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South Dakota Department of Transportation
Project Synopsis
SD2004-05


Title: SDDOT Water Quality Enhancement Program for Construction
Project Researcher: Harlow Landphere,
Project Manager: Daris Ormesher
Research Period: 8/1/2004 - 3/31/2005
Status:
Cost: $0.00

Problem Statement:

The South Dakota Department of Transportation (SDDOT) needs to enhance its environmental program to ensure its highway projects do not adversely affect the environment. The Departments Strategic Plan emphasizes environmental values by including the following goal: SDDOT will design, construct, and operate a transportation system that preserves and protects the environment.

Most importantly, the Department needs a simple but comprehensive program that addresses water quality. Highway construction sites can provide unwanted soil erosion into lakes, rivers, and streams. This sediment can adversely affect aquatic organisms and fish, including fish, such as the Topeka Shiner, that are on the endangered species list.

Environmental resource agencies approve permits and monitor highway projects to ensure compliance with all state and federal rules and regulations. Currently, the Department lacks several tools necessary to ensure sound environmental stewardship and to ensure compliance with these rules and regulations:

  • The Department does not have erosion and sediment control design guide and construction guide in an easy to access format. Such guides would help ensure consistent application of erosion and sediment control methods on SDDOT projects.

  • A training and certification program needs to be developed and provided to SDDOT personnel, consultants, and contractors in erosion and sediment control design, construction, maintenance, and inspection.

  • A checklist of essential erosion and sediment control items for the design and construction of a highway project would be a valuable aid to ensure that critical items are not overlooked.

  • Research is needed to document the Departments environmental policies and procedures pertaining to erosion and sediment control and to produce the tools necessary to ensure that they are followed.



    Findings:

    Research Objectives:
    1  Determine ways to improve compliance with environmental regulations pertaining to water quality for DOT construction projects.
    2  Develop an erosion and sediment control design manual, construction manual and training manual reflecting the Department's erosion and sediment control design and construction policies.
    3  Develop erosion and sediment control training course materials for instructors and participants.
    4  Identify and train a core group of SDDOT employees who would present the erosion and sediment control training to a targeted audience of who design, construct, and maintain erosion and sediment control measures.

    Research Tasks:
    1  Meet with the project's technical panel to review project scope and work plan.
    2  Review current literature, including other state's experiences, regarding development of an erosion and sediment control design and construction manual with associated training.
    3  Interview South Dakota consultants, contractors, and DOT personnel involved in erosion and sediment control projects to identify potential improvements to SDDOT's erosion and sediment control design and construction process.
    4  Interview state and federal environmental resource agency officials to identify requirements for erosion and sediment control maintaining water quality.
    5  Define the roles, knowledge and skills, authority, levels of responsibility, and training needs of individuals involved with erosion and sediment control projects.
    6  Recommend changes to the Department's design process to ensure that appropriate information is being conveyed in the plans for contractors for uniform bidding and construction practices.
    7  Recommend procedures for SDDOT personnel and contractors to ensure compliance with specifications. This may include liquidated damages and improvement actions for various categories of non-conformance with the plans.
    8  Prepare and present for approval of the study's technical panel a technical memorandum defining the content of design, construction, and training manuals.
    9  Produce the draft design, construction, and training manuals.
    10  Prepare check lists for use by the department and contractors to evaluate whether all erosion and sediment control requirements are being accomplished in design and construction. The check lists should provide recommendations for correction of items
    11  Recommend a training plan that identifies who should be trained, frequency of training, a certification process, who should maintain the certification program.
    12  Conduct a one-day training course walk-through with the project's technical panel to demonstrate the format and content of the course and the associated design and construction manuals.
    13  Modify the design, construction and training manuals based on comments of the technical panel and produce an electronic copy of the final documents
    14  By January 10, 2005 prepare and conduct a train-the-trainer course for a core team of employees who will present the erosion and sediment control course in early January 2005.
    15  Prepare a final report and executive summary of the research methodology, findings, conclusions, and recommendations.
    16  Prepare a final report and executive summary of the research methodology, findings, conclusions, and recommendations.

    Documents Available:
    SD2004_05_Final_Report.pdf
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