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NC Smith Creek Parkway (aka, Martin Luther King, Jr. Parkway)

Project Abstract

Reduce traffic congestion by 25 percent (and crash rate) on Market Street in Wilmington and provide a continuous east-west link between US 74 and downtown Wilmington.



  	 NC Smith Creek Parkway (Image-1): Reduce traffic congestion by 25 percent (and crash rate) on Market Street in Wilmington and provide a continuous east-west link between US 74 and downtown Wilmington.
Reduce traffic congestion by 25 percent (and crash rate) on Market Street in Wilmington and provide a continuous east-west link between US 74 and downtown Wilmington.

Location: Adjacent to Cape Fear River in New Hanover Co., Wilmington, NC

Lead Agency: North Carolina Department of Transportation

Contact Person: Nya K. Boayue, PE

Phase Completed: Construction

Source: Stamatiadis, Nikiforos, et. al. GUIDELINES FOR QUANTIFYING THE BENEFITS OF CONTEXT SENSITIVE SOLUTIONS. NCHRP 15-32. April 2009.

CSS Qualities


Project team (make up)
The project team included: engineers, planners, environmentalists and historians.

Stakeholders (make up, utilization, interaction)
The numerous project stakeholders included: US Army Corps of Engineers, US Coast Guard, NC Division of Coastal Management, NC Dept. of Environmental Health and Natural Resources, NC Rail Division, Federal Aviation Administration, Wilmington Mayor and City Council, Metropolitan Planning Organization, City of Wilmington’s Planning and Engineering Departments, and North Fourth Street Revitalization Group (aka, North 4th Partnership, Inc.).

Public involvement (types, documentation)
The public involvement program included extensive involvement with project vicinity residents and business owners.

Design solution (process, modes and alternatives examined)
Reaching a suitable solution required a high level of interaction among all participants: state (multiple agencies), city officials and agencies, federal agencies and a host business/industry and citizen group representatives.

CSS concepts by project phase
CSS concepts were used during planning, design and construction.

Lessons learned
The agency learned the absolute necessity of using an interdisciplinary team and that extensive interaction with stakeholders and the general public was required. The use of advanced visualization techniques was also required for both the project professionals and the public.

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

4.0

Involve stakeholders

3.0

Seek broad-based public involvement

--

Use full range of communication methods

--

Achieve consensus on purpose and need

3.0

Utilize full range of design choices

4.0

Address alternatives and all modes

3.0

Maintain environmental harmony

3.0

Address community & social issues

3.0

Address aesthetic treatments & enhancements

3.0

Consider a safe facility for users & community

4.0

Document project decisions

3.0

Track and meet all commitments

--

Create a lasting value for the community

3.0

Use all resources effectively (time & budget)

--

Discussion on CSS principles


Project Team’s Perspective
The representative of the project team that responded to the survey indicated strong agreement that the following principles were applied: Use of interdisciplinary teams; Utilize full range of design choices; and Consider a safe facility for users & community. It was further agreed by the respondent that all but four of the other CSS principles were pursued.

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

--

Increased stakeholder/public participation compared to other projects

NA

--

Increased stakeholder/public participation

--

--

Increased stakeholder/public ownership

--

--

Increased stakeholder/public trust

--

--

Decreased costs for overall project delivery

NA

--

Decreased time for overall project delivery

NA

--

Improved predictability of project delivery

--

3.0

Improved project scoping

NA

--

Improved project budgeting

NA

--

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

--

--

Improved opportunities for joint use and development

--

3.0

Improved sustainable decisions and investments

NA

3.0

Improved environmental stewardship

NA

3.0

Minimized overall impact to human environment

--

4.0

Minimized overall impact to natural environment

--

4.0

Improved mobility for all users

--

3.0

Improved walkability

--

2.0

Improved bikeability

--

1.0

Improved safety (vehicles, pedestrians, and bikes)

--

3.0

Improved multi-modal options

--

2.0

Improved community satisfaction

--

3.0

Improved quality of life for community

--

3.0

Fit with local government land use plan

--

--

Improved speed management

--

3.0

Design features appropriate to context

--

3.0

Optimized maintenance and operations

NA

3.0

Minimized disruption

--

4.0

Increased risk management and liability protection

NA

4.0

 

Discussion on Benefit Values


Semi-Quantitative Benefits
The NC highway agency respondent indicated that several benefits strongly accrued including: Minimized overall impact to human environment; Minimized overall impact to natural environment; Minimized disruption; and Increased risk management and liability protection.  Some ten other benefits were judged to have accrued by being scored 3.0.

Quantitative Benefits
There was no additional information provided to the research team to be utilized in the development of quantifiable benefits.

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.

 

Arnstein Questions Part 1

Stakeh.

Team

I  am satisfied with the relationship we had with project team

--

NA

I am satisfied with the relationship I had with the stakeholders

NA

3.0

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

NA

3.0

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

--

3.0

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

--

NA

My relationship with the stakeholders was best described as

NA

3.0

My relationship with the interested public was best described as

NA

1.0

Note: The project team and stakeholder rankings are based on the survey results of a 4.0 scale (4: They allowed us to provide direction; 3: We established a partnership; 2: We established a consultation relationship; and 1: We established an informational relationship).

With the lack of stakeholder responses the Arnstein comparison could not be completed.

Case Summary

Major benefits
The major project benefits judged to have accrued include: Minimized overall impact to human environment; Minimized overall impact to natural environment; Minimized disruption; and Increased risk management and liability protection.

The North Carolina parkway project in Wilmington exemplifies the CSS principle – maintain environmental harmony. A complete redesign of the intended final two segments of the parkway was carried out to minimize the environmental impact to businesses as well as the wetland and to avoid hazardous materials fill sites. Several years had passed and the circumstances had changed regarding land use and environmental regulations since the first two segments and been designed and constructed. The planning and design groups worked with nearby critical industries to revise the previously planned alignment in order to minimize construction vibration. Alignment was also altered to avoid chemical production and waste areas and to accommodate an abandoned rail bed so as to preserve it for possible future use. Some parking enhancement was provided to an adjacent historic district.  The roadway cross-section was changed in one segment to an elevated structure to minimize impact to the wetland adjacent to the Cape Fear River.

The project also exemplifies the CSS principle – consider community and social issues.  Both the alignment and cross-section were changed from the earlier plans to accommodate two major industries that had since developed adjacent to the originally planned alignment.  The alignment was further altered to avoid the possibility of hazardous wastes near a chemical storage facility.  The alignment and overpass assured that an abandoned rail line bed would remain unobstructed for possible future urban rail use. The section adjacent to the downtown was designed to include land dedicated to parking near the historic area. An old magnolia in the path of the road near the point it connects with the existing Cape Fear Bridge was “preserved” in a unique way with community involvement that included using the wood to craft benches for the city’s museum and with the help of an arborist over 100 young saplings were reproduced to be placed in parks throughout the city.

Lessons learned
The agency learned the necessity of using an interdisciplinary team and that interaction with stakeholders and the general public was required.  The advantage of using advanced visualization techniques for both the project professionals and the public also became apparent.

Overall level of success
This project has been viewed as a success by the NC highway agency and that success has been reported extensively in numerous articles and letters to the editor in the Wilmington Morning Star.

Note: this is considered a CSS legacy project with the last two of four segments being constructed by mid 2002.  It was previously case studied and that extensive documentation was available for this research.

The representative of the project team that responded to the survey indicated strong agreement that the following principles were applied: Use of interdisciplinary teams; Utilize full range of design choices; and Consider a safe facility for users & community.  It was further agreed by the respondent that all but four of the other CSS principles were pursued.


Reduce traffic congestion by 25 percent (and crash rate) on Market Street in Wilmington and provide a continuous east-west link between US 74 and downtown Wilmington.     
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Reduce traffic congestion by 25 percent (and crash rate) on Market Street in Wilmington and provide a continuous east-west link between US 74 and downtown Wilmington.     
Info Icon


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