CONCRETE SOLUTIONS

Article December 28, 2000
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Rehabilitation of today’s highways requires techniques that are quick and efficient. Today, for most highway agencies and contractors, traffic management during pavement rehabilitation is a most important issue. The challenge faced is optimizing three competing interests: (1) traffic and how it is handled (2) work and how it is accomplished, and (3) the local community and how it is impacted.

Once a decision is made regarding these interests, a traffic management plan can be created to enable concrete pavement rehabilitation to be accomplished in a timely and cost-effective manner.

An excellent example is the 1992 Kennedy Expressway reconstruction in Chicago, which funneled five lanes of traffic into two. Innovative public relations programs, such as the “Operation Kennedy” campaign, are useful in keeping the public informed, and tolerant, of the project’s purpose and progress.

To meet the challenge, the Federal Highway Administration and the American Concrete Paving Association have cooperated in developing a Traffic Management Workshop. The goals of the one-day workshop are threefold: (1) address the concerns of agencies and local politicians, (2) dispel common negative myths concerning the time required for concrete pavement rehabilitation, and (3) select a traffic management strategy that optimizes the project cost, highway safety and public inconvenience.

Concerns of the owner/agency addressed in the workshop include traffic management strategies, public and work force safety, project life cycle costs, construction time and requirements, contract formulation, public expectations and perceptions and maintenance of the rehabilitated highway.

Project scoping is discussed. Workshop participants learn to apply a five-step process for selecting a traffic management strategy: choose feasible traffic management alternatives, consider planning issues, compare alternatives, choose the recommended strategy and determine phasing, key constraints, and special provisions. Case studies of innovative traffic management strategies using concrete are described. The workshop concludes with a summary and discussion of all the activities.

So far, workshops have been held in Maryland, Michigan, Missouri and Georgia, and several more are being scheduled for later this year and next.

About the author: 
Packard is director of engineering-design for the American Concrete Pavement Association. You may write him in care of the editor.
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