December 19, 2018 – Sam Shea, District 6 planner for the Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT), reported on the status of planning for improvements to the Interstate 80 corridor and bridge over the Mississippi River. Both the Iowa and Illinois DOTs are now preparing to conduct a Planning and Environmental Linkages Study for the I-80 Bridge. Planning and Environment Linkages (PEL) represents a collaborative and integrated approach to transportation decision-making. The PEL process considers environmental, community, and economic goals early in the transportation planning process and uses the information and analysis developed during planning to inform the environmental review process. The common benefits of PEL are to:
- Reduce duplication
- Assist the environmental review process
- Develop documentation
- Save costs and time
- Provide a holistic and flexible approach
- Enhance community involvement
- Improve relationships and coordination
November 28, 2018 – In 1986, the Bi-State Regional Commission's member governments came together to form the Joint Purchasing Council (JPC) to develop an intergovernmental agreement and guidelines for the joint purchasing of goods. Over $48 million in products have been purchased since its establishment. Membership in the JPC requires city or county board approval and signing of the intergovernmental agreement. Currently, 31 governmental entities are members of the JPC. Bi-State’s membership dues fund agency staff time and bid materials needed by the program.
September 26, 2018 – George Ryan, P.E., I-74 Corridor Manager, Wood Consultants, provided a status report on the I-74 Corridor project. He was previously the District Engineer with Illinois Department of the Transportation in District 2, and managed the I-74 Bridge reconstruction in Peoria, bringing needed experience to the I-74 Bridge Corridor Project in the Bi-State Region.
Mr. Ryan provided an overview of the contractors on all projects that had been let for bid and information regarding future lettings. There have been multiple challenges to the work in the river due to flooding, and the contractor lost about 1.5 months in the schedule. While the contractor builds in “float” on a schedule to allow for some delays, the impact of flooding is reducing the flexibility in the schedule. The contractor is adjusting the schedule and staging other work when possible to alleviate the issues.