Purpose of Work Shop
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Purpose of Work Shop

Share Ohio’s experience with a full closure reconstruction: the rationale, challenges, implementation and benefit

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Statewide interstate reconstruction effort underway in Ohio to rebuild aging, heavily traveled highways and make them safer for 21st Century traffic.

ODOT is looking for creative ways to repair these roads while minimizing the negative impact to our customers

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Interstate 670

When originally built during the ’60s, the 1.7 mile stretch of urban highway was considered state of the art.

However traffic long outgrew the original design making it difficult to navigate and a high-accident location

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Project History

I-670 segment one of 15 projects worth $225 million to rebuild and redesign the downtown Columbus innerbelt and complete the missing link in Ohio’s interstate system.

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  • More History …

  • The work stalled for decades due to environmental regulations, lawsuits and lack of funding.

  • Work began on the projects during the early ’90s using operating-cost savings from ODOT. Today only two projects remain.

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When the work is completed in the fall, motorists will be able to travel directly from the west to east side of Columbus on a newer, safer, widerhighway.

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  • Why Full Closure?

    • Given the long history of the project, ODOT and Columbus eager to complete remaining projects quickly

    • ODOT could cut construction schedule by more than half using full closure vs. part- width

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  • Project Scope

  • Reconstructing and building new 1.7 miles of urban freeway including 21 bridges and 10 ramps

  • Cost: $50 million

  • Highway tightly bordered by historic neighborhoods, convention center and emerging business and arena districts

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  • Existing Condition

  • Two narrow lanes in each direction with little shoulder area

  • Geometric deficiencies: sharp curves, short merge areas and ramps spaced too close

  • Disrepair: crumbling concrete on bridges, medians and shoulders, rough road surface

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  • Why Full Closure on I-670

  • Cut Construction from 4 years to 18 months

  • Reduce the potential for accidents

  • Worker Safety (difference in elevation)

  • Reduce Driver Confusion

  • Better Quality and Reduced Cost

  • Experience with Full Closure (SR 315)

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To pursue a full-closure approach, ODOT had to gather the facts and “build the case,” then present the information to key decision makers for support.

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  • Analysis

  • Traffic – where will the traffic go? Can the system support it?

  • User DelayCosts – closing vs. maintaining traffic

  • Life-cycle costs

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  • Building Support

  • Once we gathered the data, we had to “sell” the idea to key decision-makers.

  • Mayor and Local Public Officials

  • ODOT Executive Leadership

  • Public

  • Support was relatively easy to come by given the clear benefits.

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  • Implementation

  • Enacting the closure was easy.

  • One week of prep for signs

  • One day to close (weekend)

  • Two weeks of traffic monitoring (Field, TMC and LEOs)

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Public Outreach

The hardest part of the full closure is the outreach needed to prepare the public.

This effort began about six months in advance and continued at a steady pace leading up to and after the closure. It also involved the public relations AND construction staff.

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  • Key Audience

  • Motorists

  • Businesses

  • Residents

  • Public Officials/Opinion Leaders

  • Emergency Responders

  • Schools

  • Media

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  • Type of Communication

  • Fact Sheets

  • Custom Flyers for nearby businesses

  • Web site (www.I-670.org)

  • Group and One-on-One Presentations

  • Media (pitched various news angles)

  • Government Channel

  • E-mail Updates – progress reports and traffic info

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  • Key Messages

  • Benefits of work (new, safer, wider highway, direct connection, completes interstate, design enhancements)

  • Efforts to minimize construction delays (4 yrs to 18 mos, incentives/disincentives)

  • Alternate Routes and Commuting Strategies

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  • Construction Progress

  • Work is currently 2/3 complete and on-time thanks to:

  • $20,000 per day Liquidated Savings

  • High-community profile

  • Contractor has unrestricted accessto work site

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Would you use the full closure again?

Yes! ODOT’s experience has been positive and we would use a full closure again under the right conditions.

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  • Right Conditions

  • Small section of roadway

  • Tight physical constraints

  • Variety of good alternate routes

  • Clear public benefit

  • “Building the case” and communicating the benefits is key!

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  • Future Contracting Innovation

  • Increasing public demand for less work zone congestion and the success of innovative projects have given ODOT the courage to try new techniques.

  • Innovative Contracting Policy

  • Fast Track Bridge Construction