Transportation Committee Update
Transportation Committee Update
On August 16, 2016, Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) Senior Leadership and ACEC/VA and MW Transportation Committee members came together to discuss Smart Scale and various updates within VDOT. VDOT leadership included Commissioner Charlie Kilpatrick, Chief Deputy Commissioner Quinton Elliott, and Chief Engineer Garrett Moore. ACEC members took advantage of the open atmosphere to ask follow-up questions and provide feedback on industry's current relationship with VDOT. Highlights from the meeting are below.
We anticipate more interaction with VDOT in the coming months regarding their request for feedback concerning ROW and utility coordination, measuring Smart Scale, the disparity in overhead rates between CEI consultants, and jointly growing our workforces.
Currently, we have several opportunities to partner with VDOT and we invite new Transportation Committee members to join us in working on these issues. We are seeking additional experience in CEI, Bridge Inspection Services, and DBE ownership to bolster our collective knowledge but all member firms are welcome. To join the Transportation Committee, login to the Member Information Center and update your Groups/Interest under Personal Informaiton. After our Regional Round Tables in September and October, the next Transportation Committee meeting will be on November 4th. Please email Nancy Israel today if you would like to attend!
- Numerous applications were received and there was little controversy with the results.
- The money associated with projects is to be treated like a budget, not an estimate. If a budget can't be met, the project may need to be re-scored.
- Project schedules and milestones will be more closely monitored.
- The amount of funding is growing but is not where VDOT anticipated. HRTAC and NVTA are 'fulling kicking in'.
- VDOT anticipates minor tweaks to the scoring process to minimize anomalies driving up or down scores.
- Overall, VDOT may be doing fewer projects but more projects will be taken to completion.
- VDOT has 240 positions they plan to fill, 60 of these positions are construction inspectors. The main goal for filling these positions is to eliminate gaps in experience and protect their future. There is no intent to take work away from the consultant community.
- VDOT's trainee and apprenticeship program is growing and they are looking at partnering with community colleges moving forward. Community colleges would provide the facilities and administration while VDOT/industry would provide instructors.
- VDOT is taking a closer look at construction engineering inspection (CEI) services and questioning whether all of the services provided under these contracts should be considered professional. They are not interested in low bid CEI services but actively looking at restructuring these contracts. One driver of this internal investigation is the wide disparity in overhead rates throughout the CEI consultant community (ranging from 50% to 500% with an average of 175%). VDOT has agreed to provide this data blindly to ACEC for further discussion.
- VDOT intends to set up meetings with utility companies in the Fall to start working on industry-wide issues with utility coordination and Right of Way (ROW).
- The newly formed Alternative Project Procurement Division will enable VDOT to become more proficient in their various delivery methods. They anticipate continuing Design-Bid-Build and Design-Build while exploring contracts similar to Construction Manager / General Contractor (CM/GC) and continuing Alternative Technical Concepts (ATC's).