In 2015, Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal signed the Transportation Funding Act (TFA) into law, which increased the Georgia Department of Transportation’s (GDOT) funding and program projects by 50%. As a result, the state Legislature tasked GDOT with using the increased funding to deliver more projects and faster while maintaining current state employee levels. To address this challenge, GDOT selected Gresham Smith to manage its Traffic Operations and Safety program under a five-year, $25 million delivery-based program management contract.
We immediately began designing an organization that combined tools, experience, human resources and processes to execute projects and make sure the program received overall benefits on time and on budget. In 2020, after five years of successful implementation of this strategy, GDOT awarded Gresham Smith with another five-year, $50-million contract to continue this work.
value of projects being delivered
increase in GDOT's program budget in 2015
5-year contract to continue work
A Historic ShiftServing as a management extension of GDOT’s Office of Program Delivery, our team was tasked with delivering $1 billion in combined projects, marking a historic shift in the delivery of the program. The contract encompasses program and project management, scheduling, budgeting, data architecture and analysis, training and career development as well as project controls.
The Right StuffWe have assembled a core team of program management specialists and project managers with more than 100 years of combined experience working with GDOT to manage projects in each of the seven districts across the state. Project manager assistants are incorporated into the team to facilitate delivery and allow project managers to focus on delivery-related decisions and vetting risks.
Project manager assistants also afford the program redundancy while allowing the PMAs to receive hands-on experience as they graduate into the next generation of project managers. Our controls group works with our PMs as an integrated team that provides support through data analysis and scheduling services.
In addition to PMAs and those with institutional knowledge of GDOT, we recruit talented individuals with diverse backgrounds to bring new skill sets, experiences and perspectives to the front lines of the program.
Hitting the Ground RunningFrom day one, our team began absorbing the list of new and existing GDOT traffic operations and safety projects—ranging from roundabouts and sign upgrades to other innovative intersections and multiuse trails. Flexible and efficient, the team takes on additional projects on a monthly basis.
Project managers are assigned new projects after each one undergoes a risk analysis in order to facilitate an early coordination. The PM’s to-do list also includes developing a project execution plan to set up each project for that all-important on-time delivery.
Facilitating CollaborationTo support the project team, Gresham Smith opened an office in Midtown Atlanta in the same building that houses GDOT. This allowed our team to better collaborate with GDOT staff while becoming more engrained in the community.
Our team meets with the Office of Program Delivery, the Office of Traffic Operations, GDOT subject matter experts, and local government officials on a regular basis and is constantly collaborating on project delivery, goals, metrics, training, tools and project management issues that not only affect our program, but also the delivery of each GDOT program statewide.
A Positive InfluenceProject controls is an important component of our program management strategy. Our scope of work includes designing data collection systems to analyze pre-construction data, which informs the program management team of risks and how to plan projects successfully.
Project controls also provides the program and project managers with data that can positively influence the outcome of a project and help identify potential issues before they have the chance to slow a project down.
Going the Extra MileImproving the quality of life for all Georgians, Gresham Smith’s innovative approach to managing the program is creating positive economic impacts by efficiently and expeditiously delivering projects that improve safety and traffic flows—and ultimately save lives.
Our firm is currently managing more than 300 projects, paving the way for additional projects in the near future. The project represents Gresham Smith’s Transportation market’s largest-ever contract for program management services.