B Design Elements of Waterway Development

The waterway development process in the United States follows procedures prescribed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). Six phases are organized in a logical progression:

  • reconnaissance,

  • feasibility,

  • preconstruction engineering and design,

  • real estate acquisition,

  • construction, and

  • operation and maintenance.

Although a progression is indicated, considerable overlap occurs at various stages, particularly if a project or its design is challenged after the reconnaissance phase is completed.

Prior to the reconnaissance phase, local interests determine whether a project is needed, what the project should entail, and for which elements interested parties are willing or able to become project sponsors. The usual procedure is for the local sponsor to petition the U.S. Congress and USACE for authority and funds to conduct a study. If the petition is successful, studies constituting the reconnaissance phase are conducted by USACE at full government expense. The objectives are to define the opportunity for the project; assess support; determine apparent costs, benefits, environmental impacts, and potential solutions; and estimate cost and time for the next



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OCR for page 95
Shiphandling Simulation: Application to Waterway Design B Design Elements of Waterway Development The waterway development process in the United States follows procedures prescribed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). Six phases are organized in a logical progression: reconnaissance, feasibility, preconstruction engineering and design, real estate acquisition, construction, and operation and maintenance. Although a progression is indicated, considerable overlap occurs at various stages, particularly if a project or its design is challenged after the reconnaissance phase is completed. Prior to the reconnaissance phase, local interests determine whether a project is needed, what the project should entail, and for which elements interested parties are willing or able to become project sponsors. The usual procedure is for the local sponsor to petition the U.S. Congress and USACE for authority and funds to conduct a study. If the petition is successful, studies constituting the reconnaissance phase are conducted by USACE at full government expense. The objectives are to define the opportunity for the project; assess support; determine apparent costs, benefits, environmental impacts, and potential solutions; and estimate cost and time for the next

OCR for page 95
Shiphandling Simulation: Application to Waterway Design phase. USACE usually brings others into the process, but not necessarily all parties that subsequently may be determined to have an interest. The project may or may not proceed into the feasibility phase. Feasibility phase costs are shared equally by the sponsor or sponsors and the federal government. In this phase, alternate plans are identified and evaluated, leading to a full description of the project. All aspects of the project are supposed to be examined and all potential participants brought into the process. The desired product from this phase is a final project form, based on consensus insofar as practical, that is acceptable to all interested parties. If the logical progression were followed exactly, a design would be fixed by the end of the feasibility phase after consideration and analysis of all reasonable alternatives, benefits, and impacts (Olson et al., 1986). This design would then be used as the basis for necessary permits and other following elements in the process. In practice, the selected design may be challenged, for technical, social, or environmental reasons up to and including the construction phase, to address unrecognized flaws or further address competing objectives. Resolution of challenges may result in accommodations affecting the technical integrity of the original design solution, which necessitates further studies, data collection, and design work. Delays in completing the process may affect the availability of options selected and resources available (see Kagan, 1990).