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US27/68 Paris Pike Reconstruction

Project Abstract

The purpose of this project was to upgrade a 13.5-mile segment of roadway between Lexington and Paris to increase capacity, improve inadequate geometrics and design features to address safety concerns, and to respond to social demands of the community for an improved regional corridor route.



US27-68 Paris Pike Reconstruction:

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.

Location:
Lexington-Paris, Kentucky

Lead Agency: Kentucky Transportation Cabinet

Contact Person: Phillip Logsdon

Phase Completed: Construction/Operation 

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 was comprised of several consultants, including those with expertise in highway design, environmental impacts, landscape architecture, and historic preservation. In addition, there were representatives of the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet and the Federal Highway Administration.

Stakeholders (make up, utilization, interaction)
An Advisory Task Force was formed after a 14-year court injunction prohibiting work on the project was removed, allowing the project to proceed under the direction and control of the Paris-Lexington Road Project Advisory Task Force. The role of the Task Force was to guide the project development and management through the stages of design and construction with minimal impacts to the historic and scenic resources unique to the Paris Pike corridor. The Task Force was comprised of citizen community leaders and representatives of the local governmental and political units. Of specific note were several resource agencies involved from the beginning stages of the project; including the State Historic Preservation Officer, representatives of the Bluegrass Trust for Historic Preservation, and the Land and Nature Trust of the Bluegrass. Numerous meetings were held throughout the project development process with significant input from the Advisory Task Force, as well as resource agencies.

Public involvement (types, documentation)
Extensive public involvement was utilized to seek input and guide the project during the various stages of project development. The Advisory Task Force played a significant role in the interaction and involvement of the public. As previously noted, the timeline and overall schedule for the project was interrupted and delayed by inabilities of participants to reach a consensus on the direction, scale, and potential impacts. There was direct community involvement in the early stages of the project, specifically landowners adjacent to the existing alignment of US 27/US 68. A coalition of affected landowners and other indirectly affected citizens were responsible for filing a lawsuit that resulted in an injunction and halted progress on the project prior to completion of the right-of-way acquisition. Significant events in the eventual acceptance of the project by the public were “hayride tours” which permitted landowners and other interested parties to see firsthand the project corridor and understand project plans.

Design solution (process, modes and alternatives examined)
Roadway alignment was selected to avoid and/or minimize impacts to historical properties and structures. Highway design consultants joined with environmental specialists, landscape architects, and historic preservationists to develop a design that would be safe, efficient, with minimal impacts to the historic and scenic resources unique to the Paris Pike corridor.

CSS concepts

Extensive landscaping and aesthetic treatments such as grass shoulders, wood timber guardrail, and stone facades matching indigenous outcrops were used to blend the roadway into the surrounding horse farm countryside traversed by the new roadway. Roadway alignment was selected to avoid and minimize impacts to historical properties and structures. Dry-stone walls were prominent along the corridor and approximately three miles of walls were dismantled and reconstructed or constructed. Historic signature entrances to horse farms were avoided where practical and where impacted, new entrances were built to match the original entrances as part of the contract cost. Roadway alignment and median widths were selected to minimize impact to matriarchal trees. Utility easement modifications were coordinated to lessen impact on trees. An endangered species, Running Buffalo Clover, was transplanted to a fence-protected easement purchased specifically for this purpose. Water channel changes were combined to minimize and control erosion. Archeological site investigations were performed at Monterey and McConnel Station.

Lessons learned
A major emphasis of the project was environmental sensitivity to the construction processes used on the project. The project received special attention for the management and cooperative processes used to achieve the partnerships necessary to achieve success in creating an acceptable project as viewed by the stakeholders. The Advisory Task Force was a positive factor in creating a trusting relationship between the public and the project team.  Success was achieved from the overall attention given to site and corridor-specific characteristics.  A quality-based prequalification process was used to secure contractors with experience and overall credentials most suited to the project.  Contractor involvement in constructability reviews was a critical component resulting in appropriate attention being given to the design sensitivities delineated in the project documents.  An outcome of the various cooperative partnerships was fewer change orders as compared to typical projects.  Overall, the Paris Pike project was a successful effort involving a wide range of stakeholders in the development and direction of designing and constructing a highway through an aesthetic and historic section of central Kentucky. S Principles


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.

CSS Principle

Project Team

Use of interdisciplinary teams

3.8

Involve stakeholders

4.0

Seek broad-based public involvement

3.5

Use full range of communication methods

3.3

Achieve consensus on purpose and need

3.3

Utilize full range of design choices

3.3

Address alternatives and all modes

3.0

Maintain environmental harmony

4.0

Address community & social issues

3.0

Address aesthetic treatments & enhancements

4.0

Consider a safe facility for users & community

3.8

Document project decisions

3.3

Track and meet all commitments

3.5

Create a lasting value for the community

4.0

Use all resources effectively (time & budget)

3.0

 

Discussion on CSS principles


Project team’s perspective
There were three surveys completed and returned by the project team.  These team members included an employee of the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, a Federal Highway Administration representative, and a consultant.  There was relatively high agreement with opinions by all respondents that the 15 CSS principles were applied.  This project was initially delayed and eventually successful based on the involvement of stakeholders, primarily represented by the Advisory Task Force.  Survey results supported that level of involvement with scores of 4.0 for “Involve stakeholders” and “Create a lasting value for the community”.   The other areas of focus and emphasis were environmental sensitivity and aesthetic treatments, with rating scores of 4.0 for “Maintain environmental harmony” and Address aesthetic treatments and enhancements”.  Also receiving high scores (ratings of 3.8) were the principles “Use of interdisciplinary teams” and “Create a safe facility for users and community”.  The lowest scores were 3.0 and were associated with “Address alternatives and all modes”, “Address community & social issues”, and “Use all resources effectively (time & budget)”. 

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

3.3

Increased stakeholder/public participation compared to other projects

NA

3.5

Increased stakeholder/public participation

3.2

3.3

Increased stakeholder/public ownership

3.5

3.3

Increased stakeholder/public trust

3.3

3.0

Decreased costs for overall project delivery

NA

1.8

Decreased time for overall project delivery

NA

2.3

Improved predictability of project delivery

3.0

2.8

Improved project scoping

NA

3.0

Improved project budgeting

NA

2.7

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

3.5

2.8

Improved opportunities for joint use and development

3.0

3.0

Improved sustainable decisions and investments

NA

3.0

Improved environmental stewardship

NA

3.3

Minimized overall impact to human environment

3.2

3.3

Minimized overall impact to natural environment

3.5

3.0

Improved mobility for all users

3.7

4.0

Improved walkability

2.6

2.5

Improved bikeability

2.4

2.5

Improved safety (vehicles, pedestrians, and bikes)

3.8

3.0

Improved multi-modal options

2.5

2.0

Improved community satisfaction

3.3

3.5

Improved quality of life for community

3.4

3.5

Fit with local government land use plan

3.0

3.3

Improved speed management

3.2

3.3

Design features appropriate to context

3.8

4.0

Optimized maintenance and operations

NA

2.7

Minimized disruption

3.3

3.3

Increased risk management and liability protection

NA

2.5


Discussion on Benefit Values 


Semi-Quantitative Benefits
This project was aimed to improve safety and capacity, while provided a regional corridor route that was compatible with the surrounding horse farms and scenic bluegrass countryside.  A major effort was expended in arranging partnerships of interdisciplinary teams and stakeholders to insure the success of the project. The role of the Advisory Task Force was a major component in achieving the project goals. Results from the survey of stakeholder and team members indicated the success of focusing on this partnership to develop a project compatible with the natural environment and public expectations. There were six responses from the stakeholder group and their opinions were generally consistent with those of the project team. The highest level of agreement, and likewise the highest scores were representative of CSS benefits that represented improved mobility and safety, as well as use of design features appropriate to the context.  Other high scores were related to stakeholder and public involvement and/or interaction with the project team. Benefits that received the lowest scores from both the stakeholders and the project team included decreased time, decreased budget, walkability, bikeability, and improved multimodal options. 

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

Advisory Task Force met numerous times to provide project guidance

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

Historic Wright House was converted to multi-use interpretive center

Improved environmental stewardship

Running Buffalo Clover was transplanted; Wetland mitigation onto 5.5 acres

Minimized overall impact to human environment

Minimal impacts to buildings and structures through historic preservation evaluations

Minimized overall impact to natural environment

Three miles of dry-laid stone fences rebuilt to maintain character of road; Landscape architect evaluated project to insure road context was retained

Improved mobility for all users

 

Improved walkability

 

Improved bikeability

 

Improved safety (vehicles, pedestrians, and bikes)

Crash rates significantly lower for completed project compared to statewide

Improved multi-modal options

 

Improved speed management

Average speeds after project completion near posted speeds, except in transition zones

Optimized maintenance and operations

 

Minimized disruption

 

Increased risk management and liability protection

Community involvement in project allowed court injunction to be lifted and project to proceed


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

3.3

NA

I am satisfied with the relationship I had with the stakeholders

NA

3.5

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

NA

3.3

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

3.2

3.3

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).

The first four questions of the Arnstein comparison section attempt to evaluate the relative view and perceptions of the project team versus the view and perceptions of the stakeholders.  There did not appear to be a significant difference between the views of stakeholders in their relationship with the project team (rating of 3.3) as compared to the relationship views of project team members with stakeholders (rating of 3.5).  Also, satisfaction levels of the stakeholders and the project team in their perception of procedures and methods that allowed input into project decisions was similar (3.2 for stakeholders and 3.3 for project team members).


Arnstein Questions Part 2

Stakeh.

Team

My relationship with the project team was best described as

2.8

NA

My relationship with the stakeholders was best described as

NA

3.0

My relationship with the interested public was best described as

NA

3.3

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). 

The last three questions of the Arnstein comparison were opinions of relationship roles of the stakeholders with project team members and the role of project team members with the stakeholders and the public.  There appeared to be feeling of serving in a combination consultation and participation role when the stakeholders described their relationship with the project team.  The project team best described their relationship as that of participation when describing their relationship with stakeholders.  Project team members described their relationship with the public as a combination of participation and control or direction.  This appears to be consistent with the prominent role played in the project by the stakeholders as the Advisory Task Force. 

Overall level of success
The Paris Pike project was a successful effort involving a wide range of stakeholders in the development and direction of designing and constructing a highway through an aesthetic and historic section of central Kentucky. Extensive public involvement was utilized to seek input and guide the project during the various stages of project development. An Advisory Task Force was formed after a 14-year court injunction prohibiting work on the project was removed, allowing the project to proceed under the direction and control of the Paris-Lexington Road Project Advisory Task Force. The Advisory Task Force was a positive factor in creating a trusting relationship between the public and the project team.



    
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