Excellence in Transportation Award:
Design: Small Project
Winner: ADA Improvements on State Routes

H.W. Lochner, Inc.
ITD Roadway Design

The Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) has made tremendous progress in their effort to meet the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and provide more accessible pedestrian facilities throughout the state.

As part of this effort, ITD selected Lochner to conduct a comprehensive statewide inventory of its pedestrian facilities to identify locations with potential barriers to access and develop a transition plan to bring the identified facilities into compliance. Once it was known how extensive the number of non-compliant facilities were, ITD seized the opportunity to use federal (ARRA) Stimulus funding to address deficient curb ramps on state owned pedestrian facilities.

In coordination with Lochner’s ADA curb ramp inventory and transition project, Lochner identified 518 curb ramps in ITD Districts 1, 2 and 3 that could be improved using stimulus funds. The funding was split among five construction projects to allow for maximum contractor participation and to accelerate the schedule so that all projects could be completed in one summer.

Lochner prepared a Categorical Exclusion document for the project along with the concept report, design plans with over 50 curb ramp details, erosion and sediment control reports, cost estimates, construction schedules and specifications for all five projects within ten weeks. A mandatory training course was developed to ensure that contractors,
subcontractors and inspection staff were knowledgeable in the ADA standards necessary to make this project a success. The five construction projects received environmental approval and were constructed during the summer of 2010.

The ADA Improvements project is worthy of recognition because not only has it helped ITD make significant progress in the effort to meet the Americans with Disabilities Act within their public right of way, but more importantly we have helped make people’s lives easier. Many people with disabilities rely on pedestrian facilities as a major mode of transportation. Without compliant curb ramps, people may be unable to access sidewalks or pedestrian paths, affecting not only accessibility, but safety as well.

The ADA Improvements on State Routes project has raised awareness of ADA standards and how to apply them in the public right of way, while providing a completed project that has allowed people with disabilities more access to public pedestrian facilities in their communities than ever before.

The curb ramp details developed during this project served as a basis for the new ITD Sidewalks and ADA Facilities Standard Drawings. In addition, the knowledge and experience gained while completing this project can be used on future curb ramp improvements that are part of ADA specific and general construction projects.

Although this project is especially important to people with disabilities, ADA compliant ramps help provide a better pedestrian system for all members of the community.

  • Met the accelerated design schedule - design was completed on schedule and under budget
  • The design plans served as a basis for ITD’s new standard drawings
  • The ADA Improvements projects have allowed people with disabilities more access to public pedestrian facilities in their communities than ever before
  • Making a difference in Idaho’s communities

Published 5-6-2011