VTrans is seeking input RPCs on the candidate list of district pavement leveling projects in the region for state fiscal year 2015. The list of candidate projects identified by the VTrans district offices in ACRPC’s region may be viewed here.
RPCs have the option to add a project to this list. All suggested projects should be at least 1 mile in length. The district leveling program applies only to state highways. Class 1 town highways are not part of the leveling program.
Each region should assign a “high”, “medium” or “low” priority to each candidate project in your region, including any additional projects that you identify. In general, assign one-third of the projects in your region as high priority, one-third as medium priority and one-third as low priority. Each region may decide how best to assign these priorities.
Click map for project details.
You may also view the project spreadsheet
RPC assigned priorities should be submitted to Matt Langham (VTrans, Transportation Improvement Program Coordinator) by close of business on January 24, 2014.
VTrans District Pavement Leveling Program Background & Prioritization Caveats
- The District Leveling program starts out with an estimated $18M – $20M list of projects. This is significantly more than VTrans will have funding to complete, but we want to be prepared in case funds become available during the fiscal year, or in case schedules need to be adjusted due to other factors. Fiscal year leveling program projects are typically split into two calendar years. Assuming VTrans has a $6M FY budget (for example), they would plan to spend $4M for July to October 2014 and the other $2M for May and June in 2015 if funds are still available.
- Projects are selected based on a wide range of criteria. However, ultimately the selections are somewhat subjective and based on the expertise of the selection committee. The selection committee includes the VTrans OPS Division Director (Scott Rogers), OPS MTA (Wayne Gammell), OPS Paving Manager (Ted Domey), PDD Assistant Director (Kevin Marshia), Highway Safety & Design Program Manager (Ken Robie), Pavement Management (Mike Fowler & Jim Raymond), Asset Management (Reid Kiniry), and PPAID Policy & Planning Manager (Joe Segale). Others may be substituted in as needed depending on questions that arise. RPCs will have one representative on this committee. VTrans will attempt to prioritize based on “the poorest of the poor” and try to select routes that will not make it on a pavement management program list. Some projects get a test ride from VTrans staff prior to final selection. Criteria considered before making selections are:
- When was the last time the road was paved?
- Is it on the Pavement Management Program schedule and if so what year?
- Have we received a high number of public comments in the last 12 to 24 months?
- Traffic volumes
- Is this a location that is “maintenance heavy” for the district?
- Have there been any past district projects in this area?
- What will be needed for work by the district prior to leveling, and can we get it done?
- Can we “save” the road before it becomes “the poorest of poor”?
- Does the project connect to a previous year(s) project? and now
- Regional Priority
- RPC input will be valuable to help indicate local and regional preference. The input will be considered in making selections, but will not take precedence over other engineering criteria.
- Class 1 town highways are not part of the leveling program.
- There is not an attempt to divide funds equally between the 8 Districts (4 VTrans Regions – The State has 4 regions, NW, NE, SW & SE. D5 and D8 make up the NW. D9 & D7 make up the NE. D1 and D3 make up the SW and D2 & D4 make up the SE). Each District receives funds but there are more “very poor” roads North of White River Junction than South, and the Districts north of WRJ tend to have more miles of road to maintain. The goal is to implement pavement preservation projects within the leveling program to regionally distribute projects throughout the State in the future but VTrans will need to get the “very poor” roads down to a manageable percentage first.
- If there are any questions regarding the Districts choice of projects, those questions should be addressed to your RPC coordinator which will follow-up with the District. The District has different reason for selecting and prioritizing than the selection committee which may de different than the RPC’s. Sometimes the committee picks a route not on the Districts submitted list based on the different criteria so if a route is not on the initial list feel free to add and comment on why you’re doing so.
- RPCs may add to the list if they choose. We recognize that local expertise may bring something to VTrans’ attention that they are not currently aware of, so they would like the initial list to be open to all for input, addition and consideration.
- After projects are selected, project schedules will be decided ‘on the go’ based on when paving plants open and close, when bid documents are ready, when other projects in the area are being done, and many other factors. The paving manager (Ted Domey) may have to adjust schedules “on the fly” during the construction season for a variety of reasons.
- Leveling projects are done by simplified bid. Sometimes bids are rejected if VTrans does not receive competitive pricing. As a result, projects on the list may be postponed until such time as a favorable bid is received. The bottom line is that VTrans is looking for best value for the taxpayers. An example was a project in District 9 last year that came in way over our estimate. As a result the project was delayed and the money was shifted to Addison County to complete a leveling project on Route 125 ahead of schedule. The D9 project will go next spring.
- Another factor that can result in shifts in project selection or schedule is the availability of contractors to do the work. When the season really gets going and everybody is busy, sometimes it can be hard to find contractors who will competitively bid on these projects. In those rare cases, we need to adjust The Agency’s game plan accordingly.
- The only other scenario that may be encountered is the “emergency” project (i.e. rutting on I-89 SB in Berlin). In these cases a selected project may have to be delayed to address an immediate safety issue on another part of the system.
- While the amount of flexibility in the program may seem high, the fact that the program is nimble is the reason VTrans is paving so many miles every year. The fact that the program is nimble is why it succeeds.
- The biggest risk to the program (other than miring it in too much process over time) is that it’s funded entirely with State Transportation dollars. Obviously, during tough financial times when state funds are scarce, this is one of the first places the budget office looks for cuts.