out the program, but its role was focused on strategic oversight. So OBDP
leaders put the focus squarely on being communicative and transparent, especially given many of its program management approaches were new to the
“We had numerous meetings with ODOT and with the stakeholders to tell
them what the program was going to be and where we’re trying to go,” says
Michael Hatchell, project director and program manager from 2004 to 2007 at
Fluor. “So they were always aware of what we’re trying to do at any given time.”
OBDP worked aggressively to avoid scope creep, streamline project schedules
and minimize driver inconvenience. For example, OBDP established a single
environmental permit process that involved agreements with 11 state and federal
agencies. ;e move not only prevented schedule delays, it saved US$73 million.
OBDP also created an exception process to fast-track 275 design changes, avoiding
US$700 million in costs while adhering to ODOT and federal design standards.
To improve its estimating accuracy, the team enlisted economists to examine commodity prices and bids on similar past projects. Diving into that data
proved valuable. When construction projects for the 2008 Beijing Olympics
drove up the price of recycled steel, for example, the team incorporated price
sensitivity analyses into its estimating process. ;at helped it forecast the
impact of rising prices on bids. And over the program’s duration, the margin
of error for estimates got smaller and smaller.
One of the team’s most e;ective ways of controlling costs and schedules
was to bundle projects. Instead of ;xing or replacing the most deteriorated
bridges ;rst or repairing them one by one, the team decided to consolidate
projects into contracts of varying size.
in their towns.
It’s on their city
logo, it’s part of
—Paul Mather, Oregon
Department of Transportation
The project team was charged with
repairing or replacing 365 bridges,
handling everything from program and
construction management to design
engineering and final inspection.