Project Delivery

Written by  Bill Hale, P.E. Chief Engineer Texas Department of Transportation

For the last year, here at the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), we have been working with our local partners to develop a plan for how best to address Texas’ growing transportation needs. That plan is the 2017 Unified Transportation Program (UTP).

Now that the legislature and the citizens of Texas have delivered the much needed funding, and the Transportation Commission has given us a 10-year plan to guide our efforts, we must deliver the projects.

Close to $28 billion of our funding over the next decade will go toward decreasing congestion and improving mobility in our five largest metro areas – Austin, San Antonio, Dallas, Fort Worth and Houston – which represent more than two-thirds of the state’s population. This means already congested corridors are going to get even more congested while construction is underway. This additional burden not only increases travelers’ daily commutes, but impacts the state’s economy and business costs as well.

To help minimize these impacts, TxDOT is developing a customer focused program to accelerate construction times. This program calls for partnering with industry and contractors to employ a variety of alternative contracting and construction methods and concepts for both bridge and roadway construction. We’re also reviewing other functions like traffic operations, construction material use, and workforce issues to determine their potential impact on construction acceleration.

In late July, TxDOT and the Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI) conducted an Accelerated Road and Bridge Construction Workshop. These issues, and more, were discussed during the workshop. From this discussion, TTI is developing a report that TxDOT will use to create a policy and guidelines for an accelerated construction program. The report, policy, and guidelines are anticipated to be available in late fall. In the late spring or early summer of 2017, TxDOT and TTI will begin conducting regional workshops around the state for contractors, suppliers, consultants, and employees. The workshops will introduce the accelerated construction program, discuss its importance, share best practices, and facilitate innovation.

Once implemented, the program will help minimize the impact of construction on motorists and businesses by reducing time delays. The reduction in work zone duration will also improve safety for motorists and construction workers alike.

Breaking ground on a project is great; ribbon cutting when the project is complete is even better. The real prize for the travelling public, the state’s economy, contractors, and TxDOT is completing construction in a safe, cost effective, and timely manner.

MediaEDGE Logo sml