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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 5." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2014. Pilot Testing of the TCAPP Decision Guide and Related Capacity Products: Hoopstick Creek, South Carolina. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22341.
Page 50

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CHAPTER 5 Conclusion The focus of this pilot project was to assess TCAPP’s value in providing guidance to help project partners work collaboratively toward an environmental permitting decision on the Hoopstick Creek Bridge Replacement. Although the project is relatively small, the team found that significant commitment and communication was required to advance the project through the environmental permitting steps. While the pilot project provided a forum to collaborate and exchange information, which increased the spirit of camaraderie among agency partners and the SCDOT representatives, the team encountered challenges in keeping all partner agencies engaged throughout the process. The team recognized the importance of participation not only for the pilot project, but for future projects as well. According to a representative of the SCDOT, limited or no participation in the pilot project by some partner agencies may have been a result of the following: • Reduced travel budgets; • Condensed personnel with limited time to participate in nonessential tasks (e.g., USACE liaison participation was consistent partially because the SCDOT funds the positions); • Lack of interest by the agency partners in improving communication because of o Perception that current communication is effective, and o Limited investment caused by failed efforts to improve communication in the past; • Individual personalities not conducive to partner development or improvement. In addition, agencies may have felt the current environmental process and level of communication with the SCDOT is satisfactory and would not be improved by the pilot project. Finally, some partner agencies may have deemed the research project not a high enough priority for their time. The effect of agency participation, or lack thereof, was felt by the entire team because each agency partner had different regulatory or resources responsibilities for the project. A project-specific goal for the TCAPP process was to conduct a thorough alternatives analysis and reach consensus on a preferred alternative for the Hoopstick Creek Bridge Replacement project. The intended result was to complete a permit application that met regulatory requirements and expectations of the partner agencies. The team found TCAPP to be helpful as a resource during the environmental permitting process; the TCAPP Decision Guide served as a reminder of what steps “should” be done, as opposed to evaluating the project using the status quo. The early project discussion and site visit were useful in reviewing the Hoopstick Creek project and were recommended by one agency as “an example for future projects.” 44

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TRB’s second Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP 2) Report S2-C39-A1 titled Pilot Testing of the TCAPP Decision Guide and Related Capacity Products: Hoopstick Creek, South Carolina evaluates and proposes enhancements to the Transportation for Communities—Advancing Projects through Partnerships (TCAPP) collaborative planning tool. TCAPP is now known as PlanWorks. The report explores the tool’s value in providing guidance to facilitate project partners to work collaboratively toward environmental permitting decisions for South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) projects.


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