The Ohio Department of Transportation's (ODOT) Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Transition Plan required addressing ADA compliance for roadway infrastructure across the state. ODOT has been taking steps to catalog the compliance of existing infrastructure to develop a strategy for replacing non-compliant elements. ODOT had begun data collection across the state through previous efforts to catalog their existing infrastructure by county. This information was stored in ODOT's Transportation Information Mapping System (TIMS) database. Due to the massive collection efforts, number of staff involved, and variation in how the data was collected, the information required confirmation to ensure accuracy. With 88 counties and thousands of locations to manage, ODOT tasked B&N with developing a process to consistently and efficiently collect field data, confirm pedestrian facility non-compliance in the field, and streamline construction document development for funding estimation and bidding.
A single county was selected for this effort as a pilot location. Mahoning County, located in northeastern Ohio, has a blend of small to medium-sized cities and several rural communities with ADA facilities. The available data for the county was provided to B&N to guide the process development. The data, identified by location and a specific inventory file number, had been ranked as low, medium, and high priority and non-compliant facilities identified.
Synthesizing the available data, 181 curb ramps and 106 pushbutton facilities across 89 intersections were deemed non-compliant per the initial assessment performed by ODOT. B&N developed a data collection app that captured the various ramp and pushbutton criteria necessary for compliance to streamline the field data verification. A route was identified to avoid backtracking since the ramps were located throughout the county. Field staff were trained on the correct and consistent process for measuring the criteria and coding it into the app before heading to the field. Providing the training and mapping the routes ahead of time, the data collection for these facilities was accomplished in two days.
The app that B&N developed was georeferenced and tagged the collected information to each intersection using GPS coordinates. The app platform was easily loaded onto iPads with 3G/4G capabilities and was instantly uploaded to the app database and accessed in real-time by staff in the office. All the data was exportable, providing a deliverable that ODOT could import into their asset management system to update their system.
After completing the data collection, B&N created construction documents and cost estimates for ODOT to develop bid packages, construction mitigation plans and justification documents for any ADA facility removals. With timing being of the essence, the documents were developed based on field observations and available aerials with enough information to provide contractors with constructible projects to replace non-compliant curb ramps and pedestrian push button facilities. The plan package referred to current standard construction drawings in place of full curb ramp detail layouts with guidance on the layouts to provide the contractor additional information to ensure ADA compliance in the new construction.