Michigan Department of Transportation— Project PDF & I-696

Michigan Department of Transportation’s (MDOT’s) $89 million I-696 project, spanning Oakland and Macomb Counties, was a race against the clock to perform fixes on 40-year-old pavement. Yearly pavement maintenance for the roadway was averaging $218,000 per year, costing taxpayers money and time trying to navigate the roadway. Safety was also a huge issue. In the spring of 2018, a $7 million emergency pavement repair contract was necessary as freeze-thaw cycles were causing the pavement to disintegrate, with concrete chunks going through driver windshields. MDOT was able to accelerate work on I-696 in part through ProjectPDF, an incremental step towards changing MDOT’s paper-based culture to digital. Instead of cutting 11×17 pdf plan sheets, MDOT used strip maps that were encouraged to be viewed digitally. This move toward digital deliverables also allows MDOT to officially use color, making it easier to distinguish the different features. In the end, MDOT’s design consultant reported 30 percent savings in plans production by using ProjectPDF in lieu of cutting traditional 11” x 17” sheets, a win for taxpayers and allowing MDOT to better utilize its resources. Additionally, I-696 improvements allowed for safer passage for drivers, completed faster for a smoother and more reliable ride.