With a total of $8.5 million saved in project-related costs since 2002 and a recent award from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) is declaring its Consultant Review Program a success.
The program – developed by FHWA, INDOT and consultant partners B&N, Beam, Longest & Neff and Janssen & Spaans – utilizes metrics and a fact-based approach to ensure that consultant-developed bridge and roadway designs are prepared according to current standards. These procedures have improved the quality of design projects, ensuring that INDOT construction dollars are effectively spent to provide the best possible public transportation system.
In addition to project cost savings, the program has helped prevent an estimated $136.4 million in accident-related costs by identifying and correcting highway safety feature deficiencies before construction, according to the Consultant Review Program’s 2005 Annual Report. The outsourcing of the review program to two consultant teams, one led by B&N, also allowed INDOT to increase its internal design efforts from 5 to 10 percent.
The FHWA has commended INDOT on this program as an example of stewardship that will move the industry toward ISO 9001 certification. Recently the FHWA presented the team with its Partnership in Excellence Award in recognition of the development and deployment of this successful program.
Because of its success, FHWA currently is looking for ways to expand the program. “We truly believe this (consultant review program) is a best practice; therefore, we are exploring ways we can share this within FHWA nationally,” Robert Tally, Jr., Indiana Division Administrator for FHWA, said.
INDOT, with assistance from B&N, made a presentation on the Consultant Review Program at the Mississippi Valley Conference of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) “Best Practices Sessions” in July 2005.
B&N also assisted INDOT with the development of the Consultant Project Group Instructional Guide, a 60-page manual detailing design review procedures and quality control metrics. B&N played a major role in analyzing the results of more than 2,300 reviews. The data was compiled into the Annual Report for the FHWA, who has requested that similar reports be prepared annually. Scott Sondles, PE, assisted with the development of and was a contributing author on both the instructional manual and Annual Report for INDOT.