Lease Revenue Bonds
Corridor Mobility Improvement Account (CMIA)
Intent or Criteria: Funds shall be used for performance improvements on the state highway system, or major access routes to the state highway system on the local road system that relieve congestion by expanding capacity, enhancing operations, or otherwise improving travel times within these high-congestion travel corridors. Funds will be allocated by California Transportation Commission (CTC), upon appropriation in the annual Budget Bill by the Legislature, for projects included in the CMIA program.
Accountability Plan : As required by Executive Order S-02-07, the following is the three-part accountability structure for this program:
1. Front-End Accountability:
The transportation project development process begins with feasibility studies and ends with a constructed project. It melds engineering requirements, public involvement and federal and state approval steps, and is governed by a host of laws and regulations pertaining to programming, environmental effects, right of way acquisition and contracting for construction.
Transportation improvement needs and opportunities are identified by system planning activities and are embodied in regional transportation plans (RTPs) developed and adopted through a collaborative public process by metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) or regional transportation planning agencies (RTPAs). A need is identified, either as a structural or operating deficiency of the existing road, or as a response to planned land use changes such as a new subdivision, a shopping or a manufacturing center. Identification of such a need may result in a project as minor as a traffic signal or as major as a freeway.
Regional transportation planning is long-range (20+ years), area-wide, developed through the involvement of federal, state, regional, and local agencies, public entities, private and community based organizations, and individuals working together to identify future regional transportation needs and how these needs can be met.
The purpose of the RTP is to prepare and provide for the region’s mobility in a fiscally and environmentally responsible manner, consistent with the needs, preferences and sensibilities of the community. RTPs must be consistent with other plans and programs of regional significance. For example, there should be discussion on how projects proposed in RTPs support local land use and population projections, how they are sensitive to identified environmental concerns, and how they address economic development, freight transportation, and social equity, among others.
For the Corridor Mobility Improvement Account (CMIA), Front-End Accountability begins with the development of program guidelines, followed by project nomination and project selection processes, and the adoption of an initial program to be funded from bond proceeds. The CMIA Program Guidelines (pdf) include conditions and criteria that identifies project eligibility, such as project must be included in a regional transportation plan, is a high priority project in the corridor, can commence construction by December 31, 2012, improves mobility in a high congestion corridor by improving travel times or reducing the daily vehicle hours of delay, and others.
In adopting an initial CMIA program of approximately $4.5 billion (pdf), the CTC evaluated 149 project nominations totaling over $11.3 billion in proposed CMIA funding. The evaluation process considered each project on its own merit, taking into account a number of factors that included project readiness for construction, demonstrable congestion relief and connectivity benefits, geographic balance, and the north-south split, as referenced in Proposition 1B and the CMIA Program Guidelines.
Once an initial program is adopted (pdf), a project specific delivery agreement is put into effect resulting in cost and schedule baselines against which future performance is measured. In addition to these baselines, project benefits, as identified in program guidelines, are also documented. The CMIA program includes project benefits measured in terms of travel time improvements and the reduction of daily vehicle hours of delay.
2. In-Progress Accountability:
Project development starts with a project work plan that identifies project initiation and development activities. The work plan translates the baseline agreements into necessary activities with desired outcomes. The project manager determines the disciplines needed to develop the project and assembles a project development team. Project teams develop and evaluate alternatives, help direct studies, make recommendations and carry out the project work plan. Transportation projects are typically broken into four distinctive components or “phases” to facilitate decision making and approval processes: “environmental phase”, “design or plans, specifications and estimates phase”, “right of way phase”, and “construction phase”. A closeout process is employed at the end of each of these phases, but this process is most prominent at the end of the construction phase. Once the construction has been completed, the project “closeout phase” is initiated to address outstanding construction claims, assemble a project history file and complete the project’s as-built plans, perform final right of way and environmental mitigation activities, develop lessons learned, and complete a final project financial statement.
The “Environmental Phase” concludes with the preparation and approval of the project report and environmental document. The Project Report in conjunction with the environmental document, provide a record of the decision-making process regarding a project’s ultimate scope, schedule and cost. The project report contains information about the project’s background, need and purpose, alternatives investigated and issues encountered in the engineering and environmental investigations. The environmental document includes a range of alternatives that were considered, and the reasons why certain alternatives were set aside. The environmental document identifies all significant adverse effects, and related mitigation measures, of each reasonable alternative.
The design or plans, specifications and estimates (PS&E) phase delivers documents that contain construction details, contract provisions, permits, agreements and certifications required to advertise, award and administer a construction contract. The “Design (PS&E) Phase” concludes with an estimate of cost and a projected schedule against which contractors’ bids are evaluated and contract award decisions are made.
As the construction details for the project are developed, necessary permits and right of way access rights are obtained. Right of Way processes (Right of Way Phase) assure that all property rights are sufficient, all utility conflicts are avoided or mitigated, all clearance and demolition work are addressed and that control of the right of way is achieved within the cost, scope and schedule of the project. Right of Way Certification is a written statement summarizing the status of each right of way related matter pertaining to a proposed construction project so that the project is ready for contract.
The final project documents and bid package are then assembled for advertising. After the construction contractors’ bids are opened, the contract is awarded to the lowest responsible bidder. Contract award and approval authorizes construction of a project (Construction Phase). The contractor’s bid amount and proposed number of working days become the critical elements of the project’s cost and schedule baselines for the construction phase. If changes are required, the project team prepares engineering details and calculations, and agreements are negotiated with the contractor to implement needed changes.
For the CMIA, In-Progress Accountability involves managing project progress against established baselines. Progress is monitored closely during all phases of a project. Schedule and budget elements of each project are reported on a regular basis to project stakeholders. Changes are documented and approvals are obtained to continue with the development and execution of the work. The bond accountability website includes a list of projects included in the program, cost and schedule baseline information for each project, and a status report that is update at least semi-annually.
3. Follow-Up Accountability (Audit):
The project is not complete until the final construction contract payment is made and contractor’s claims are resolved, project history file and as-built plans are completed, and final right of way activities and environmental mitigation are accomplished (Close-out Phase). A close-out report is produced to document the financial, scope, and the performance state of the completed project, as well as document lessons learned and best practices for use in the development of future projects. This process is referred to as the close-out process, and constitutes the typical follow-up accountability steps for State highway transportation projects.
Follow-Up Accountability for CMIA projects involves post-project assessments of corridor performance. This assessment will be made against the baselines established during the project nomination/evaluation process.
Another related accountability feature of CMIA will be the implementation of a corridor system management plan (CSMP). This plan, which involves the development of comprehensive agreements along a corridor, is aimed at ensuring that mobility gains achieved as a result of the project are preserved over time.