Maryland Department of Transportation Maryland State Highway Administration I-495/American Legion Bridge Study
Rossi Group provided on-site engineering and project management support to the Office of Planning and Preliminary Engineering (OPPE), Project Management Division (PMD) for developing a strategic plan to improve reliability on the west side of I-495 (Capital Beltway).
The study limits are along the I-495/Capital Beltway from the I-270 West Spur in Montgomery County, Maryland to the northern end of the 495 Express Lanes, south of Old Dominion Drive (SR 738) in Fairfax County, Virginia including the American Legion Memorial Bridge (ALB) crossing the Potomac River. This portion of I-495 in Maryland is one of the topmost bottleneck locations and one of the most unreliable freeway segments in Maryland.
The purpose of the Strategic Plan was to investigate the long-term regional mobility needs, identify and evaluate reasonable and achievable long-term improvement concepts to reduce congestion and improve travel times and reliability on the Capital Beltway while maintaining a safe facility and financial feasibility. The I-495 West/American Legion Bridge Strategic Plan is part of MDOT’s overall effort to understand statewide transportation needs and was used in long-term planning of major investments in the corridor.
Rossi’s services for this Planning and Environment Linkages (PEL) study included the overall project management of the PEL study, oversight of the PEL project development process, and adherence to the schedule. The PEL strategic plan development included analysis to determine the project deficiencies and needs, project goals and objectives, and to define the project Objective Statement that may be used for a future project Purpose and Need Statement.
Highway and Structural Engineering
Rossi’s services included the technical engineering review of highway development alternatives from a performance-based practical design perspective and adherence to AASHTO Policy on Geometric Design of Highways and Streets, AASHTO Roadside Design Guide and SHA Highway Design Policy and Procedures Manual as well as SHA design standards and guidelines. Concepts included restriping and widening to add general purpose or high occupancy lanes. Inclusion of bicycle and pedestrian facilities are considered as an off-alignment trail. Rossi’s responsibility included the oversight of the structural analysis of the existing ALB bridge and improvement concept development. Bridge improvement concepts included restriping, widening, and new construction on and off-alignment.
Coordination and Review
Rossi’s responsibilities included coordination and review of engineering across multiple disciplines. It included the oversight of completing environmental and engineering inventories and documentation; initial high-level desktop impact assessment of social, economic, natural, cultural, and environmental features including permitting requirements; review of engineering and geometric design for a range of highway and structural design alternatives; potential stormwater management implementation strategies; and review of cost estimates.
Additional responsibilities included confirmation of logical termini/independent utility for the study limits; develop, oversee, and document an economic and financial analysis; develop and evaluate potential project delivery methods; and the oversight of the development and documentation of existing and future traffic volumes, traffic analyses and travel forecast modeling, existing and build traffic analysis and simulation, and safety assessments for the project through the review of historical crash information.
Rossi was responsible for facilitating, preparing for, and attending milestone meetings with MDOT SHA Headquarter and District staff, management, and consultants as well as partnering meetings with outside agencies (Federal Highway Administration, Virginia Department of Transportation, Washington Metropolitan Council of Governments, and Montgomery County), regulatory agencies (US Army Corps of Engineers, National Park Service), and elected officials and stakeholders. Rossi prepared agendas, meeting minutes, and summary reports.
Public Involvement and Outreach Efforts
Rossi’s responsibilities included the development of an innovative public outreach strategy and the implementation of traditional and non-traditional public involvement activities such as public online surveys; website and social media outreach through Geofencing and Facebook; digital communication with the public through Twitter; study postcard, factsheet, flyer, and mailings to citizens, elected officials, and stakeholders; facilitation and preparation of materials and interview questions for the technical team, focus group, special interest group, and other stakeholder meetings; and coordination of materials to be translated in four other languages.
Rossi’s plan review and environmental coordination utilized Bentley ProjectWise, MicroStation and InRoads V8i, SHA workspace and SHA CADD standards.