Since 2007, the West Virginia Division of Highways (WVDOH) has used Design-Build to deliver transportation projects more quickly. Design-Build can provide one or more of the following advantages: time, cost, and administrative burden savings; improved quality of the end product, schedule, and budget; and risk management savings due to lack of duplicate expenses and improved coordination of efforts.
I believe most would agree that Design-Build is generally a faster delivery method. However, this doesn’t mean that Design-Build is appropriate for use on all projects. In choosing a project delivery method, owners will typically evaluate the needs of the project as well as project risks related to time, quality, and cost. The WVDOH’s upgrade of Interstate 64 between Exit 15 and Exit 20 in Cabell County is a great example of how transportation owners may use different procurement methods to deliver projects.
As part of Governor Jim Justice’s Roads to Prosperity program, the WVDOH identified the I-64 Widening from Exit 15 at the 29th Street (US 60) interchange to Exit 20 at the East Mall Road (CR 60/89) interchange as one of the 10 most important transportation infrastructure projects in West Virginia.
This existing five-mile stretch of freeway had two very distinct sections. The western part, from Exit 15 to Exit 18 at Merritt’s Creek, had unique needs:
- Full-depth pavement was required due to the poor condition of the existing pavement.
- Two significant bridge structures needed replaced.
- Temporary property acquisitions would be required to construct the project.
- The existing four-lane section would be widened to a six-lane section.
However, the needs for the eastern part of this project, from Exit 18 to Exit 20 at the East Mall Road, were very different:
- The existing pavement was in good condition, so a pavement resurfacing was determined to be appropriate in lieu of full-depth pavement.
- Five sets of twin Interstate bridge structures needed to be replaced.
- The project could be completed within the existing right-of-way, so property acquisitions would not be required to construct the project.
- The existing four-lane section would be widened to an eight-lane section with auxiliary lane drops at Exit 18 and Exit 20.
As a result of the risk evaluation of the project, these distinct sections ultimately became two separate construction projects: 29th Street to Guyandotte Bridge, and Merritts Creek to Barboursville. After assessing each project’s unique needs, the WVDOH ultimately chose the Design-Bid-Build procurement method for the 29th Street to Guyandotte Bridge part of the project and the Design-Build method for the Merritts Creek to Barboursville part of the project.
This combination of delivery methods helped the WVDOH meet the Roads to Prosperity funding obligation dates while managing the significant risks of the project. These two exciting projects are currently under construction, so please use caution if you are traveling in the construction zones.
I feel that these projects are a shining example of how using different procurement methods allowed the great employees of the WVDOH to deliver this project on time and help the economy of West Virginia.