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.

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P E R S P E C T I V E 10 | ASPIRE Summer 2017 The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) has encouraged the use of design- build delivery methods since the late 1980s, and the process continues to improve as designers, contractors, and the Department gain experience. FDOT has procured more than 475 design-build projects with total contract amounts of more than $13.5 billion. Currently, more than 70 projects are underway, totaling more than $5.5 billion. The program has proven successful at encouraging innovation through a fair, competitive process that strives to meet or exceed project expectations while providing a high level of transparency. Increasingly, FDOT realized that the design- build format meant it didn't need to have all the solutions to transportation problems. FDOT quickly witnessed the power of mobilizing hundreds of minds to focus on developing the best comprehensive solution to a complex transportation problem through a competitive process. Design-build projects create innovation by bringing the contractor's expertise into the design process up front to maximize efficiencies. These can include customizing the solution based on available equipment, workforce talents, and supplier availability and expertise. The contractor typically looks to optimize production rates by separating the work from the traffic and reordering the sequence of construction for added efficiency. The contractor's perspective serves to challenge designers and past norms. For design-build projects to continue to be successful, the process has to be dynamic and evolving. Project solutions improve over time based on lessons learned. Ideally, the bar rises for each successive project. Developing Design Criteria For the most part, design criteria do not change from project to project for a given work mix, but design-build criteria may differ from those for a conventional project. FDOT's governing regulations (such as design manuals) have been developed for each delivery method. Design manuals include separate boxes within the text that amend certain design requirements specifically for design-build projects. Industry feedback is encouraged prior to the start of the project's procurement process. Most large projects include an Industry Forum, which occurs prior to the advertisement. The Industry Forum allows the project to be presented by FDOT and provides final teaming/networking opportunities for both contractors and consultants. The draft request for proposal (RFP) is posted prior to the Industry Forum. Teams are encouraged to meet with FDOT management in one-on-one meetings to introduce team members and provide feedback on the project and the RFP. With the goal of gaining feedback to improve the RFP to better meet project objectives, FDOT typically asks all the teams the same questions. Once the procurement process starts (by posting the project advertisement), a "veil of silence" descends on FDOT and the teams pursuing the project. Except for the prescribed one-on-one meetings, all communications cease, although questions and responses may be posted on a website-based platform to be viewed by all teams. Encouraging Competition FDOT's design-build program was initially fairly rigid, with a shortlist of approved contractors selected according to experience and other factors. This precluded some qualified companies that could have generated successful concepts. To encourage more competition, the process was revised to create a two-tiered grading system that allows any team to participate in the opening phase and be judged on its merits. The only caveats are that a consultant involved in writing the RFP cannot pursue the project, and that each team has to meet certain work-type qualifications based on the work mix. FDOT first evaluates the letters of interest (LOIs), typically worth 20 of the project's 100-point total score. It focuses on the Refining the Adjusted-Score Design-Build Process Through its design-build process, the Florida Department of Transportation seeks to provide continuous improvement for both its projects and the process itself by Thomas A. Andres, Florida Department of Transportation Florida Department of Transportation's J. Turner Boulevard/Interstate 95 design-build project features a curved, spliced U-girder structure. Photo: Florida Department of Transportation. Precast concrete pile cap on Escambia Bay Interstate 10 design-build project. Photo: WSP.

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