WINNER: Innovative Management – Small Project
“NCDOT worked closely to address everyone’s concerns and devise a schedule that would build the bridge as fast as possible.”
R. W. Thompson
Morganton Road is located in the main retail district of Fayetteville, North Carolina; the state’s sixth-largest city and home of Fort Bragg, one of the country’s largest military installations. An average of 30,000 vehicles travel the road daily, but this volume increases by 15 percent from Thanksgiving to mid-January. The road connects two major retail areas and crosses over the All-American Freeway; the main entrance point to Fort Bragg.
The N.C. Department of Transportation determined that considerable stakeholder collaboration and an innovative schedule/project management plan were needed as it prepared to widen the roadway and replace the aging bridge over the All-American Freeway.
NCDOT officials met with all parties impacted by the project, including retailers, city officials, prospective contractors, military representatives, and local citizens. After much discussion, the decision was made to close the bridge for six months and complete the project on an expedited schedule. This condensed timeframe would reduce the project completion time by nearly two years and save an estimated $684,000 in costs.
The $11.9 million contract required the contractor to close the bridge on January 19, 2009, after the holiday shopping season, and reopen it by July 31, 2009, before back-to-school shopping began. Much of the bridgework was completed at night and on weekends to minimize disruption to traffic on the All-American Freeway. An innovative wireless traffic signal communication system was also implemented to expedite construction.
NCDOT and the contractor collaborated closely throughout the project, holding progress meetings at least every two weeks and conducting joint walkthroughs and inspections weekly. Liquidated damages were set at $10,000 per day to provide further incentive to stay on schedule.
The project was completed on November 13, 2009. The final cost came in 2.8 percent under the estimated budget. The contractor met all project goals/deadlines and no penalties were issued.