Construction Management

Evaluation of On-Site and In-situ Treatment Alternatives for Contaminated Soils

Construction activities in highway right of ways (ROWs) can result in the release of toxic and persistent contaminants. Highway construction may lead to the discovery of inorganic (lead, mercury, asbestos) and organic (petroleum hydrocarbons) hazardous wastes that have been spilled, illegally or improperly disposed, or leaked. The responsibility then often falls to the transportation agency to clean the contaminated property. Treating contaminated ROW soils for beneficial reuse as construction fill is a proactive strategy for dealing with contaminated property. However, the best cost-effective decontamination treatments that do not cause significant construction delays have yet to be identified. Cost-effective, usable solutions customized for the Illinois Department of Transportation’s (IDOT) time, space, and soil volume constraints are needed. The objectives of this project are to 1) characterize the nature and extent of IDOT ROW soil contamination; 2) evaluate feasible treatment alternatives for IDOT soils; and 3) develop a customized, rapid, on-site treatment approach that will allow IDOT to repurpose contaminated construction soils for on-site use as fill. Using this rapid treatment approach will allow IDOT to divert volumes of waste from Illinois landfills, reduce carbon footprints, lower environmental risks, and achieve substantial cost-savings.

Project Investigators:
Amanda Hohner
Idil Akin
Xianming Shi
Indranil Chowdhury
Richard Watts
Adam Phillips
Civil and Environmental Engineering, WSU

Sponsor: Illinois Center for Transportation
Scheduled completion:  January 2021

Linear Scheduling Evaluation and Best Practices, Phase 2

Traditional project scheduling methods provide overwhelming amounts of data for large projects. This can make the task of fully communicating project information to diverse audiences and communities challenging. In addition, WSDOT’s design teams, working with multiple and varied partners and internal specialists, need to be able to quickly grasp the nature of a project, its context, and the work activities, locations, and timing that will occur. Linear scheduling has the potential to be an extremely effective tool in tracking cost, duration, and appropriate justification and can enhance WSDOT’s current processes related to project cost risk assessment and value engineering. Other industries regularly use linear scheduling. Phase 1 of this study conducted a literature review of best practices related to linear scheduling for heavy civil engineering projects. In Phase II, the researchers will develop project performance metrics to quantify the benefits of using a linear scheduling program. They will also investigate available tools and software to provide vendor selection guidelines. The findings will build confidence in the adoption and use of a linear scheduling program to further improve project metrics.

Principal Investigator: Amy Kim, Civil and Environmental Engineering, UW
Sponsor: WSDOT
WSDOT Technical Monitor: Mark Gabel
WSDOT Project Manager: Mustafa Mohamedali
Scheduled completion: December 2021