Every time I attend one of the mandatory TDOT Local Programs/ROW classes I learn one or two things more. I will be completely honest in saying that they are not exactly my favorite thing to do since I go to the same class every 3 months. Even when I was at TDOT it was not something that I liked since we read essentially the same Power Point slides over and over.
So here is what I learned:
- Because of the audit from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) that was conducted in 2010 on Local Programs a lot more emphasis is going to be put on the activities that occur after the Construction Notice to Proceed. These activities will include increased reporting requirements by both the contractor, and the local governments to TDOT and FHWA.
This increased emphasis on Construction Engineering Inspection (CEI) is reflected in the fact that TDOT will now require both Local Governments and Consultants to attend mandatory CEI training in order to locally manage projects. Evidently there is a lot of detail that will be required. You can click Local Programs CEI Mandatory Classes 2012 to get a listing of when and where these classes will be held. I will let you know more as people from A2H (which will probably include me) attend the training.
- The class now has several slides talking about State and Federal Bicycle & Pedestrian Policy Requirements. Evidently there are new rules that bicycle and pedestrian accommodation “shall be integrated into…” Federal and State funded projects. The slide goes on to state that this does not mean that “Every roadway project in TN must include a bike lane and sidewalk” and it states that we should “Consider the context…”So what will this mean for the vast majority of Local Programs projects which are less than $500k and are fairly simple resurfacing or intersection improvements? I don’t know, maybe nothing. As we all know adding anything to a project costs money. Adding bike lanes where there is room is probably a good idea and will only cost a minimal amount more in stripping. If you start having to purchase Right of Way to add a bike lane, that is a whole different story.Those are the two main things that I picked up. If you attended the training and have some questions that were left unanswered, please feel free to give me a call (901) 451-0881 and I will do my best to help.