Title

Improving SCDOT Project Delivery Through Identifying Potentially Suitable Locations for Mitigation and Standardizing Section 401/404 Permit Application Process

Document Type

Report

Abstract

The South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) identified three areas that have significant effect on its ability to deliver projects on time and on budget: 1) inconsistent permit application submittals among consultants that led to delay in approval by the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers (USACE), 2) inability to consistently identify “red flags” early in the project development process, and 3) lack of mitigation credit coverage. The objective of this project is to decrease the risks in these three areas. A review of the literature and other state highway agencies’ practices indicated that some agencies have used Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to develop in-house mitigation and project screening tools and some agencies have transitioned from paper-based permit applications to web-based permit applications. None of the off-the-shelf products or other agencies’ in-house applications can be easily tailored to the SCDOT’s practice. For this reason, this project focused on development and technology transfer of applications to enable the SCDOT’s Environmental Services Office (ESO) to accelerate project delivery by improving the consistency of ESO’s deliverables, avoiding and minimizing impact of projects through proper screening, and increasing available mitigation credits through transparency with the banking community. Five applications were developed which involved input from the Project Steering and Implementation Committee throughout the design and implementation process: 1) Project Screening Tool ArcGIS webapp, 2) Mitigation Forecasting Tool ArcGIS webapp, 3) Jurisdictional Determination (JD) ArcGIS webapp, 4) JD web-based smart form, and 5) General Permit web-based smart form. After several rounds of beta testing involving SCDOT staff, consultants, and USACE, these five apps have been adopted by the SCDOT and have been incorporated into the agency’s existing workflows.

APA Citation

Huynh, N., Goharian, E., Vidal, J., Mullen, R., Meadows, M. E., Wang, J., Tanim, A. H., Baez, L., & University of South Carolina. Dept. of Civil & Environmental Engineering. (2021). Improving SCDOT Project Delivery Through Identifying Potentially Suitable Locations for Mitigation and Standardizing Section 401/404 Permit Application Process (FHWA-SC-21-06). https://rosap.ntl.bts.gov/view/dot/61205

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