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Best Practices

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Coordination Between Projects Within a Corridor or Major Project

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Issue or Need Identified/Addressed:

Coordinated, corridor-wide contract management. The Woodrow Wilson Bridge project involves 26 individual prime construction contracts, many of which depend (or did depend) in some way on the actions of an adjacent contractor before the former could move on to perform a subsequent work phase. In a major project with multiple prime contractors, the sponsor "owns" the interfaces. That is, should one contractor delay another, the project sponsor could find itself financial liable for the delay to the affected contractor. [This risk is an accepted tradeoff in packaging contracts to attract competitive bids.]

Strategy or Best Practice developed/implemented to address the issue or need:

Sponsors used a special provision in all contracts requiring contractors to resolve the conflicts between jobs contractor-to-contractor. Additionally, the incentive/disincentive structure in selected key contracts included bonuses that could be earned only if the corridor-wide effort met specified milestones. The GEC conducts formal corridor coordination meetings each month to assure that all firms are cooperating toward the common goal and to share issue resolutions with all affected parties.

Sponsors also included detailed specifications in each construction contract requiring use of Primavera® scheduling software, along with required report content and update frequency. Experienced GEC schedulers review every schedule submitted and winnow out unsupported logic. The Primavera® standardization makes it possible for GEC schedulers to extract information needed to monitor the integrated corridor-wide schedule. Also, a special provision for submittals requires contractors to link their submittal schedules to the construction schedule.


The emphasis on corridor-wide coordination has created a remarkable sense of community among the firms involved, which contributes directly to the on-time performance of this major project.

The standardized scheduling specification has also created a degree of consistency among the contract schedules. This consistency allows the GEC schedulers to zero in on issues and to capture key performance indicators for review by project sponsors in a useful way.

Requiring that submittal schedules be linked to the construction schedule metered the flow of submittals so that reviewers could focus on the most important items to support field activities. It prevented the Section Designers from being flooded with submittals and confronted with a contractual requirement to review them all within 30 days.

Audit Coverage For Major Projects

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Problem or Issue Addressed

The nature of a major project necessitates early, effective and adequate audit coverage to ensure the integrity of the taxpayer dollars. One of Maryland's major projects (the Woodrow Wilson Bridge) is shared with Virginia and the District of Columbia. Coordination and effective communication can avoid duplication of effort and maximize audit coverage of a highly visible major project.

Idea/Best Practice

The DelMar Division was instrumental in developing the Woodrow Wilson Bridge State Auditors Committee. The committee was established to:


• Ensure the integrity of the taxpayer dollar
• Partner with States in developing comprehensive audit plans
• Identify areas for improvement
• Establish forum for problem solving and knowledge sharing
• Share responsibilities and results

Program Components

• Increase audit coverage
• Address issues as they occur and implement recommendations
• Provide FHWA support for State audit responsibilities and recommendations
• Ensure quarterly meetings are scheduled and attended to share audit results
• Invite guest speakers from other Major Projects, FHWA, OIG, Woodrow Wilson Bridge Project Managers, DCAA, etc.


• Continual audit coverage by the State Auditors on Woodrow Wilson Bridge
• Increased accountability for taxpayer dollars (both Federal and State)
• Efficient use of limited resources

Performance Feedback and Award Program

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The DelMar Division has developed a program that is based on 1) providing constructive and timely performance feedback, and 2) using different strategies to recognize employees. All awards are tied to performance results and Division values (customer service, quality, timeliness, teamwork). Team awards make up nearly 50% of our awards. Teams are empowered to distribute these awards based on each individual's contribution to the mission and outcomes.


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