Alternative Project Delivery provides VTrans with an innovative means to develop and deliver bridge projects. Design Build and Construction Manager/General Contractor (CM/GC) are contracting methods used to deliver complex projects where innovation is a primary goal of the project. Both of these methodologies involve a contractor partnering with the designer early in the development of a project. The ability of the contractor to provide input throughout the design phase is a great value. This partnering allows us to design for the contractor’s means and methods. Input into the construction scheduling and identifying risks to the project based on their experience and construction means and methods is a huge advantage during the design phase. This interaction can improve project quality and reduce overall costs.
Design Build originated in vertical (buildings) construction industry and its usage in the public sector, such as transportation, is increasing. This is a relatively new project delivery method for transportation agencies throughout the country. Design Build provides VTrans with a single point of responsibility for the majority of the design and construction by contracting with the Design Build team. The Design Build team requires the contractor and the primary designer to partner to realize project efficiencies. Design build delivery allows for design and construction activities to proceed concurrently which can create time savings and can lower costs. Design Build can also promote innovation. By working together, the designer and contractor can develop new designs and construction techniques that play to each other’s strengths to add value to the project via improved quality, schedule improvements and reduced costs. Overall schedule improvements can be realized since some construction activities can concurrently be performed while final design is progressing.
Vermont's State Legislature passed a law on April 28, 2009 allowing the use of Design build to deliver transportation projects to construction. The first Design Build transportation project for the State of Vermont was initiated a few weeks later. Since then VTrans has 8 Design Build project totaling $205 million in estimated construction costs. Three projects have been completed, 2 in the year 2013 and 1 in the year 2015. You will often find design build projects on our interstate bridges where maintenance of traffic and contractor innovation is essential.
Construction Manager/General Contractor (CMGC)
CMGC is a fairly new delivery method for transportation projects in Vermont. VTrans successfully completed constructing its first CMGC project on Interstate 91 in Hartford in 2015 and has more projects in the development process.
CMGC involves VTrans procuring a Construction Manager (Contractor) based on qualifications and past experience to partner with a designer that has already been selected by VTrans. The designer can be VTrans staff or a design consultant that the Agency has contracted with. The Construction Manager provides constructability, construction scheduling and pricing input throughout the design and development of the project to assist VTrans and the Designer. This input allows VTrans to identify and mitigate risk to the project in order to improve the quality of the plans and specifications. CMGC allows VTrans to be an active participant in the development process which provides VTrans more design control in relation to Design Build alternative delivery method.
When VTrans considers the design to be complete, the Construction Manager negotiates a “targeted maximum price for constructing the project. If VTrans with the assistance of and independent cost estimator (ICE) finds the price acceptable, a contract for construction services is executed. The Construction Manager then becomes the General Contractor and begins building the project. If a price cannot be agreed upon, the completed plans and specifications would be advertised to the public as a traditional design-bid-build project.