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I 4 Reconstruction

Project Abstract

The existing facility was functionally obsolete and did not provide an acceptable level of service. The project addressed anticipated future traffic demands will provide sufficient median size to allow future expansion and/or multimodal use for mass transit. The upgraded roadway was expanded to 6 lanes with modern design features. This project is part of a comprehensive initiative to upgrade roads in the Tampa area.



I4 Reconstruction: The existing facility was functionally obsolete and did not provide an acceptable level of service. The project addressed anticipated future traffic demands will provide sufficient median size to allow future expansion and/or multimodal use for mass transit. The upgraded roadway was expanded to 6 lanes with modern design features. This project is part of a comprehensive initiative to upgrade roads in the Tampa area.
The existing facility was functionally obsolete and did not provide an acceptable level of service. The project addressed anticipated future traffic demands will provide sufficient median size to allow future expansion and/or multimodal use for mass transit. The upgraded roadway was expanded to 6 lanes with modern design features. This project is part of a comprehensive initiative to upgrade roads in the Tampa area.

This is one of 33 case studies included in National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Report 642 entitled Quantifying the Benefits of Context Sensitive Solutions, published in November 2009. According to the authors, “The objective of this project is to develop a guide for transportation officials and professionals that identifies a comprehensive set of performance measures of CSS principles and quantifies the resulting benefits through all phases of project development”. The report documents a wide range of case studies in which the principles of CSS were applied. Each of these case studies was evaluated to determine the benefits of applying CSS. NCHRP Report 642 is available here.

CSS Principles


Project Team (make up)
Florida DOT (FDOT), FHWA and consultants comprised the project team. The team multidisciplinary background was broad addressing: engineers, planners, architects, and archeologists with expertise in roadway design, structural design, drainage design, traffic design, utilities, permitting, community team forming, environmental permitting and issues and public involvement.

Stakeholders (make up, utilization, interaction)
Stakeholders were involved at appropriate points throughout the project development process. The stakeholders included: numerous advisory groups, City of Tampa, National Park Service, SHPO and permitting agencies, FHWA, and local not-for-profit groups (e.g. historic commissions and a Latin commission).

Public Involvement (types, documentation)
Public involvement was used to provide guidance in an iterative design process. Many tools were used including charrettes, focus groups, public meetings, face-to-face meetings, websites, visualization, surveys, variable message boards and newsletters. All worked well.

Design Solution (process, modes and alternatives examined)
Expansion of the facility required takings of residences and historic properties. These were minimized by the use of a design that employed retaining walls to limit ROW takings. Residences were taken over time and many historic properties were repaired/relocated. The ROW purchased includes at 64' median to provide future expansion for public mass transit. Amenities include construction of a pedestrian plaza and fountain. Bridge spans were expanded to accommodate pedestrians and new structures/underpasses were built to provide pedestrian connectivity within communities previously separated by the existing I 4.

CSS Concepts by Project Phase
Public/stakeholder involvement was employed during planning, design and construction. Historic structures were moved/rehabilitated and many resituated in the previously depressed north section of Ybor were resold to help renew that area. Within financial constraints, the project was intended to minimize community disruption, address problems posed by existing I 4 and provide a facility that would accommodate future mass transit. The construction was staged with to minimize disruption to traffic. Traffic flow was maintained by limiting lane closures to nighttime and detours through mid-week to avoiding the entertainment district in Ybor City. Contractors were required to have experience with historic preservation to minimize damage to adjacent buildings during demolition and impacted buildings during relocation.

Lessons Learned
The project team stressed early and continuous involvement with the public and stakeholders. Local residents provided valuable input into the project and partnering with prominent locals helped keep the project on track. The project team noted the values of persistence, useful. Over the duration of the project, Tampa had three different mayors. The project team noted that such changes can undo much previous work. They recommended involving the senior staff of local governments as a means of insuring continuity in partnering. The project team noted that a proactive relationship with the media was beneficial. They also felt that it would be beneficial to obtain decisions/commitments on aesthetics, enhancements and maintenance agreements early in the project development process. All outcomes were positive. The values of property throughout Ybor City are increasing and many property owners are upgrading their residences. Crime in the area has been decreasing due to a commitment of local government to provide additional law enforcement. The public and stakeholders have been pleased the work and facility.

CSS Principles


A fundamental aspect of the NCHRP 642 research effort was the identification of CSS principles. The principles below were developed by a multidisciplinary team and were based on previous work by FHWA and AASHTO participants in the 1998 “Thinking Beyond the Pavement” conference, and others.

For this case study, web-based surveys were developed to solicit the expert opinions of the project team on the level of satisfaction from the application of the CSS principles on the project. The analysis of the scores noted in the survey, and presented in the following table, is based on a 4.0 scale, where 4.0 is Strongly Agree, 3.0 is Agree, 2.0 is Disagree, and 1.0 is Strongly Disagree. Additional information on the data analysis, a summary of the scores for each case study, and general findings (from all case studies) is presented in the NCHRP Report 642, available here.


CSS Principle 

Project Team

Use of interdisciplinary teams

3.5

Involve stakeholders

3.7

Seek broad-based public involvement

3.8

Use full range of communication methods

3.7

Achieve consensus on purpose and need

3.2

Utilize full range of design choices

3.2

Address alternatives and all modes

3.0

Maintain environmental harmony

3.2

Address community & social issues

3.3

Address aesthetic treatments & enhancements

3.8

Consider a safe facility for users & community

3.3

Document project decisions

3.2

Track and meet all commitments

3.2

Create a lasting value for the community

3.5

Use all resources effectively (time & budget)

2.8

Note: The project team and stakeholder scores are based on the survey results of a 4.0 scale (4: strongly agree; 3: agree; 2: disagree; and 1: strongly disagree).

Discussion on CSS Principles


Project Team’s Perspective
The project included an interdisciplinary team (including consultants) that effectively planned and designed the project. The project team respondents were three officials from the FDOT district office including one identified as the project team leader. Project team responses were obtained from FDOT district/consultant personnel that were in planning, design, environmental/historic analyses, project management and public relations. They all had over 6 years experience in CSS and over 10 years of experience in developing transportation projects. They were involved in all phases of project development from long-planning through maintenance.

The project team agreed that all principles were present except “Use all resources effectively (time and budget)” which had an average score of 2.8. The genesis of the project was a local transportation study begun in 1987 and as the project progressed, it was halted several times due to budget issues. Additionally, it was a very expensive project due to the amount of land/building purchased and efforts to move/rehabilitate historic dwellings.

The project team responses indicated strong agreement that “Involve all stakeholders”, “Use a full range of communication tools” and “Seek broad-based public involvement” were met give those principles average ratings of 3.7, 3.7 and 3.8.

CSS Benefits


Surveys were also utilized to ask the project team, as well as external stakeholders in the process, about their perceptions of the benefits derived from a CSS process. As with the surveys regarding CSS Principles, the Benefits were scored on a 4.0 scale, where 4.0 is Strongly Agree, 3.0 is Agree, 2.0 is Disagree, and 1.0 is Strongly Disagree.


CSS Benefit

Measured

Stakeh.

Team

Improved stakeholder/public feedback

NA

3.2

Increased stakeholder/public participation compared to other projects

NA

3.2

Increased stakeholder/public participation

2.3

3.2

Increased stakeholder/public ownership

2.3

3.0

Increased stakeholder/public trust

2.3

2.8

Decreased costs for overall project delivery

NA

2.2

Decreased time for overall project delivery

NA

2.0

Improved predictability of project delivery

3.0

2.8

Improved project scoping

NA

2.3

Improved project budgeting

NA

2.3

Increased opportunities for partnering or shared funding or in-kind resources

2.7

3.2

Improved opportunities for joint use and development

3.0

3.0

Improved sustainable decisions and investments

NA

3.0

Improved environmental stewardship

NA

2.8

Minimized overall impact to human environment

3.3

3.0

Minimized overall impact to natural environment

2.7

3.2

Improved mobility for all users

3.7

3.7

Improved walkability

3.5

2.8

Improved bikeability

2.0

2.3

Improved safety (vehicles, pedestrians, and bikes)

3.0

3.2

Improved multi-modal options

2.0

2.8

Improved community satisfaction

3.5

3.0

Improved quality of life for community

3.3

3.2

Fit with local government land use plan

3.3

3.2

Improved speed management

3.3

3.0

Design features appropriate to context

3.0

3.5

Optimized maintenance and operations

NA

2.3

Minimized disruption

2.7

3.0

Increased risk management and liability protection

NA

2.4


Semi-Quantitative Benefits

The semi-quantitative benefits analysis was relatively balanced in the numbers of respondents (stakeholders-6; project team-7). In general, the stakeholders gave significantly lower scores than the project team for several benefits including “Increased stakeholder/public participation” and “Increased stakeholder/public ownership”. In part, those rankings likely reflect the low values for “Increased stakeholder/public trust”. Other stakeholder rankings that were low (below the “Agree” level) included “Increased opportunities for partnering or shared funding or in-kind resources”, “Minimized overall impact to the natural environment”, “Improved bikeability”, “Improved multi-modal options” and “Minimized disruption”. The overall project team responses were slightly less positive than the stakeholders about “Improved predictability of project delivery “and “improved walkability”. Both the stakeholders and project team were in agreement about the presence of several CSS benefits including “Improved opportunities for joint use and development”, “Minimized overall impacts to the human environment”, “Improved mobility for all users”, “Improved safety (vehicles, pedestrians, and bikes)”, “Improved community satisfaction”, “Improved quality of life for community”, “Fit with local government land use plan”, “Improved speed management” and “Design features appropriate to the context”. The project team ranked most agency accruing benefits low including “Decreased costs for overall project delivery”, “Decreased time for overall project delivery”, “Improved project scoping”, “Improved project budgeting”, “Improved environmental stewardship”, “Optimized maintenance and operations”, and “Increased risk management and liability protection”. The project team agreed that the project provided “Improved sustainable decisions and investments”.

Quantitative Benefits
In addition to the semi-quantitative scores obtained above, the following quantitative metrics were obtained for some of the benefits.


CSS Benefit

Metrics

Increased stakeholder/public participation

 

Decreased costs for overall project delivery

 

Decreased time for overall project delivery

 

Improved predictability of project delivery

 

Improved project scoping

 

Improved project budgeting

 

Increased opportunities for partnering or shared funding or in-kind resources

 

Improved environmental stewardship

 

Minimized overall impact to human environment

35 historic properties were moved, refurbished and resold.

Minimized overall impact to natural environment

 

Improved mobility for all users

 

Improved walkability

 

Improved bikeability

 

Improved safety (vehicles, pedestrians, and bikes)

 

Improved multi-modal options

 

Improved speed management

 

Optimized maintenance and operations

 

Minimized disruption

 

Increased risk management and liability protection

 


Other Benefits

The original I -4 separated Ybor City leading to a decline of the northern segment. This project has worked to improve mobility for Latinos allowing improved mobility between the two segments. Local governments have provided increased police protection in the northern area leading to reduced crime. Property values in both segments of Ybor City have risen and the public is moving into the previously depressed northern segment.

Arnstein Comparison
The surveys conducted for this case study included a set of questions that could be used to evaluate potential differences in the level of satisfaction between project team members and stakeholders. These differences in satisfaction are known as the Arnstein gap, which is a heuristic metric by which the existing quality deficit of public involvement can be measured. Arnstein developed an eight-step scale (Arnstein’s Ladder) characterizing levels of public involvement in planning, ranging from “Manipulation” of the public (non-participation) to “Citizen Control” of the process. The NCHRP 642 authors adapted this approach to assess the perceptions of stakeholders and the project team. Note: The project team and stakeholder scores are based on the survey results of a 4.0 scale (4: strongly agree; 3: agree; 2: disagree; and 1: strongly disagree).


Arnstein Questions Part 1

Stakeh.

Team

I  am satisfied with the relationship we had with project team

3.0

NA

I am satisfied with the relationship I had with the stakeholders

NA

3.2

I am satisfied with the relationship I had with the interested public

NA

3.2

I am satisfied with the procedures and methods that allowed input to project decisions

2.7

3.2

Note: The project team and stakeholder scores are based on the survey results of a 4.0 scale (4: strongly agree; 3: agree; 2: disagree; and 1: strongly disagree).


Arnstein Questions Part 2

Stakeh.

Team

My relationship with the project team was best described as

1.7

NA

My relationship with the stakeholders was best described as

NA

2.8

My relationship with the interested public was best described as

NA

1.5

Note: The project team and stakeholder rankings are based on the survey results of a 4.0 scale (4: Stakeholders provided direction; 3: Stakeholders partnered with DOT; 2: DOT consulted with stakeholders; and 1: DOT informed stakeholders).

Overall Level of Success
Public involvement was used to provide uidance in an iterative design process. Many tools were used including charrettes, focus groups, public meetings, face-to-face meetings, websites, visualization, surveys, variable message boards and newsletters. Public/stakeholder involvement was employed during planning, design and construction. Historic structures were moved/rehabilitated and many resituated in the previously depressed north section of Ybor were resold to help renew that area. The project team stressed early and continuous involvement with the public and stakeholders. Local residents provided valuable input into the project and partnering with prominent locals helped keep the project on track.



The existing facility was functionally obsolete and did not provide an acceptable level of service. The project addressed anticipated future traffic demands will provide sufficient median size to allow future expansion and/or multimodal use for mass transit. The upgraded roadway was expanded to 6 lanes with modern design features. This project is part of a comprehensive initiative to upgrade roads in the Tampa area.     
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