the 10-year, US$1.3 billion contract to repair or
replace 365 bridges to the Oregon Bridge Delivery
Partners (OBDP), a joint venture of Fluor Corporation
and HDR Engineering Inc. ;e historic public-private
partnership delivered the program as promised, coming in US$45 million under budget.
“Not everyone at ODOT initially
liked having the private sector coming in. But at the end of the program,
OBDP had an outstanding relationship with the agency,” says John
Craig, program manager, HDR Engineering Inc., Salem, Oregon, USA.
Rather than just replacing the
worst bridges ;rst, the project team
bundled adjacent bridges into sub-programs of varying sizes. ;is
approach allowed the overall scope of
the program to be compartmentalized and managed bundle by bundle.
It also allowed smaller, more local
companies to compete for the bundles with larger ;rms, which led to
taxpayer savings through lower bids.
But the cornerstone of the program’s success was communication
to assure stakeholders that tax dollars were being well spent. Repairing or replacing hundreds of bridges
required working with legislators,
regulators, contractors, landowners
and the general public. Everything
falls ;at if those relationships aren’t healthy, says
Byron Perry, deputy program manager, HDR Engineering Inc., Salem, Oregon, USA.
To keep the lines of communication open, the
team assigned speci;c communication require-
ments stemming from the location and complex-
ity of each bundle. All projects required monthly
progress reports with executive letters or stories
to draw attention to speci;c design, construction,
diversity and environmental stew-
ardship milestones. Some shared
information on social media.
For instance, the Willamette River
Bridge project team published a
blog for three years to keep the public informed of progress. It featured
updates on relevant project events,
schedule changes and public safety.
Another team working on the Sandy
River Bridge project site had to educate
the community about an increased risk
of ;ooding. It held public meetings to
get the word out, o;ered to purchase
supplementary ;ood insurance for
impacted properties and followed up
with mail, email and in-person visits. It
set up a hotline for residents to call for
help applying for insurance.
Since the 365th bridge project was
completed on schedule, Oregon’s
transportation infrastructure has been
safer and public stakeholders have
viewed the program as a blueprint for
future public-private partnerships.
“It took a partnership between
OBDP and ODOT to do it, and
together we have demonstrated that we can be
counted on to deliver what we promised, with con-;dence and accountability,” says Matthew Garrett,
director, ODOT, Salem, Oregon, USA.
coming in. But
at the end of
OBDP had an
—John Craig, HDR Engineering
Inc., Salem, Oregon, USA
Investment Act III State
Bridge Delivery Program
BUDGET: US$1.3 billion
(ODOT) and Oregon
Bridge Delivery Partners
(OBDP), a joint venture
of Fluor Corporation and
HDR Engineering Inc.
between OBDP and an
array of public-sector
stakeholders led to
the successful delivery
of the state’s largest
in the last 50 years.