Colorado Public Works Journal, Spring-Summer 2021

Spring - Summer 2021 | 15 Making necessary pivots The project started in early 2018 and was originally scheduled to be completed in 2021. But about a year and a half into the project, CDOT was able to expand the project scope to accommodate the ultimate configuration, originally planned to be completed in later phases. Completing the entire scope of the project will offer massive benefits: • It eliminates interim throwaway work that would cost approximately $105 million. • It removes the need for additional capital later (approximately $180 million). • It saves $552 million in travel time costs, user costs, safety costs, and emissions. Negotiations for the added scope to incorporate the ultimate alignment were completed in the summer of 2020 and construction got back on track. The project is now scheduled to be completed in 2024 and includes 14-miles of express lane and roadway recon- struction, three bridge replacements, one center mobility hub, three interchanges, three railroad bridge replacements, right of way preservation for the median, and zero design exceptions. Delivering results with design-build As partners on this joint venture project, Kraemer and IHC Scott have been able to manage the project schedule and keep challenges to a minimum through their use of the design-build delivery method. In a typical design-bid-build contract, the job is designed in its en- tirety before any work begins. With design-build, Kraemer and IHC Scott leveraged a design and construction team to deliver portions of the project design — portions of the project that can start con- struction — while the remainder of the project is being finalized. In doing so, they compressed the overall project schedule by running the design and construction concurrently. This method has shaved almost three years off the planned completion date. “The delivery method of design-build is a huge benefit to the region and the project,” says Nathan Corbin, project director for Kraemer. “It allows us to complete the work on a far more aggressive schedule than under a normal procurement method.” In addition to reducing time on the project, design-build improves adherence to FHWA safety criteria. Sometimes the design of a road- way is such that it requires an exception to those criteria — called a variance — that must be approved. Because it allows for more flexibility and innovation during both design and construction, the design-build method has allowed them to eliminate all existing variances, increasing the safety of the roadway. Benefitting Colorado communities Beyond the obvious benefits of better roads, improved safety and more transportation options, the I-25 expansion project offers nearby communities some additional gains. With a job this size — almost half a billion dollars — a tremendous amount of that money is being pumped into the local economy through hiring local workers, purchasing materials, and contracting with local businesses and suppliers. To date, the project has utilized: • 2,224 total craft employees • 674,463 total craft man hours • 443 total subcontractors • 134 total Disadvantage Business Entities (DBEs) Gains will continue after the project is completed. One of the goals of the project is to encourage the expansion of commerce into northern Colorado and facilitate the expansion that is already underway. “This project will definitely bring more industry, more expansion and more growth into the region,” says Greg Frazee, area manager with IHC Scott. “As an artery to metro Denver and beyond, an expanded I-25 will bring more opportunities to all the local communities in this area.”