels within a given contractor to perform all services of a project from the organization. design and construction to maintenance and operation. All the states studied, through their evolution, have allowed In Utah, the best practice is a pilot contracting program us to gain insight to what is possible given all the limita- called construction managergeneral contractor. This innova- tions, funding challenges, and aging infrastructure. These states tive approach involves a design consultant and a construction demand more of themselves and challenge the boundaries of contractor to collaborate on a project early on. Involving the current processes, policies, and practices to strive for excellence. contractor during the design process allows constructability That excellence is evidenced in the built environment. issues to surface and opens greater possibilities for parallel Acceleration does not have to come at a high cost. States processes to occur. have achieved accelerated delivery through up-front planning, Programs that incorporate performance measures; contin- well-defined scopes, organized processes that outline tasks and uous improvement processes; pipelines to project delivery; responsibilities, accountability and transparency for one's work, collaborative advances to communicate ideas; cooperative intense community outreach efforts, and innovative contract- efforts; project management principles; integrative ideas that ing, all before the monumental ground breaking. New mana- encompass holistic processes; continuity in leadership; and gerial methods, coupled with technological advances, allow changing policies at federal, state and local levels are just transportation professionals to make balanced decisions result- some of the ways that states are responding to the demands ing in smoother process execution and, ultimately, quicker pro- of a new climate in transportation. Such programs, which gram and project delivery.