Three districts collaborate on bridge projects to save ITD, taxpayers nearly $5 million

A unique collaboration within Districts 4, 5 & 6 allowed those groups to come together and identify 17 bridges in dire need of replacement. The team united to create one project that combined all 17, saving more than $3 million in construction, plus an estimated $100,000 per bridge during the design phase — a total of $4.7 million.

Combining 17 projects into one allowed ITD to save money while increasing mobility and economic opportunity. "When estimated, ITD had budgeted $27 million for this unique project," said District 6's Josh Sprague, who identified the savings as the former D6 Innovation Steward. "Once our budget was set, the bid opened at just $24 million."

"The incredible savings are associated with grouping projects across district lines and working together," Sprague said. "We were able to have only one point of contact on this project within the three districts. In the past, there would be a point of contact for each project."

They also were successful in finishing the data collection and concept designs necessary for these 17 bridges, at a fraction of the cost versus doing them each individually.

Not only is ITD saving taxpayers millions, the department is also saving a tremendous amount of time.

"There are cost savings in lumping similar type bridges together in one contract, as the design builder can be more efficient in design and construction by utilizing similar design elements and construction techniques," D6 Project Manager Bryan Young said.

Each of the 17 bridges had reached their 50-year life span, so they all were in need of replacement. Each bridge will be brought up to current design standards; being wider to accommodate wider shoulders or future widenings, and in most cases longer, to better accommodate ever-changing waterways. As a result of the future shoulder widenings, ITD also will be minimizing the amount of guardrail needed.

By constructing 17 bridges under one contract, long-term impacts to the traveling public are minimized by:
• Grouping together similar bridges in similar areas
• Using concrete barrier for the safety of drivers and construction personnel
• Traffic drives on a paved surface at all times
• One lane is required to be open at all times

Published 07-06-18