SDOT launched the Project Coordination Office (PCO) two years ago, and you may not have heard of it, but it’s already been successful.
The PCO addresses potential conflicts with projects six months to five years before they become a reality. After a year of building the program, it’s in full swing, and in the five months since we started tracking metrics, the PCO has saved an estimated $1 million in restoration costs to public and private entities!
Two main goals of the new office are ensuring more cost-effective project investments and minimizing traffic impacts on communities.
Coordination is the first step, resulting in anticipated savings such as:
- $51,333 – by sequencing a Seattle City Light/Sound Transit project for Husky Stadium station to occur before an SDOT paving project on NE Pacific Street
- $208,000 – by arranging for Puget Sound Energy work to happen in advance of several downtown and Capitol Hill projects
- $56,250 – by bringing the Madison BRT and Verizon together to plan joint installation of needed conduit along Madison and Spring streets
Smart sequencing is a key way the PCO’s early planning approach saves money. The planned work of multiple projects in one area is assessed, then scheduled for maximum efficiency. An example includes getting four different projects to collaborate to:
- Dig the deepest hole first
- Share access to trenches
- Save paving for last
One element of efficient sequencing is allowing temporary pavement patches until the last project is ready to wrap; that entity then completes one contiguous pavement restoration.
Though new on the scene, the SDOT Project Coordination Office has increased the number of Seattle projects being coordinated from 422 at the end of 2016 to 738 by the end of March 2017. That’s represented in 25 active coordination groups across the city, where project managers are working together in the corridors and areas with the most activity.
Collaborating on schedule better maintains Seattle’s infrastructure, saves everyone money and reduces construction impacts on the traveling public.