Seattle Department of Transportation Gains Immediate Cost Savings with SADA Systems’ Project Coordination Application, dotMaps
Overview and Challenge
The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) is tasked with building and managing infrastructure for a rapidly growing, vibrant West Coast city. In 2015, Seattle voters passed a $930 million levy to fund the repaving of roughly 200 miles of city streets. While this was a positive development, city officials anticipated that SDOT would need to coordinate heavily with city agencies and utilities on the upcoming repaving projects to minimize traffic congestion in and around the city. SDOT managers also knew they would need a better solution for coordinating the various agencies such as Puget Sound Energy, Seattle City Light, telecommunications firms, and other agencies that build in the right of way. Currently, Seattle has more active construction cranes than in any other U.S. city, and citizens were frustrated with the construction disruptions, according to Scott Kubly, Director of SDOT. He faced the challenge of balancing the city’s infrastructure demands with the need to minimizing impacts on mobility for all modes of transportation, maintaining access to residences and businesses, and protecting city assets.
Kubly began looking for a new project management tool that would display all the projects happening within the city to identify conflicts and opportunities for coordination between public and private agencies. For example, if two utilities planned on working in the same area the tool would alert project managers of the opportunity to coordinate on scope and schedule in the hopes of saving construction costs and time. “We needed an application which could identify conflicts and opportunities for us automatically, and would be really nice to look at so people would use it,” Kubly says.
SADA Systems was the successful bidder to replace SDOT’s non-functional right of way management system, given its business and product development experience designing an application with similar requirements for the Chicago Department of Transportation. SADA Systems customized the interactive mapping application, dotMaps, which went live in Seattle in August 2017. Public and private entity project managers can use dotMaps to search and view all planned city and private projects as well as events and paving moratoriums. Users can also find information on the type of project, agency, project manager, and schedule for each project. Beyond this, dotMaps analyzes the data to identify which projects overlap in time and space, called conflicts, and which projects overlap in space only, called opportunities. The main uses for dotMaps today include:
Within a short timeframe, dotMaps has improved communication across agencies regarding transportation construction projects and serves as a valuable mechanism to minimize the negative effects of road work on the public: