Allen, D-6 Region 1 Engineer
Practical Design should not be thought of as applying only to design work, however. It can also serve maintenance and construction functions. After all, a practical approach to anything may lead to cost savings.
In the last several months, Design and Materials have reviewed projects to ensure that District 6 is designing what is actually needed for roadways. We don’t want to merely follow an arbitrary standard.
One example of Practical Design in Maintenance is adding wing plows to some of our snow plows. These blade extensions cost more, but they speed plowing so that drivers can clear roadways in fewer passes. In recent meetings with the District 6 management team at area maintenance sheds, equipment operators suggested other ways to improve work processes.
In the next few months, we will decide whether these ideas can be employed. For your information, officials at ITD headquarters have met with officials of Associated General Contractors (AGC) about reducing or eliminating some testing in areas such as compacting backfill, super pave, and the quality assurance special provision. Headquarters personnel will attend the next AGC meeting in Rigby to explain the proposed changes.
I invite you to discuss with your supervisor any ways you see to better perform quality work. District 6 is interested in any cost-effective modifications that will achieve the same or better results.