“;e bundling process helped us manage the scope of the program by addressing similar de;ciencies of similar bridges in similar areas,” Mr. Perry says.
Bidding became less cumbersome, too. “Instead of having to spend a lot of
e;ort doing [multiple] bids, the contractor gets to do one bid,” Mr. Perry says.
;e approach also leveled the playing ;eld by allowing smaller local companies to compete, pumping dollars into the local economy. ;e end result: Nearly
90 percent of project funds went to local contractors. Overall, the program created 22,000 jobs, many during the worst ;nancial crisis the U.S. has seen since
the Great Depression.
“Many of our contractors relied solely on this program to keep their businesses alive,” Mr. Mather says.
Once the project launched, bundling created
economies of scale. By buying materials in larger
quantities, contractors received discount pricing—
and could reuse some materials on other projects
in the same bundle.
And by scheduling each bundle’s projects into
;ve stages, the team ensured at least one major
east-west and north-south corridor remained open
at all times.
Nailing the technical project management
details was, of course, a must. But the team knew
bridges are more than just a piece of infrastructure.
“Most communities identify with their bridges in
their towns. It’s on their city logo, it’s part of the
culture,” Mr. Mather says.
Mindful of these strong connections, program
leaders looked for creative opportunities to engage
citizens. In Elkton—population 312—the team let
high-school art students design images of wildlife and plants representative of the area for the
bridges. ;e students also designed decorative
pylons on the four corners of a bridge.
“;is program gave them opportunities to put
their ;ngerprints on the look and feel of the bridge
to match what they wanted their community to
be,” Mr. Mather says.
BIG WHEELS KEEP ON TURNING
;roughout the program, OBDP and ODOT were
determined to maintain a safe and reliable transportation infrastructure for freight haulers, everyday commuters and workers on project sites. ;e
Willamette River Bridge
near Eugene, Oregon, USA