The Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) Office of Local Systems’ mission is to “work with our transportation partners and provide guidance in the development and implementation of projects to ensure compliance with state and federal requirements. Together, we will continue to improve the quality of transportation in Iowa.” A large part of achieving this mission is to work with the cities, counties and Iowa County Engineers Association (ICEA) Service Bureau in assisting with managing, reporting, paying and ensuring compliance of construction projects.
Let’s face it, inspecting construction and managing these projects is hard work and requires multiple levels of coordination. The locals also have several types of projects: some with federal/state funding and some with local and other funding only. To streamline the management of all projects and maximize efficiencies, the goal was to have one system for all work regardless of the funding type.
The FieldManager™ software was already in place and in use by many of Iowa’s counties, but due to new technology, it was no longer a viable option. In line with their partnering mission, the Office of Locals Systems worked closely with representatives from cities and counties to determine new system requirements.
Because FieldManager worked so well for so many and for many years, Iowa DOT looked to Info Tech, Inc. (Info Tech), a leading provider of cloud-based construction administration and inspection software and the developer of the FieldManager software, to provide a solution.
This is where the Appia™ service comes in. Appia is comparable to the FieldManager software, but as a cloud-based Software-as-a-Service, it is an ideal fit for the locals to manage all their projects using one system. In addition to providing the standard construction functionality, daily reporting, change order management, contractor payments, etc. – Appia’s web-based infrastructure provides the DOT and FHWA with easy access for reporting and auditing. Appia also works with other DOT systems such as the Doc Express® service, the AASHTOWare Project™ software and the contractor pay system to provide a workflow solution and keep everyone working with the same set of project data. Use of Appia will also increase the efficiency of the Iowa DOT’s Federal-aid Swap program, which allows local agencies to exchange their Federal funds for State funds.
Currently, eight locals (Lyon, Hancock, Jasper, Johnson, Wright and Washington Counties, plus the cities of Ames and Dubuque) have already started using Appia successfully. The Iowa DOT Office of Local Systems and Info Tech are working in partnership to continue the Appia implementation so that it will be available and the tool of choice for all locals in Iowa.