RVi Principal and Vice President Mark Smith presented alongside TxDOT Project Manager James Williams and RTG Transportation Engineer Wade Strong last month at the Texas ASLA Annual Conference in Fort Worth.  In a presentation entitled CSS: Where Process Meets the Road, the trio highlighted the use of Context Sensitive Solutions (CSS) as the process which helped overcome significant opposition to the new Oak Hill Parkway project in south Austin.

The Oak Hill Parkway was initiated in 1988 but quickly stalled due to strong resistance from the surrounding community.  In 2011, TxDOT revived the project and hired a new project team, including prime consultant RTG and CSS consultant RVi.  Through the use of CSS, the Oak Hill Parkway Team succeeded in gaining strong stakeholder support for a more contextually appropriate solution.  Twenty-eight years after it was started, the project is now scheduled for groundbreaking in 2020.

While CSS is often perceived as simply a way of developing contextual aesthetics, this presentation focused on the fact that CSS is an effective project delivery process that is proven to enhance dialogue with stakeholders and facilitate the development of successful transportation projects.