Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Winning Team for Historic Bridge Construction Revealed

Cleveland’s New I-90 Innerbelt Bridge: 
Apparent Winning Team for Historic Bridge Construction Revealed 
Winning proposal calls for completion of construction full year earlier than planned 

CLEVELAND (Thursday, September 9, 2010) - After nearly five weeks of expert technical evaluation - combined with a review of public input and a value-based cost comparison – the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) and City of Cleveland are set to award design and construction of the historic Interstate 90 Innerbelt Bridge to Walsh Construction with designer HNTB Ohio Inc.  The total bid amount for the new bridge came in at only $287,400,000. 

Engineers and experts from ODOT and the City teamed on a thorough process of evaluating three technical proposals for constructing the new westbound bridge.  In order to complete construction on this project faster, ODOT is using a unique design-build process in which the design and construction of the project are combined in a single contract. 

Walsh Construction – who was recently named the third leading transportation contractor by Engineering News-Record magazine and HNTB Corporation – named as the second leading bridge design firm in the August edition of Roads & Bridges magazine – scored high on a number of technical elements, including the look and aesthetics of the new bridge.   

The project team also proposed substantial completion of the project during the fall of 2013.  While minor operations would continue into the summer of 2014, the project would be completed nearly one full year earlier than anticipated. 

The Walsh proposal also includes unique elements including the use of steel which reflects the importance of the industry in the development of the city.  The team will pursue “Greenroads” Certification and use LED lights for aesthetic, landscape and pedestrian lighting. 

The team took a unique approach which ends the main span just east of Ontario Street allowing for a smaller, “Gateway” bridge over Ontario Street and a landscaped embankment between the two bridges. Reducing the length of main viaduct in this way would reduce the amount of new materials required and increase the amount of reused materials. 

The team also pushed-back the pier closest to the Western Reserve Fire Museum and integrated it with the retaining wall structure along Canal Road opening views of the river valley. The design also includes additional art panels along Ontario and E. 9th Streets. 

Three teams were chosen in March to compete for this historic project, with each team submitted its proposals in August. Technical elements – such as schedule, safety, quality management, construction plans, community outreach and sustainability – were evaluated by the ODOT-Cleveland expert team. 

ODOT also listened to input from Cleveland-area residents on the proposed aesthetics of the new structure in each proposal.  More than 1350 people submitted comments to ODOT’s website. 

On Thursday, ODOT officials in Columbus revealed the sealed price proposals from each team – and combined the scores of the technical and price proposals to determine an apparent winning team. ODOT then has up to ten days to review the “best value” proposal before awarding the contract. 

Before any major construction begins, the winning team will present Cleveland-area residents with another opportunity to provide input on the final aesthetic details through a series of public meetings. Construction is expected to begin in 2011. 

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