ITD's savings from Practical Design expected
to exceed $70 million by Fiscal Year 2012
Savings achieved through implementation of a new highway design standard by the Idaho Transportation Department are nearly five times greater than initially expected, reaching $27.2 million in just the first year of the program, ITD announced.
Adoption of the Practical Design management approach initially was expected to produce savings of about $5.6 million in state fiscal year 2008, explains ITD Director Pamela Lowe. That projection was revised to $18.4 million in December.
Based on contractor’s bids, the net savings is $27.2 million, Lowe said.
From fiscal year 2008 through fiscal year 2012, the department anticipates saving more than $70 million, an increase of $20 million over its original estimate, by implementing the practical design program.
“We believed Practical Design standards would produce considerable cost savings by tailoring projects to their specific environment and intended uses,” Lowe explains. “The numbers we’re seeing are encouraging. We’re achieving cost savings well beyond our initial expectations, and that allows us to fund additional highway projects.”
Using the Practical Design approach, engineers and planners consider the specific needs of a project rather than applying broad, more costly standards that are not necessary. Design decisions are based on what is the most logical or practical for each project rather than applying generic standards without compromising quality or safety.
Idaho’s highways and motorists are the beneficiaries.
Twelve additional projects were funded through Practical Design savings, resulting in improvements to more than 300 lane miles of highway and 12,000 square feet of bridge decks.
ITD completed 153 lane miles of sealcoats, 154 lane miles of plant-mix surfacing/overlays, 10,200 square feet of bridge deck rehabilitation, and. 2,000 square feet of new bridge decks.
“The Practical Design concept was highly successful in Missouri, and we hoped to achieve similar efficiencies when we introduced the program in 2007. But the results we’re seeing are even better than we expected,” Lowe said.
“We will continue to review every highway project using the Practical Design standard to ensure that our construction dollars are used as efficiently as possible,” Lowe added.