Five WSP Projects Win Design-Build Awards

Five WSP USA projects were recognized by the Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA) for successful delivery through collaboration between designer and contractor.

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The honored projects for 2017 include:
- Elizabeth River Tunnels Project, Hampton Roads, Virginia – National Excellence in Design Award, engineering
- Dallas Horseshoe Project – National Award of Merit, transportation
- Route 8 Bridge Rehabilitation Project, Bridgeport, Connecticut – National Award of Merit, rehabilitation/renovation/restoration
- Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art; National Award of Merit, educational facility
- Zurich North America Headquarters, Schaumburg, Illinois; National Award of Merit, office building

The DBIA awards showcase design-build best practices and celebrate the achievements of owners and design-build teams in 10 categories. The three award-winning transportation projects were recognized at the 2018 Design-Build in Transportation conference in Portland, Oregon on March 21-23.

A design-build team works under a single contract with the project owner to provide design and construction services, creating a unified flow of work from initial design through completion, with designer and constructor working as one unit. It is an alternative to the traditional design-bid-build project delivery method, where the designer and constructor work independent of one another.

Elizabeth River Tunnels

The $2.1 billion Elizabeth River Tunnels Project, the largest public-private partnership design-build project in the Hampton Roads region of Southern Virginia, was completed one year ahead of schedule.

The 4,000-foot, two-lane immersed tube Second Midtown Tunnel was a key part of the project, and now carries westbound U.S. Route 58 traffic under the Elizabeth River. The existing 54-year-old Midtown Tunnel, which previously combined eastbound and westbound traffic, has been upgraded with safety improvements as well and now accommodates eastbound Route 58 traffic.

“This is the first concrete immersed tube constructed in the Tidewater area,” said Len Rattigan, director of design-build at WSP. “All other crossings are steel shell immersed tubes.”

The project also included a one-mile extension of the Martin Luther King Jr. (MLK) freeway, an elevated four-lane expressway.

WSP was the lead designer for SKW Constructors, the design-build joint venture on behalf of the project owner, Elizabeth River Crossings (ERC). ERC now manages tunnel operations for the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) as part of a 58-year concession.

By choosing design-build delivery, ERC demonstrated the cost and schedule certainty necessary to secure financing for the project and allow it to proceed. Collaboration between VDOT, ERC, SKW Constructors and WSP allowed construction to begin before final plan completion, enabling the team to secure environmental permits and clear the right-of-way necessary to expedite project implementation.

Dallas Horseshoe

Completed in April 2017, the Dallas Horseshoe is a $798 million interchange that substantially improves the flow of traffic entering and leaving the city.

The new interchange completely overhauled and replaced the Mixmaster, which had served the region since the late 1950s but was deteriorating and ill-equipped to handle the 450,000 to 500,000 vehicles that pass through on a normal weekday.

The Dallas Horseshoe included the construction of more than 73 lane miles of new roadway, 37 conventional bridges and more than 60 retaining walls.

WSP was the lead engineer, responsible for designing the roadways, bridges, river crossings, retaining walls, drainage, geotechnical engineering, and maintenance of traffic planning. The firm teamed with Pegasus Link Constructors, a joint venture of Fluor Enterprises and Balfour Beatty, for the design-build contract on behalf of the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT).

Thanks to TxDOT's decision to choose design-build delivery, WSP and Pegasus Link were able to make more than 70 geometric refinements to the plan during design and construction, ensuring they stayed on schedule while systematically building the roadways from the outside lanes inward, allowing motorists to continue using the old lanes until the new ones were ready.

“Both projects successfully dealt with extraordinary MOT [maintenance of traffic] issues,” Rattigan said. “The Horseshoe project included multiple sequencing issues and provided equal or improved mobility throughout construction. The Elizabeth River Project had to deal with both roadway traffic maintenance and permitting for waterway mobility which was collaboratively addressed with SKW.”

Route 8 Bridge Rehab

The $35 million Route 8 bridge and road rehabilitation project in Bridgeport, Connecticut was the first design-build project for the Connecticut Department of Transportation (ConnDOT).

The project involved the replacement of four bridge superstructures, infilling of 10 bridge spans, construction of retaining walls, rehabilitation of a 570-foot long bin wall, and various intersection improvements. The Lindley Street northbound exit off ramp was widened to add a right turn lane, and a right turn lane was added to Lindley Street at the North Avenue intersection.

WSP USA served as lead designer, teaming with Manafort Brothers, Inc., with ConnDOT as the owner. The firm’s services included highway and bridge design, traffic and geotechnical engineering, public outreach, scheduling and document control, scheduling and construction phase services including 24-hour on-site presence during the critical work phases.

The design-build team collaborated with ConnDOT to complete the project on time and on budget. In less than 18 months, the team rehabilitated four bridges while reducing construction from two full construction seasons to 24 days. A large portion of the demolition and construction took place during two 14-day crossover periods in which the northbound and southbound lanes were shifted into a single roadway.

Shrem Museum of Art

The Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art used a design-build approach to bring the best integrated design and construction experience to the project, which allowed the University of California-Davis to achieve a number of far-reaching goals for programmatic needs, cost, schedule and design excellence.

The museum integrates the indoors and outdoors, with a 50,000-square-foot grand canopy extending over both the site and the building, intended to appear as if it is floating atop a series of interconnected interior and exterior spaces.

The facility is accessible to both the campus and the neighboring community, with an emphasis on maximizing flexible space to host simultaneous exhibitions, performances and events. A 29,000-square-foot gallery space includes an exhibition of the university's fine arts collection; a collection of antiquities, prints and works on paper; and a contemporary core of paintings, ceramics and sculpture.

WSP provided mechanical, electrical, plumbing and fire protection engineering; commissioning; technology systems design; and high performance building design on the project. It was designed to meet LEED Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). The design-builder and contractor was the Whiting-Turner Contracting Agency. Construction was completed in 23 months.

Zurich North America Headquarters

The Zurich North America Headquarters is an 11-story, 783,000-square-foot corporate campus in which the top five stories act as a bridge spanning 180 feet over the lobby structure.

WSP provided structural engineering on the project, which earned LEED Platinum certification from USGBC. The design-builder was Clayco, Inc. Construction was completed in 30 months.

The project focused on a design-build approach that aligns with Zurich North America’s commitment to building sustainable communities focused on energy and operational efficiency. Composed with three primary offset stacked bars, the building design creates unique space for collaboration, open views of the surrounding landscape optimize solar orientation and provides flexibility not found in typical center-core office buildings. The top “bar” of the complex cantilevers toward downtown Chicago.

The corporate office campus includes amenities such as a fitness and conference centers, a cafeteria, a 2,600-space parking garage, outdoor terraces, athletic fields, a pavilion and trails leading to a 9/11 Memorial.

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