New processes designed to decrease costs, improve responses
ITD’s District 3 office embraces new standards to reduce expenses, streamline processes and ultimately provide more timely response to public concerns. The initiatives include:
Pursuing a "Just In Time" contract-delivery method, meaning that ITD will sequence projects to reduce limitations contractors may encounter because of restrictions. The goal is to spend surpluses to retain the smallest cash balance possible. Flexible project start dates might be phased out.
New projects will have reduced construction durations to minimize impacts on travelers. For example, the ongoing Weiser River Bridge on U.S. 95 is a contract that allows 200 working days with no winter shutdowns, whereas the Payette River Bridge on U.S. 95 a few years ago was allowed 420 days with winter shutdowns.
ITD will better manage projects to minimize cost and time overruns. Districts are required to manage project budgets to within five percent of the award amount to eliminate “scope creep” and additional work.
ITD is implementing a new contract-management system called Site Manager to expedite contractor payments, ensure the timely receipt of required documents and enable a rapid contract closure at project completion. The goal is project closure within 90 days of acceptance. It now averages 220 days.
The department also will improve traffic control and keep motorists moving through projects. To that end, speed limits will be adjusted within construction zones:
— When no workers are present, speed limits aren’t reduced. When workers are present, drivers must slow down.
— ITD will not drop speed limits more than 10 mph when possible, and will limit speed reductions to the immediate area.
— Similarly, lane closures will be near the work zone, particularly where no work is taking place.