American Public Works Association
2013 Public Works Project of the Year
Award category:
More than $75 million

Ever heard of dynamic-design-bid-build project delivery?
Project: Lake Champlain Bridge Replacement
Managing agency: New York State and Vermont DOTs
Primary consultant: HNTB Corp.
Primary contractor: Flatiron

Built in 1929, the Lake Champlain Bridge connecting Crown Point, N.Y., and Chimney Point, Vt., is one of only two bridges linking two regions that share critical services like hospitals and fire protection. The area is also one of the most environmentally and historically sensitive sites in the U.S., with historic forts and artifacts on both sides of the lake.

In October 2009 significant deterioration was discovered in the bridge piers. HNTB Corp. was originally contracted for bridge improvements, but a routine inspection revealed worsening cracks in the piers. A safety assessment revealed that rehabilitation risked destabilizing the structure. In December the bridge was demolished and HNTB was asked to provide design and construction services for a replacement.

The emergency closure necessitated an 85-mile detour that was a hardship for local communities. The project team’s dual challenge was to build a bridge within a compressed time frame that minimized environmental and cultural impacts in two states.

The solution was a dynamic-design-bid-build (D2B2) approach to complete the design on a compressed schedule with the traditional functions of final design, bid packaging, advertising, and permitting performed concurrently.

Click here for the rest of the award-winning projects.

Next year’s award deadline: March 4, 2014

Working closely with the New York State Department of Transportation, which served as the managing agency, the Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans), and FHWA, the team developed a plan to give the communities a new bridge within two years. The design process featured exceptional integration and cooperation between state agencies, historic consulting groups, two federal jurisdictions, the U.S. Coast Guard, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the public.

Result: The new Lake Champlain Bridge opened on Nov. 7, 2011, four years sooner than it would have using traditional design-bid-build. In addition to saving millions of dollars, D2B2 is a blueprint for work on sensitive sites to minimize construction impacts and project delays.

Next page: ‘Jughandle’ intersection eases chronic congestion