Orange County Branch Newsletter

February 2015

Branch News

OCTA Highway Programs Continuous Improvement Initiative


By Joe Gonzalez, P.E.

The Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) is tasked with delivering several multi-million dollar transportation projects.  Projects include improvements to all major freeways in Orange County and several Grade Separation projects.  OCTA is committed to delivering quality products that meet schedule and are within budget. OCTA has a Quality Program that is similar to the Independent Quality Assurance (IQA) process that Caltrans requires for their highway projects.   The purpose of OCTA Quality Program is to improve the design delivery process by working with the design community and identifying areas of improvement.  This is done through periodic quality reviews of the design development processes and procedures to identify deficiencies then correcting these deficiencies and implementing the corrective action across all consulting engineers working on OCTA projects.  

Ross Lew, Program Manager with Highway Programs at OCTA, and Don Archer, Quality Manager at PQM, Inc., presented on the OCTA Highway Programs Continuous Improvement Initiative which included a Contract Change Order (CCO) analysis of five highway and five grade separation projects that are in the construction phase.  

The percent complete of these projects ranged between 27% and 90% complete as shown table below.

The analysis included identifying costs associated by discipline for Highway Projects and several categories for Grade Separation Projects as shown in figures below.

OCTA’s QA Program was established in 2008 and continues towards improving their approach towards QA and their partnership with the design community. This includes improving the Design Quality Management Plan by,

  • Identifying QC Reviewers and provide Qualifications in DQMP
  • Strengthen use of checklists to improve Accuracy (QC Procedures)
  • Improve Coordination between disciplines & subconsultants whenever design changes are made (Implement the Design Control Log)
  • Ensure current reference files are utilized by all disciplines/subconsultants to eliminate errors (EDMS)
  • Increase QA over subs (Prime conduct audits on subs)
  • Engage construction professionals to perform Constructability Reviews (Validate Qualifications)
  • Use Comment Response Log that Categorizes the Comments (by Discipline then Engineering, CADD, Specifications, General)
  • DO NOT rely on As-Built data – Verify As-Built data (Assumptions)
    • Request adequate surveys
    • Perform thorough field investigations
  • Implement Risk Identification Log
    • Document Risks and assumptions on a Risk ID Log

The above items will assist OCTA in stablishing preventative actions that would allow for a high quality product that would ultimately lead to fewer contract change orders and cost savings. The information presented at this ASCE – OC Meeting is was one way to expose this information to the consulting industry and partnering agencies.

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