As the nation’s demands on our civil infrastructure continue to grow; through age, urban growth, transportation mode shifts, and impacts of natural disasters; the capital projects and programs managing the reconstruction and enhancement efforts are relying on growing business sophistication in the enterprise-class systems supporting them. This modern programmatic approach includes leveraging many maturing technology platforms to support innovative management of unique content types such as parametric three-dimensional models, lots of geospatial data as well as traditional digital documents and communications to drive efficiencies, transparency, and added-value to the operators and maintainers of civil infrastructure.
Web-based and Cloud Solutions/BI Platforms
One of these enterprise platforms being more heavily leveraged is web-based content management and business intelligence solutions. One successful example comes from New York City, where the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey leveraged a content management platform on their signature public-private partnership (P3) $1.5 billion Goethals Bridge Replacement Project. The implementation of this platform allows the Authority to effectively manage more than 75,000 design and construction documents; and to apply business process workflow automation between stakeholders. The portal, in conjunction with the Port requirements verification system allows authorized users to perform audits, search records, print reports, export information, retain information in designated “Workspaces” and provides interactive submission reviews and responses.
Another example comes from America’s heartland, where the Kansas Department of Transportation deployed sophisticated collaboration solution for managing procurement, design and quality oversight on their first-ever design-build highway project. Kansas DOT elected to take an agile approach and developed their document management platform based on the various stages of the project. The first stage was employed business process workflow automation to support design-build procurement. Business process workflow automation, ball-in-court dashboard and a notification system significantly increased the timeliness of responses and produced a better proposal as a result. Once the design-builder was selected, the next stage supported the design process and receipt, review and exchange of letters, meeting materials, submittals, construction documents, maintenance of traffic closure requests and contract documents between the design-builder and the Department improving the timeliness of responses and review of submittals.
Capital programs create unique opportunities for enterprises to innovate and enhance their content management strategies
Both projects allowed each enterprise to learn effective digital content management strategies from very complex business needs.
Geographic Information Systems
Another unique content type incredibly central to civil infrastructure projects is geographic location. Hence geographic information system (GIS) is an enterprise platform to be leveraged and extended. As an example, the Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) turned to GIS for a Right-of-Way and Utility Information Management System the largest design-build project in their history: the I-15 CORE Program. GIS provided a sophisticated approach for tracking, reporting, and management of the projects land acquisition activities provides integrated performance standards measurement, ability to proactively track project schedules, critical letting dates and costs.
Iowa Department of Transportation has a taken unique and innovative approach to managing their stakeholder outreach and engagement across all their projects by developing a web-based Public Involvement Management Application (PIMA) system that transforms stakeholder engagement into an asset that can be managed to improve customer satisfaction with how they interact with the Department - and by extension strengthen the Department's ability to undertake complex or difficult projects or initiatives with citizen concurrence or support. Iowa DOT’s approach combines elements of GIS, social media and their own internal business processes and enterprise databases to give decision makers the ability to collaborate on planning, communicating, and measuring the effectiveness of their responses to stakeholder questions and concerns.
Building Information Modeling
Another unique and rapidly growing content type is parametric models-“smart” 3D interactive models, often referred to as Building Information Models (BIM)—provide an interactive digital representation of physical and functional characteristics of a facility. In support of the Chicago Transit Authority’s $1 billion Red Line rehabilitation program; the CTA turned to BIM as a core content management platform for the design and construction of the $130 million project to rebuild sections of the 100-year old Wilson Transfer Station. It included reconstruction of deteriorated tracks to eliminate slow zones, replace or repair aging stations facilities and install new power systems to improve performance. BIM helped stakeholders visualize the concept and help identify and avoid potential conflicts in vertical and horizontal building elements and provided a key mechanism for the support of design and construction data flowing directly into operations and maintenance per view.
Capital programs create unique opportunities for enterprises to innovate and enhance their content management strategies. By enabling programmatic efficiencies and performance-measurement; capital programs provide a great ecosystem for driving many public agencies to leverage their infrastructure projects as innovation drivers around content management.