More than 50 individuals who will play key roles in implementing the Connecting Idaho program met in Boise last week to begin creating its implementation framework.
The three-day “Alignment” workshop at The Washington Group International included introductory remarks by WGI’s Steve Hanks, ITD Director Dave Ekern and Federal Highway Administration division administrator Steve Moreno.
“It was a very good meeting,” said Nestor Fernandez, ITD’s Connecting Idaho program administrator. There was a lot of input during the workshop and some important issues were raised and solved.”
Ed Back, a team-building consultant and owner of PM Work Structures, provided training in the teamwork approach and guided team-building and alignment breakout sessions.
Two technology and innovation presentations were delivered on May 2 – one on ConstructWare, a software tool used in project management, and “Owner Controlled Insurance Program (OCIP) from Win Apel.
Connecting Idaho responsibilities, as outlined during the alignment workshop, generally fit into one of five functions, Fernandez said. The functions will be:
Participants developed a matrix aligning program responsibilities with one of those five operational functions.
Part of the afternoon was devoted to developing a relational prototype that could be employed in expanding Interstate 84 between Caldwell and Meridian. Participants identified potential issues and appropriate solutions as a foundational plan for the corridor project.
Connecting Idaho partners will compile a report about the outcomes, from public involvement to construction methods, design criteria and planning to right-of-way acquisition.
“This demonstrates the working partnership that could guide the development of the corridors. I-84 was a convenient place to begin because of the challenges it presents,” Fernandez says. That doesn’t mean it will be the first Connecting Idaho project to be undertaken, though. Lessons learned from the high-profile project could be applied to other Connecting Idaho corridors that will proceed in a parallel track, he said.
“The workshop was a high-level alignment process. Now we need to begin working on the next level, which is defining the framework in greater detail, going from a program overview to the specific working plan for the next phase,” the program administrator says.
Negotiations continue between the Idaho Transportation Department and the Connecting Idaho partnership of Washington Group International/CH2M HILL). The goal is to have a draft contract to the transportation board by June. Proceeds from the first GARVEE bond sale will be transferred to the state by Tuesday (May 23).