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Key Initiatives Of Recent Years

Thinking Beyond the Pavement (TBTP): Over the past years, SHA has been engaged in an exciting, national and statewide effort to better integrate highway development with communities and the environment. This effort was initiated in May of 1998 when SHA cosponsored the "Thinking Beyond the Pavement" workshop along with AASHTO, FHWA and over 30 participating organizations.

The workshop brought together 325 invitees, from 39 states and the District of Columbia. Five pilot states including Maryland, Utah, Connecticut, Mississippi and Minnesota are now working to implement this approach to highway development.

To best implement the Thinking Beyond the Pavement (TBTP) program in Maryland, four project review charettes have been recently held to help us learn about the project development process. The charettes identified what has worked well along with areas in which we need improvement. Each charette included about 30 project stakeholders representing all involved areas from SHA, outside agencies and community representatives. To get help or learn more about this program please visit our site Thinking Beyond the Pavement.

Work Zone Training Initiatives: The Maryland SHA has embarked on a number of new initiatives within the last year. Work Zone Training is a popular one. SHA offers two WZ Safety Training classes - the Temporary Traffic Control Traffic Manager's Training (TTCTM) Course and the Maryland Approved Flagger's Course. Within the last four to five years over 10,000 highway workers have taken the TTCTM Course and over 65,000 highway workers have taken the Maryland Approved Flagger's Course.

SHA worked with various public and private agencies to reach the 80,000 highway workers through the Train-the-Trainer program. SHA is working with the Maryland Highway Contractors to provide the traffic managers training course to contractors at a reduced fee. The organization is also continuously working with public and private agencies to encourage compliance with NCHRP 350 Requirements which is mandated by the FHWA. SHA has created a Work Zone Plan Business Goal to work with both the public and private sector to improve safety and mobility through work areas. A committee has been formed to determine what things we can do to achieve this goal. It should be noted that in recent years work zone accidents have been decreasing significantly.

Partnering in Construction: Partnering is a process based on trust and an open, honest attitude in which all participants in a project recognize both common and individual objectives and work to achieve those objectives through improved communication and cooperation.

Partnering has been involved in over 70 projects in construction thus far (Seven River Bridge was the first). A MDOT Partnering Subteam has been formed to develop, coordinate, review and implement the partnering program. The option to 'Partner' a project is voluntary. All costs associated with partnering are to be shared equally by the Contractor and the Department.

  • Currently, there are 27 active projects with only 1 claim at the Chief Engineer's level on these highway construction projects. The bid amount of these projects is approximately 300 million dollars and the claim of the project is valued at 146 thousand dollars.

  • 450 people have been trained including people from State Highway Administration(SHA),Maryland Highway Contractors Association (MHCA), Maryland Asphalt Association (MAA), Maryland Department of Environment (MDE), Utility Companies, Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and Consulting Engineers Council of Maryland (CEC). The Partnering Sub-Committee is currently evaluating new training program for partnering and teamwork.
  • Industry/SHA Technical Team: Formed industry/SHA technical team:

  • to work on specification review
  • formed construction task force to shorten bid process
  • Implementation of QA/QC:

    • Portland Concrete Cement/Asphalt Plant Ratings is one of the examples of implementation of QA/QC. PCC and HMA plants ratings were adopted in 1995.
    • As part of Superpave Training, 749 persons were trained in a total of 22 training sessions. In 1999 there were 4 training courses offered on Superpave where 95 people participated. Superpave workshops were held for SHA, Local Government and Consultants responsible for pavement design and/or writing specifications for bid documents. SHA adopted superpave design in all of its projects in 1998. There are two certification programs available. Level I is for the beginners and Level II is for the ones with experience. In total 63 certifications have been issued since the beginning of this year. This is an excellent example of Industry/SHA cooperation. To learn more please vist our site on Superpave.
    • Structural Steel Fabricators: QC/QA was first introduced to the structural steel fabricators in late 80's and since then it has been an ongoing initiative.
    • Hot Mixed Asphalt(HMA):HMA QC/QA specification was implemented on a trial basis in 1993. In 1994, HMA QC/QA program was adopted. MAA and SHA today are jointly training about 120 people yearly in HMA placement. 65 people are also trained annually in Field Tester Proficiency.

    Evaluations:Resulted in reduction of retainage on contracts. Five subteams were formed to look at all aspects of evaluation process. Over 2,000 evaluations have been completed. The team developed new evaluation rating forms, criteria, and appeals process. The evaluation process is two-way.

    Customer Involvement: Increased customer involvement during pre-construction and construction phases. The following are specific examples:

    • Construction plans were open for review at approximately 35% stage for contractor review and input.
    • Redline revisions are being reviewed by contractors prior to release to districts.
    • MdQI survey has shown a strong support by the participants over the recent years.

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