Meeting Minutes – June 16, 2021 (approved 8/18/2021)
Meeting Location: Zoom Virtual Meeting
Day/Time: Wednesday (1:30 pm – 3:00 pm)
- Bill Oldenburg, NHDOT (Chair)
- Mike Long, MJ
- Ted Kitsis, NHDOT
- Alex Koutroubas, ACEC
- CR Willeke, NHDOT (Scribe)
- Bob Bollinger, FHWA
- Darren Blood, GM2
- Marty Kennedy, VHB
- Loretta Girard Doughty, NHDOT
- Chris Mulleavey, HTA
- Rob Faulkner, CHA
- Tobey Reynolds
Unable to Attend:
- Jim Marshall (NHDOT)
- Meeting Minutes: May meeting minutes accepted as amended.
- Assigned Scribe for Meeting: C.R. Willeke (NHDOT)
- Topics for Discussion:
- Improving Project Delivery – Mike Long mentioned that at the last meeting in May the Committee looked at items that could speed up or improve the process in the period from project inception through consultant selection and notice to proceed. At this meeting we want to look at items that can speed up or improve plan production and delivery process after consultant notice to proceed. A draft list of items / issues that slow project progress is attached and was used for discussion. Mike mentioned that today’s intent is to review the draft list of issues, verify we are properly describing the issues, and make/adjust the priority of the items on the list. The group discussed the following items on the draft list:
- Front Office Meeting Preparation – It was mentioned that seeking front office concurrence appears to have caused delays in the past on projects. The question was raised if consultants could take on some of the responsibilities of the NHDOT PM’s in preparing for or participating in Front Office meetings to help speed up project delivery. The types of front office meetings were discussed (seeking concurrence for scope/schedule/budget changes, seeking concurrence for upcoming public meeting presentations (see #2 below), presenting the progress of a project at certain milestones, etc…), as well as the steps to prepare for front office meetings. Items like preparing the FOPIS (Front Office Project Information Sheet), allowing time for Bureau Administrator pre-review and Director of Project Development pre-review, making sure all of the background information in understood, etc…. were noted to be elements that can extend time / cause delays. It was also mentioned that newer PM’s may be less comfortable making decisions as compared to more experienced / recently retired PM’s; therefore, more vetting of project decisions is occurring which could be adding time to the project delivery process. It was also mentioned that older conference reports were felt to be lacking in capturing an appropriate record of project decisions, and therefore the FOPIS was introduced as the official record of decision making. This may be causing PM’s (especially newer PM’s) to schedule more Front Office meetings than in the past.
- Public Outreach – It was mentioned that the linear/sequential public outreach process appears to slow down projects. Things like properly noticing abutters are state law and likely cannot be improved upon. But, similar to #1 above, the question was raised if consultants could take on some of the responsibilities of the NHDOT PM’s in preparing for or participating in public outreach and/or the front office meetings related to public outreach to help speed up project delivery.
- Technical Plan Review Turnaround Time (Plan/Submission Reviews) – It was agreed to keep this topic on the list.
- Delays in Receiving NTP after scope and fee are agreed on for On-Call – It was agreed to not keep this on this list as there is not much DOT or consultants can do to improve it. However, consultants will track on-call turnaround time and report back in the future about potential delays. It was mentioned that there is merit in keeping the message going that all aspects of project delivery should be as efficient as possible.
- Delays within Bureaus (Geotechnical, ROW, Survey) – It was mentioned to keep this issue on the list. It was also mentioned that bureau coordination is an issue on NHDOT “in-house” projects as well.
- Items 6, 7, and 8 were not discussed due to time limits.
- LPA Topics:
- C.R. noted that the LPA PE On-Call process is reviewing the contract documents for the three selected firms in preparation for G&C. A big thanks to Bill Oldenburg for filling in the responsibilities that Jake (retired) used to do in contract preparation. The LPA CE On-Call process will be reviewing consultant proposals in July.
- Sub Committees:
- Contracts – Darren noted that the standardized scope of work for Part A is almost done and when finished the committee will schedule a meeting.
- Bridge – Loretta noted that they will be meeting tomorrow (June 17, 2021).
- Highway – no updates (Jim not in attendance)
- Next Meeting: August 18, 2021