The following are a few representative projects:
AC Transit East Bay Bus Rapid Transit Project, Oakland, CA
The project is sponsored by AC Transit, which has secured $178 million to construct the first East Bay Area Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) facility. The BRT will operate almost exclusively in dedicated bus lanes along a 9.5-mile route starting at the BART station in San Leandro and terminating at the City of Oakland downtown transit center. The proposed BRT will operate nearly 24 hours per day and will have bus headways of approximately 5-10 minutes. The key to maintaining the BRT schedule and short headways will be a sophisticated traffic signal priority system to coordinate the +100 signals along the BRT route. The Oakland City Council approved the project (with specific conditions) allowing AC Transit to operate the BRT facility within the City street right of way.
For five years, Garrett Gritz, with Diablo Engineering Group and previously with RBF Consulting, provided program management and project coordination services for this high profile East Bay transit project. Mr. Gritz’s team provided technical project coordination services across almost all departments within the City of Oakland. These services include facilitating and performing plan, specification and estimate reviews; reviewing and assuring the City that the Conditions of Approval are being attained; attending all coordination meetings with AC Transit and then conveying technical information back to the City team members; assisting the City with the preparation of written technical communications and staff reports; and facilitating the reconciliation of design issues across multiple disciplines and agencies. Mr. Gritz represented the City of Oakland Planning Department and collaboratively back-checked and resolved design issues associated with the design plans.
In August 2016, Mr. Gritz transitioned from the design phase into the construction phase, specifically supporting AC Transit construction management team.
Central Contra Costa Transit Authority, Contra Costa County, CA
Under a 3-year On-Call Contract, WAVE Induction Charge Station Project at Walnut Creek BART
The Central Contra Costa Transit Authority (CCCTA) was able to obtain funding to replace 4 diesel buses with electric buses. These 4 buses operate a Free Downtown Shuttle, subsidized by the City of Walnut Creek, serving the shopping district. These buses carry over 288,000 passengers per year. The use of this WAVE induction charge technology will reduce emissions by over 154 tons of CO2 per year. This is the first non-wired fully electric bus route in the Bay Area.
Through an on-call contract with the CCCTA, the Diablo Engineering Group Team has managed the planning and prepared the plans, specifications and estimates for the two electric charging stations: one at CCCTA’s bus yard in North Concord and one in the City of Walnut Creek. The first task was to select the Walnut Creek site. After some effort, the team convinced Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) that the charging station should be constructed at the Walnut Creek BART station.
Jennifer Harmon has provided project management and inter-agency coordination for this high profile transit project. Ms. Harmon provides technical project coordination between the subconsultants, BART, PG&E, the City of Walnut Creek, WAVE, and CCCTA. These services include facilitating meetings and performing design reviews. The coordination with BART has included discussions of their planned re-development and how the WAVE charging station has been designed such that it could be easily relocated as a part of the re-development.
City of Oakland, As-Needed Transportation Engineering
Broadway/Keith Avenue to Golden Gate Way Bike/Pedestrian Project, Oakland, CA
Under an on-call contract for the City of Oakland, Michael Baker International (formerly RBF Consulting) with Diablo Engineering Group management (Jennifer Harmon) prepared an Alternatives Analysis, 35% Conceptual Design Plans with community outreach, and under a separate contract, final Plans, Specifications, and Estimates (PS&E) for improvements along Broadway from Keith Avenue to Golden Gate Way in the City of Oakland. The proposed work required an encroachment permit from Caltrans as it is immediately adjacent to the on and off ramps for SR-24. The design team recently delivered the final construction punch list.
Goals of the project are to add traffic calming measures, incorporate bike lanes, and improve pedestrian accessibility as there are two schools in close proximity to the project. In addition, the design team was requested to address access to private properties that had not previously been addressed at the time of the preliminary settlement agreement concepts. The design team provided alternatives for standard bike lanes and for a cycle track. Although the pedestrian and bicycle coordinator at the City was not supportive of the cycle track alternative at first, the design team demonstrated the benefits in removing conflicts with the freeway on and off ramps and providing for a protected area for bicyclists separate from pedestrians, while still providing clean conforms back to the standard bike lanes. The City pedestrian and bicycle coordinator became “excited about implementing this design.”
ALAMEDA CTC Interstate 880 North Safety Improvements Project at 29th and 23rd Avenues, Oakland, CA
Interstate 880 in downtown Oakland was originally constructed in the mid-1940s, prior to the publication of the Caltrans Highway Design Manual (HDM). The existing mainline freeway (shoulder widths), bridge overcrossings (non-standard vertical clearances), and on-ramps and off-ramps (interchange spacing) are not compliant with the HDM.
The Alameda County Congestion Management Agency (subsequently the Alameda CTC), Caltrans, the City of Oakland and other transportation agencies recognized the importance of improving this segment of I-880 in downtown Oakland. In addition, the local community encouraged elected officials to re-direct regional vehicles out of the residential neighborhood and construct a soundwall to reduce noise impacts on the neighborhood.
Michael Baker International (formerly RBF Consulting), under the direction of Garrett Gritz, PE and Jennifer Harmon, PE, was selected to manage the overall project. Mr. Gritz and Ms. Harmon managed the preparation of a combined Project Study Report (PSR)/Project Report (PR) and Environmental Document (ED). After achieving the required PSR schedule and securing substantial Trade Corridor Improvement Fund (TCIF) funding, the client selected the team to prepare the PR, ED and final plans, specifications and estimates. The PA/ED process was completed within an aggressive schedule, thus ensuring project funding ($100 million) remained committed to the project. ACTC, Caltrans, the City of Oakland and other involved agencies have expressed appreciation for the history and consistency provided by Mr. Gritz and Ms. Harmon. Both have been working on the project for the past eleven years, and continue to provide construction support to the project that is scheduled to be completed in 2018.
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