Beginning in September 2008, the consultant team conducted several introductory and brainstorming conference calls with six staff members at the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT, formerly MassHighway) and the FHWA Division office. The group decided to focus technical assistance efforts on working with the bridge division because: 1) their staff had not been fully included in previous CSS-related efforts; 2) the DOT has primary control over all bridge projects (as opposed to roadway projects, many of which are initiated and developed by municipalities); and 3) a recently approved Accelerated Bridge Program had greatly increased the funding and activity in the bridge division. In 2006, MassDOT developed a new Project Development & Design Guide that should be followed for all projects but which was not specifically written for bridge projects.
Other interdepartmental challenges had led to the bridge division managing their own projects without involvement of the Project Management office, and thus bridge division personnel were not exposed to the same training and operating procedures as other agency project managers. Nonetheless, the bridge division needed to include aspects of CSS in their work, such as early coordination, scoping from the beginning of the project, public involvement, wildlife and recreational accommodations.
The Technical Assistance consisted of two one-day workshops held on May 4th and 5th, 2009 in Boston for a total of 78 participants.
The workshop material included an introduction to the CSS philosophy and principles; a brief national overview of CSS efforts; information on public involvement and communication skills; presentation of case studies of bridge projects to illustrate the integration of CSS principles; and presentation of current bridge project examples in Massachusetts which became the subject of a group exercise to develop a public involvement strategy.
Staff attending included representation from the Regular Bridge Program, Accelerated Bridge Program, Project Managers, District staff, Highway Design, Landscape Design, Environmental, FHWA division and local chapter of the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC).
CSS is in the process of being officially adopted by state officials.
Other Public Involvement Techniques:
Broad use of community advocacy committees, public planning meetings and other techniques to achieve stakeholder buy-in for transportation projects.
Increased number of informational presentations for the public, depending on public interest.
Increased use of graphic techniques to assist in portraying projects within their larger context for public presentation, using aerial photographs and visual simulation.
CSS Projects (in addition to those listed as Case Studies on this site):
Route 146 Project ﾖ Millbury and Worcester A $290 million, four-mile long, 4-lane unlimited access road that includes 6 major interchanges, 37 bridges, and passes through an industrial corridor that is both a major New England city and a designated National Heritage Corridor. The planning process for this effort included over 200 meetings bringing together federal, state, and local agencies, as well as special interest groups and the general public. A citizens advisory committee was created to establish what became known as an Urban Parkway. This process resulted in a series of design strategies for landscape restoration, park creation, and the preservation of historic and community character. The citizens advisory committee has been part of this process from design through construction. Contact: George Batchelor
Marrett Road Project (Route 2A) ﾖ Lexington An intersection improvement, including widening, profile adjustment and signalization. The project is located immediately adjacent to a wetland habitat harboring endangered species. In addition, this road serves as gateway to the Minuteman National Park Site. As part of the design process, interested stakeholders were brought together and developed a strategy for providing the necessary roadway improvements while protecting adjacent wetlands and maintaining and enhancing local New England character. Contact: George Batchelor
There is no CSS training program in Massachusetts. We will be providing some training in the future. We are currently working with our professional education consultants to develop the program.