ASPIRE is a quarterly magazine published by PCI in cooperation with the associations of the National Concrete Bridge Council. The editorial content focuses on the latest technology and key issues in the Concrete Bridge Industry.
Issue link: http://www.aspiremagazinebyengineers.com/i/297018
F O C U S 6 | ASPIRE , Winter 2012 RW Armstrong's transportation practice has built its reputation on providing value-engineered solutions and working closely with contractors to deliver fast, cost-effective construction. It leverages this reputation to get its foot in the door in new markets and to bring state-of- the-art design and engineering solutions to clients and communities around the world. Based in Indianapolis, Ind., the firm has served the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) and surrounding state and local agencies for nearly 50 years. In the last decade, it has been involved with more than $1.5 billion worth of transportation design and construction projects. "We are a 'go‐to' firm for fast‐track and high-profile projects and INDOT's largest local consulting partner," says Troy Jessop, domestic structures team leader. "Because of our close association, we understand their decision‐making processes and have developed excellent w o r k i n g r e l a t i o n s h i p s w i t h k e y personnel." Many of RW Armstrong's transportation staff previously worked at INDOT, which brings a wealth of experience and relationships to the firm. Relying on Relationships RW Armstrong also works closely with about 15 key heavy civil contractors, w h i c h re g u l a r l y h i re t h e f i r m t o value-engineer a design, enhance constructability after the bid, or provide design-build services. "We are in a different mode than the typical design- bid-build firm," says Seth Schickel, Indiana bridge operations manager. "We often are called in by the bridge owner when an emergency occurs, and we work with contractors when problems arise. We take pride in working closely with contractors to find solutions." Value-engineering work has been i n s t r u m e n t a l i n R W A r m s t ro n g 's expansion to 18 offices (13 domestic). "Gaining credibility and work in a new region takes time," says Jessop. "You need momentum and a talented staff to earn DOT and local agency business. It's hard to generate those first projects without a unique way to show value." Typically, the company's national bridge team works with local contractors and performs value engineering or joins the contractor's design-build team. That gains attention and the momentum that leads to higher-profile projects. This strategy proved successful with the Columbus, Ohio, office, Jessop says, and the team now is focusing on the same template to expand its Austin, Tex., office. Trying New Techniques RW Armstrong has also found success in the Midwest by leveraging its expertise on post-tensioning projects. "There are few reputable post-tensioning players in this region, so we often come in with post-tensioning solutions when clients get into difficult situations," says Schickel. Typically, city and county clients are more open to those solutions, he notes, because they see benefits and are willing to try a new approach that will save money. One example is the 113-ft-long Indian Creek Road Bridge in Butler County, Ohio, which replaced a deteriorated truss structure. County officials wanted a single-span bridge because the stream collects debris, Jessop explains. "It was a by Craig A. Shutt Innovation on the FLY The Indian Creek Road Bridge in Butler County, Ohio, features post-tensioned concrete hybrid bulb tees, a first for Butler County. The design eliminated a center pier while providing a shallow (3-ft-deep) cross-section to provide clearance without having to change the grade. All photos: RW Armstrong. RW Armstrong adapts to challenges as demands evolve, focusing on constructability to push innovation into new regions We are a 'go‐to' firm for fast‐track and high-profile projects. Book_Win12.indb 6 12/29/11 11:12 AM