VDOT Celebrate First Design-Build Roadway in Virginia

The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) today celebrated the opening of the first design-build roadway project in Virginia. The transportation infrastructure improvements provide access to a new container terminal which will double the shipping capacity of the Hampton Roads port and fuel the economic growth of all of Virginia.

APM Terminals (APMT), one of the world's largest container port operators, is expanding its presence along the Elizabeth River and building the largest privately developed marine container terminal in the United States. The new facility is slated to open in 2007 and to meet the needs of APMT's construction phasing, the surrounding roadways needed to be completed by the end of 2006.

"Shipping, especially container shipping is a primary industry for the state," said Thomas Pelnik, Director of Innovative Project Delivery for VDOT. "We chose to go the design-build project delivery route since the traditional design-bid-build method, with its separate design process and construction bidding phase, could have added two years to the schedule."

VDOT selected the Tidewater Skanska-led team which included engineering firm Vanasse Hangen Brustlin, Inc. (VHB) as their designer. The design-build team completed the project, with a fixed budget of $22 million, ahead of schedule.

"The team managed aggressively timed construction schedules for design, governmental approvals and construction to extend access from Route 164 to the port side, as well as to provide completely new access from Cedar Lane to the U.S. Coast Guard station," said Francis Watson, Vice President of Operations for Tidewater Skanska. "The project also involved significant right of way and permitting challenges that were coordinated in tandem with project design and construction."

"The resulting time savings from this design-build contract meant lower costs for the Commonwealth of Virginia and earlier utilization of APMT's marine container terminal," said Greg Lassiter, Director of Design-Build Delivery for VHB. "This project is a model of what the design-build method should be all about." "It was crucial that the roadways that feed this port be in place before our new terminal opens," said Guy Buzzoni, Director, Terminal Engineering for APM Terminals. "This innovative project delivery method ensured the new roadway would be completed on schedule and minimized the risk of delaying the terminal opening due to lack of truck access."

Construction of the new interchange involved raising Route 164, a four-
lane limited-access highway, 25 feet to accommodate an overpass over the
new APM Terminals Boulevard. Careful construction phasing enabled all four
lanes of highway traffic to be maintained throughout the project. Other
improvements included extensive utility and drainage work, as well as
reconfiguration of an existing highway exit and upgrades to commercial and
government access roads. The roadway layout was chosen to minimize wetland impacts.

Posted 15th December 2006

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