PHOTOS COURTESY OF HDR, INC.
team set safety standards for each project, requiring nondisruptive
routes through or around the job site.
Looking to minimize tra;c snarls, OBDP studied the impact of a
project’s lane closures down to the hour. “We developed a program
to look at impacts from tra;c to try to [;nd] when the best time is
to do a closure,” Mr. Hatchell says.
In one case, contractors built the bridge o;-site, adjacent to the
old bridge, and then rolled it into place, reopening the bridge to tra;c within
48 hours, greatly reducing impact on the traveling public.
To keep stakeholders informed, the team assigned speci;c communication
requirements to each project based on its location, complexity and number of
people a;ected. Some projects required monthly progress reports to ODOT
and the state legislature, highlighting speci;c design, construction, diversity
and environmental milestones.
Other project communications were more casual. ;e team executing one
of the program’s bigger projects, the Willamette River Bridge near Eugene,
maintained ODOT’s ;rst blog, for example. ;e three-year blog kept the public
in the loop with project events, schedule changes, and safety tips for bicyclists
Some projects created risks beyond the hassle of longer drive times, and the
team took proactive measures whenever necessary. Work at the Sandy River
Bridge project site, for example, resulted in an increased risk of ;ooding during
construction, so OBDP held public meetings to notify local property owners.
OBDP even helped some of these owners apply—and pay—for extra ;ood
insurance, Mr. Hatchell says. ;e team set up a hotline for a;ected residents
to obtain assistance with the insurance application process, and conducted
additional outreach via mail, email and in-person visits.
BLUEPRINT FOR CHANGE
When the program closed on schedule in late 2014, it was clear OBDP’s risk mitigation and planning e;orts had paid o;. ;e initiative came in US$45 million under
budget and serves as a blueprint for public-private partnership (PPP) projects.
“Other municipalities and other state organizations now look at PPPs
differently,” Mr. Hatchell says. “Other departments of transportation are
bundling a bunch of jobs together and having someone come in and manage those projects.”
In sharp contrast to how it was perceived by state o;cials before the
program, many in the government now consider ODOT to be a project
management role model.
“;e 10-year window forced us to use some solid project management
skills and really sharpen our skills internally, as well as learn from OBDP,”
Mr. Mather says. “We’re now looked at as a state leader in that and asked to be
involved in many di;erent projects.” PM
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10 Years, 365 Bridges
2001: A routine inspection of state highway bridges
in Oregon, USA reveals that many have cracks and
other structural deficiencies.
2003: Oregon legislature passes the Oregon
Transportation Investment Act III (OTIA III), allocating
US$1.3 billion for a statewide bridge repair and
replacement program. It also mandates that the
Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT)
outsource execution to the private sector.
2004: ODOT awards the OTIA III program to Oregon
Bridge Delivery Partners (OBDP), a joint venture
between Fluor Corp. and HDR Engineering Inc. The
first of 365 bridge projects launches.
2007: The financial crisis hits, scuttling Oregon’s
economy and employment levels. The bridge program
becomes a safety net for the economy, providing jobs
throughout the state.
2008: OBDP mitigates the impact of ODOT staff
layoffs during the recession by shifting construction
engineering inspection work to ODOT.
2014: The final bridge project is completed, wrapping
up the program US$45 million under budget.
excellence in 2016.
11/24/15 12:39 PM