The future of government: Reimagining roadway construction planning in a contactless world

Adobe Sign helps make government procurement a frictionless process.

Adobe Sign helps make government procurement a frictionless process.

Across the Midwest, people joke that there are only two seasons — winter and road construction. But the truth is that maintaining our roads, bridges, and transportation infrastructure is a vitally important government function across our entire nation.

In 2019, Americans took 9.9 billion trips on public transportation and drove on more than 2.7 million miles of paved roads. The pandemic reduced traffic temporarily, but the need for road maintenance and improvement never stops.

With millions of dollars and public safety on the line, transportation officials needed to keep projects moving forward, despite the added challenge of planners working from home. The massive amount of paperwork involved makes the path to contactless construction planning especially challenging.

Every year a Department of Transportation (DOT) in the Southern U.S. oversees 500+ construction contracts. Each contract and plan must be reviewed annually, getting multiple approvals from department, contractors, legal, the commissioner’s office, and other impacted departments. The volume of paperwork is immense. Plans can be over 3000 pages long. Many of these documents must be retained for legal reasons, creating an ongoing expensive logistical challenge for the storage and retrieval of physical documents.

In fact, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) sees digital documents and electronic signatures as critical. In its Every Day Counts (EDC) initiative, they issued a mandate for transportation agencies to move away from paper to adopt digital documents and e-signatures. Today with remote work, it’s the perfect moment to fully adopt digital processes.

Imagine how much easier it is to keep these documents flowing in a digital process. Employees can quickly pull and update last year’s contract, combine multiple documents into one digital package, and sit back and watch as electronic signatures are gathered and routed to the next person on the list.

When the Colorado DOT incorporated Adobe Sign into their workflows, they found the approval processes moved 99 percent faster. Change orders that took three weeks were returned in just two days. According to Tom Bovee, CDOT ProjectWise Program Manager, file size and integration to ProjectWise were key factors in moving to Adobe Sign.

“Adobe Sign supports up to 50MB files, which was five times more than any other e-signature solution,” Bovee says. “The Adobe Sign/ProjectWise integration is also enormously important for several reasons. Not only do we rely on ProjectWise for daily project collaboration, it is the industry-standard design platform for most departments of transportation and public utilities around the country. We estimate we’ll save more than $100,000 in labor, printing, shipping, scanning, and document storage costs.”

With contactless approval processes in place, everybody wins. Agencies drastically reduce the overhead expense of printing and document storage, preserving taxpayer dollars while maintaining public safety. Adobe is built to withstand the rugged demands of government, including enterprise-wide digital asset management and FedRAMP security features.

Learn more about how your agency can transition to all-digital document processes by visiting here or reading the Colorado Department of Transportation blog.