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Case Studies

Transportation agencies across the United States are using INVEST to evaluate and improve sustainability within their agency and on their projects.

Case studies focus on the general use of INVEST and its implementation and/or scoring practices. Some focus more on process/application, some focus on a few select criteria, some focus on the overall experience of using INVEST. Case Studies are developed by the agency which submits them, with review and input by FHWA.

Use the map and filters below to find case studies relevant to your projects and/or agency.

Central Federal Lands - Knowledge Sharing and Lessons Learned Help to Institutionalize INVEST

Lead Agency: Federal Lands Highway

INVEST Modules: Project Development

Links: www.cflhd.gov

 Download the CFL Case Study (2,255 kb)

The Central Federal Lands Highway Division (CFL) within Federal Lands Highway (FLH) is using INVEST as a knowledge transfer tool to better inform staff of sustainable highway practices and as a mechanism to share lessons learned to help identify improvements for future projects. In 2013, CFL used the Project Development (PD) module to carry out INVEST evaluations for three separate under-construction or recently constructed projects. These included:

  • Halstead Meadow Bridge (highlighted below)
  • Taylor River Road
  • Marshlands Road and La Riviere Bridge

Collaborative and Transparent Scoring Process

For two of the three projects, Halstead Meadow Bridge and Taylor River Road, CFL created scoring teams consisting of staff members and partner agency representatives. Scoring team members were selected due to the wealth of knowledge and experience they had with each project (from project development through construction). The teams initially gathered for kickoff meetings and reviewed the INVEST literature and website to familiarize themselves with the tool. Then individual team members were assigned criteria based on their area of expertise and drafted detailed descriptions of how their project addressed each criterion. After the criteria write-ups were reviewed and revised, the teams held workshops to score the projects. Once the teams agreed on a project’s score, they developed a Scoring Summary. This summary described how the team carried out the scoring process, identified any issues they encountered, and recommended several criteria to focus on for future projects. CFL has shared the lessons learned from the scoring process with its staff members and will use the knowledge imparted through the scoring summaries to select and prioritize sustainability improvements in the future.

Halstead Meadow Bridge

The Halstead Meadow Bridge is located in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, approximately 30 miles north of Three Rivers, CA, and 70 miles east of Fresno, CA. This project involved the replacement of roadway fill with a new bridge. The roadway fill was restricting flow and drainage across the Halstead Meadow and causing severe erosion issues. This project received a total of 44 points (Silver level) using the Rural Basic Scorecard. Sustainability highlights included:

  • PD-6 Tracking Environmental Commitments. The project utilized a comprehensive environmental compliance tracking system to ensure environmental commitments were identified, tracked, fulfilled, and verified. Additionally, the contractor team employed an environmental compliance monitor to manage day-to-day issues related to permits, resource monitoring, etc.
  • PD-7 Habitat Restoration. Installation of the bridge restored the ecology of the surrounding meadow by allowing natural water flow to resume.
  • PD-9 Ecological Connectivity. Connectivity of habitats was re-established with the construction of the new bridge. Wildlife can now safely pass underneath the bridge.

While the project was quite successful in incorporating sustainability features, the project scoring team drew upon its experience using INVEST to examine the criteria where the project could have scored better and identify sustainability improvements for future projects. Based on ease and cost of implementation, the project team recommended that future projects would benefit from greater emphasis on the following criteria during the design phase of the project: PD-19 Reduce and Reuse Materials, PD-20 Recycle Materials, PD-23 Reduced Energy and Emissions in Pavements, PD-26 Construction Equipment Emission Reduction.

Key Outcomes of Using INVEST:

  • By sharing information and lessons learned, CFL is exposing more staff to sustainability concepts, approaches, and applications.
  • To further learn and grow from their involvement in using INVEST, project teams made several recommendations on ways to enhance and improve the sustainability of future projects.
  • By documenting the issues they encountered while using INVEST, CFL staff have provided many suggestions for how INVEST can be modified to be more applicable and beneficial to their projects.

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