VDOT and P3 partner manage risk, reduce costs with pre-construction planning based on Lean principles

State Department of Transportation Virginia

Project highlights

Client challenge
In 2015, the Washington D.C. area once again took the top spot for rush hour traffic gridlock in the nation. Add the cost of wasted time and fuel and delayed emergency response times and one begins to see the seriousness of the problem. The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) planned to address these issues by constructing new high-occupancy vehicle and toll lanes for the I-95 and I-495 freeways to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars, which also included the cost to replace or refurbish aging infrastructure along 44 miles of highway. 

Before beginning construction, VDOT needed a partner to perform significant preliminary geotechnical investigation. In addition, VDOT’s multi-year court battle with a local municipality that contested the I-95 project left only 13 weeks for the project’s preliminary design, a nearly impossible feat. VDOT’s public-private partner (P3) knew it needed out-of-the-box thinking to meet the strict timeline and reached out to Haley & Aldrich for help.

Our approach
Using our intimate knowledge of VDOT’s prescriptive boring process, we assessed the requirements and then developed a go-forward plan to keep both highway projects on track. Since contractors would be fined if they fell behind schedule, we knew success meant getting things right the first time. Using Lean principles, we shortened a multi-step review cycle by pre-planning our borings in cooperation with VDOT before performing the work. This allowed us to complete an extraordinary number of borings in record time, which lowered our costs and resulted in trickle-down savings of $400,000 for the client. 

We also pre-planned boring fallbacks for sites that proved inaccessible, which allowed progress to continue unabated. Because borings were drilled along high-profile main arteries to the DC area, strong logistics planning was of the utmost importance in maintaining traffic flows and keeping our client out of the news.

Value delivered

  • Identified geotechnical risks early to reduce project delays and help the client to avoid costly claims during construction.
  • Employed Lean principles to execute a safe, timely field program that provided on-time deliverables and saved the client $400,000.
  • Careful logistics planning kept the client out of the news on this high-profile project.
  • Knowledge of VDOT practices, combined with innovative, pre-planned boring strategies helped the VDOT’s P3 partner avoid costly delays and fines.

For more information on this project, contact:

Dave Schoenwolf
Derrick Shelton