Policy Work Group - Standards / Costs Subcommittee
The Maine State Legislature, through Public Law 2009, Chapter 413, instructed the Maine Department of Transportation to work with stakeholders to evaluate the Maine’s highway classification and routing systems to determine if these complicated state and federal systems could be simplified.
The Maine Department of Transportation and Maine Municipal Association have formed a Policy Working Group (PWG) to guide this study. The PWG is chartering this subcommittee to look at maintenance, design and construction standards and related costs on the state aid system and make recommendations to the PWG.
The Subcommittee includes the following persons:
- David Bernhardt, MaineDOT, Co-Chair
- Tony Smith, Mount Desert Public Works, Co-Chair
- Richard Crawford, MaineDOT
- Greg Dore, Skowhegan Public Works, MBTA
- Rhonda Fletcher, MaineDOT
- Jim Hanley, Pike Industries, MBTA, AGC
- Denny Keschl, Belgrade Town Manager
- Dale Mitchell, HNTB
- Roger Raymond, Bucksport
- Erik Street, Yarmouth
- Bob Watson, MaineDOT
- Galen Larrabee, Knox Selectman
There are design and construction standards/specifications that are used by MaineDOT and Municipalities that are specific to State Aid Collectors or Town-ways when reconstructing, rehabbing, preserving, or maintaining a section of highway. The costs associated to these standards vary by how rigid or flexible they are or what is acceptable at the time by decision makers. The task of this Subcommittee will be to:
- Look at the different standards/specifications that are in place today by both municipalities and MaineDOT.
- By looking at the commonalities and differences find out if municipalities deliver certain services more cost effectively, and if so, why? What levels of service are needed / expected / provided.
- What are the costs associated with delivery to these standards? Example: What does it cost municipalities to provide winter maintenance to a state aid collector (per mile)? What are the analogous costs for MaineDOT to provide winter maintenance to a state highway collector? What is the range of costs and why?
- What design and construction standards could / should be considered to bring down summer maintenance and capital costs?
- What standards and processes are driven by federal law? Which ones cannot be changed?
- Which standards can / should change based upon the classification of the road?
- Who should be in control of setting such standards? Who should have the related responsibility? What safeguards are needed, if any? (Example: Professional Engineer seal on design?).
- If the responsibility (and related funding) for a road is to change (policy question for the PWG), what standards of improvement should apply before such a change. What are the range of options and related average costs per mile?
- What other issues related to standards and costs should the PWG consider?
This subcommittee will make reports to the PWG at each of their meetings. Any findings and recommendations will be approved by the PWG before they are published.
Accepted by unanimous vote of the Policy Working Group on 12/11/09
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