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53 CHAPTER 5 Low-Cost, Quickly Implementable Improvements This chapter defines the criteria for low-cost and quickly gram rewards projects that could be implemented in one implementable improvements to address freight mobility to three construction seasons. Such projects tend to have constraints and presents strategies for addressing them. Infor- smaller right-of-way footprints, lack significant environ- mation presented in this chapter is based primarily on the mental impacts, have community support, and are unlikely results of the stakeholder interviews and surveys. This chapter to be delayed by other project development factors. "Low also presents examples of low-cost, quickly implementable cost" is defined as being between $50,000 and $2 million. improvements aligned with the freight mobility constraints "Quickly implementable" includes projects that can be by mode. built within 3 years. New Jersey DOT has a program called Fast Moves, which funds projects of up to $10 million. It does not have specific 5.1 Definition of Low-Cost, Quickly thresholds for "quickly implementable" or "low cost," but it Implementable Improvements considers Fast Moves projects to be so because they gener- An important element in determining low-cost and quickly ally lack extensive right-of-way or environmental complex- implementable strategies to mitigate mobility constraints is to ities. Costs range from less than $2 million to more than determine how stakeholders vary in their definition of low-cost $10 million. and quickly implementable improvements. The following sec- California DOT (Caltrans) has not developed a formal tions discuss the modal definitions and summarize the charac- definition of a low-cost freight mobility project. However, teristics of low-cost improvements followed by a generalized a low-cost project may only address certain elements of a definition with caveats for each mode. problem or alleviate the congestion for a few years. Low-cost projects may be more associated with an initial project phase than with a particular strategy or program for building an 5.1.1 Highways entire low-cost freight mobility project. The agencies interviewed differ significantly when defining Ohio DOT produced more than 700 quickly implementable what would constitute a low-cost or quickly implementable and low-cost projects when it began an intensive and project. In general, a low-cost and quickly implementable focused safety program in the mid-2000s. The projects were improvement could be defined as one that does not require driven exclusively by safety and not by freight mobility. Proj- special programming, does not require right-of-way acquisi- ects included basic improvements such as enhanced lane tion, and is within budget limitations enabling implementation markings to delineate through lanes in areas of "lane drops." at a district level. The consensus was that a low-cost improve- Pavement with poor friction was treated with thin overlays ment project should be on the order of $1 million or less, and in areas where rear-end crashes were common. Lighting and "quickly implementable" was considered to be 1 year or less. signage were improved. To contrast, most agreed that a project requiring an investment of $10 million was a fairly major effort. Outside of these specific programs, the personnel who were Some specific examples of the definitions are presented interviewed across all responding agencies gave wide ranges in below: their personal descriptions of what are "low cost" and "quickly implementable." Officials who were accustomed to addressing Oregon DOT has a specific program that targets low- deficient system interchanges indicated that "low cost" could cost, quickly implementable freight projects. The pro- be as high as $20 million. A project of $20 million that addressed