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Prefabricated Bridges

ABC Owner's Perspective

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Slide 1. Accelerated Bridge Construction (ABC): the Keys to Success from an Owners Perspective

Presented by
James McMinimee, P.E., P.S.E.
UDOT Chief Engineer, Director of Project Development

Speaker Notes:

Greetings
My name is James Mcminimi. I retired from the Utah Department of Transportation in January of 2010. I am happy to be here to talk to you about prefabricated bridge elements and systems.

 

Slide 2. Introduction – Learning Outcomes

By the end of this Module, you will be able to:

  • identify customer needs from a Utah perspective
  • recall the benefits of using PBES
  • recall the concept of user costs
  • identify associated risks from Utah’s perspective
  • identify lessons learned
 

Slide 3. Utah

  • Small State
    • 2.5 M people
    • $350 M Federal Program
    • DOT 1650 employees
  • Big Transportation Program
    • 250+ projects
    • $2.0 B+ under construction

Speaker Notes:

First I would like to talk to you about Utah. In order to understand how Utah implemented prefabricated bridge elements and systems is important that you have a little background on Utah.

Utah the small state not geographically but demographically. Utah has about 2.5 million people, and a federal gas tax program of $350 million. The Utah Department of Transportation is a relatively small organization only 1650 people statewide. Interestingly, Utah has a relatively big transportation program. Utah’s current program is over 250 jobs, and over $2 billion under construction.

 

Slide 4. UDOTs Need for Speed

  • Customer driven culture
  • Implement new technologies:
    • Accelerated Bridge Construction
    • Accelerate Pavement Construction
    • Diverging Diamond Interchanges
  • Increased partnerships
  • Match Legislative tempo
Photos of Accelerated Bridge Construction sites, Accelerated Pavement Construction sites, and Diverging Diamond Interchanges. Diagram of new technologies.

Speaker Notes:

The Utah Department of Transportation is also different culturally than many DOTs. UDOT is a very customer driven culture. They are willing to take risks, and in the past, they have been willing to embrace new technologies. Utah has tried celery to bridge construction, accelerated pavement construction, a new technology called diverging diamond interchanges, and other innovative highway construction techniques. With all of that they also increased their partnerships, with industry, with local governments, and with resource agencies.

 

Slide 5. Department Themes

  • Accelerate Delivery
  • Decrease and Minimize Detours or Delays
  • Encourage Innovation that speeds project or provides value
  • Get a Good Price

Balance of good price vs. other themes

Speaker Notes:

UDOT has a set of department teams. Every project that Utah does considers these department teams in the effort to scope the project. These four themes are to accelerate delivery, to decrease and minimize detours or delays, to encourage innovation that speeds project delivery or provides value, and lastly to set a good price.

Obviously price is always a consideration and practically it works out that project managers really balance good price against the other themes. Again these themes are considered for every project.

 

Slide 6. New Business Model

This new  business model adds together the construction costs and the user costs and the total of those costs are called project costs. CCU has moved from Lowe’s construction cost to lowest project cost. In this model societal costs are minimized and the Utah DOT has received much public praise, and also much political capital.

  • Societal Costs Minimized
  • Lowest Construction → Cost Lowest Project Cost
  • Public Praise
  • Political Capital

Speaker Notes:

The last big thing that differentiates Utah from many other DOT’s is this move to adopt a new business model. UDOT has moved away from the traditional business model that only considers construction cost when awarding projects. Utah’s model for award includes the idea that there are user costs associated with every project. This new business model adds together the construction costs and the user costs and the total of those costs are called project costs. CCU has moved from Lowe’s construction cost to lowest project cost. In this model societal costs are minimized and the Utah DOT has received much public praise, and also much political capital.

 

Slide 7. What is PBES from a Utah perspective?

  • Innovative methods to decrease bridge construction time
  • Build elements offsite/outside traffic area
  • Transport to site and install rapidly

Speaker Notes:

So here we are five minutes into the presentation and were finally ready to start talking about the lessons learned in implementing prefabricated bridge elements and systems. Remember the definitions of what PBES is?

First of all, it is innovative methods to decrease rich construction time. Second, usually you build the elements of the bridge off-site or outside of the traffic impacted area, and you transport them to the site and install or construct them as rapidly as possible.

 

Slide 8. UDOT ABC History

UDOT has over 170 bridges total, completed or under construction that utilized ABC*

  • Self Propelled Modular Transports: 6 Projects/ 19 Bridges
  • Half Thickness Precast Deck Panels: 5 Projects/ 74 Bridges
  • Full Depth Precast Deck Panels: 15 Projects/ 21 Bridges
  • Precast Voided slabs: 1 Project/ 2 Bridges
  • Approach Slab Panels: 10 Projects/ 15 Bridges
  • Precast Sleeper Slabs: 10 Projects/ 15 Bridges
  • Precast Abutments: 3 Projects/ 5 Bridges
  • Precast Bent Caps 2 Projects/ 2 Bridges:
  • Precast using Sliding: 5 Project/ 10 Bridges
  • Precast Box Culvert: 3 Projects/ 7 Bridges
  • Heavy Lift Cranes: 3 Projects/ 4 Bridges

Speaker Notes:

Time=Money

Slide 9. Innovative Technology

Utah developed this graph as a way to talk to with their transportation commission about what to expect with regards to costs as they implement this new technology. As the graph suggests the first time you try anything is the most expensive it’s ever going to be. And as you do more and more of the same thing it is typical to find that prices  diminish.
  • First implementation costs more
  • Potential for new methods to cost less
  • Promise of time savings
  • Positive cost-benefit ratios
  • Promise of programmatic cost savings

Speaker Notes:

Moving along to one of UDOTs largest lessons learned. Utah developed this graph as a way to talk to with their transportation commission about what to expect with regards to costs as they implement this new technology. As the graph suggests the first time you try anything is the most expensive it’s ever going to be. And as you do more and more of the same thing it is typical to find that prices diminish. The misunderstanding of this graph has killed many a good idea. How many times have we as engineers asked about a new idea how much does it cost? And remove the item from further consideration because the first time it was built it was expensive? The truth is first implementations usually cost more but there is usually a giant potential for new methods to cost less. In the case of ABC there is a potential and time savings and there is also the promise of considerable cost savings. Utah had been keeping track of the costs to implement PBES, at the time that I left Utah the cost-benefit ratio of expense to user costs recouped was somewhere in the neighborhood of five or 6 to 1. That is for every dollar of investment in PBES, there were between five and six dollars in user costs recouped. Again a lesson learned and understanding and appreciation for this graph is very important when implementing PBES.

 

Slide 10. Costs of PBES

This graph shows a cost history of implementing full depth precast panels. UDOTs traditional cast in place deck used to run about $53 a square foot. When UDOT  first bid for depth precast panels they came in at $63 a square foot. By the time they done 10 or 11 projects the costs have gone down to $37 a square foot. And according to a presentation that I saw recently from Carmen Swanwick who is UDOTs state bridge engineer, those costs  have held at about $37 a square foot.


Speaker Notes:

This graph shows a cost history of implementing full depth precast panels. UDOTs traditional cast in place deck used to run about $53 a square foot. When UDOT first bid for depth precast panels they came in at $63 a square foot. By the time they done 10 or 11 projects the costs have gone down to $37 a square foot. And according to a presentation that I saw recently from Carmen Swanwick who is UDOTs state bridge engineer, those costs have held at about $37 a square foot.

 

Slide 11. Operation Staging Areas Bridge Farm @ 1300 East

7 Superstructures Constructed in a Single Location

Operation Staging Areas Bridge Farm @ 1300 East showing 7 superstructures constructed in a single location.

Speaker Notes:

Okay, so I slipped this picture in to remind everyone of the promise of PBES. This project is Utah’s innovate 80 project. It is an urban reconstruction project on I 80 in Salt Lake City. The picture is of what they called the Bridge farm. They constructed seven bridges and in the span of 41 days in the summer of 2008 installed all seven structures. The contractor claimed that by using this technique he saved 2 1/2 million dollars in constructing the bridges, and over a year in construction time. The user costs associated with that year were estimated at $25 million.

 

Slide 12. Risk Identification – Owner, Contractor and Engineer

  • Identified 5 Categories w/ 135 Items:
    • Carrier Beam
      • Perform 2 independent QCs
    • Utilities
      • Shutting down large H2O line
    • Travel Path
      • Verify/confirm travel over new bridges
    • Geotech
      • Re-evaluate projected utility/wall stresses
    • Launch
      • Re-evaluate all assumptions

Speaker Notes:

Utah was lucky and got to host the 2002 winter games. One of the legacies of that effort was risk analysis and identification of contingencies. On their website you doubt has posted a more comprehensive checklist of things you might want to consider if using SPMTs. The list I posted here is what I feel are the top five risks. The risks themselves aren’t important. What I’m trying to convey is that for any process that has a lot of risks that you should identify a plan for mitigating those risks. So a lessons learned or best practice would be to examine the risks for any PBES project, list those risks, and began working on ways to mitigate those risks.

 

Slide 13. 2009 Slide-ins= Innovation

The right side we see tried and true Hillman  rollers. A left side we see an innovative solution implemented by a contractor.

Speaker Notes:

In this slide I want to talk about innovation. As Utah has progressed with PBES, our contractors have begun to experiment and to suggest alternative methods. Simple things to help speed construction. This slide shows one such innovation. The right side we see tried and true Hillman rollers. A left side we see an innovative solution implemented by a contractor. The solution uses Teflon pads, steel channel, and lots of dishwashing liquid. It accomplishes the same thing as the Hillman rollers, at much less cost. The lesson learned is to allow innovation and experimentation.

Good little story-US first bridge move took 53 hours. The last SPM T. move was accomplished in less than 15 hours. Fast right? One of our contractors who is very innovative proposed an alternative method and that was slide in. The last slide in to less than six hours. Standing next to the superintendant as the bridge was moving he tells us "if you let me move it with traffic on it we can get it down to three hours!"

 

Slide 14. Public Perceptions

Graph reflecting OVERALL satisfication of PBES project results conducted by UDOT surveys. In this graph about 94% of the people either gave the project a perfect score or one less than a perfect score. This translates to customer focus.


Speaker Notes:

One of the first slides I talked about public support and political capital. This slide is all about public perceptions of PBES. These are real results from the 45th South project. Over 550 respondents. Normally when UDOT gets these surveys back about a third of the people like the project, about a third of the people don’t care about the project, about a third of the people hate the project. As you can see this graph is vastly different from that normal graph. In this graph about 94% of the people either gave the project a perfect score or one less than a perfect score. Amazing results. Customer focused. With these kind of scores from the public is it any wonder that politicians support this effort also? This alone is a great reason to do PBES projects.

 

Slide 15. Lessons Learned and Best Practices-State perspective

  • Get Department Leadership Committed and Involved
  • Provide Adequate Contractor discussion
  • Obtain Funding for Demonstration Projects
  • Plan a program of projects – not just 1
  • Use Innovative Contracting
  • Scanning Tours
  • Communicate with Industry, Utilities, Local Governments and Your Agency

Speaker Notes:

  1. The slide is meant to be a laundry list of good practices with regards to implementing PBES.
  2. In addition to the things regarding discussed the important to get department leadership committed and involved in PBES. It is also important to allow the contracting industry enough time to be comfortable and knowledgeable about PBES. Another strategy is to obtain funding for demonstration projects. Programs such as highways for life, or IBRD funds are excellent sources of help for implementing PBES. Planning a program of projects is also an important idea. Instead of just one project, with the program there is a building of momentum. In a clear signal to the industry that the business model is changing. Another best practice is to use innovative contracting. Innovative contracting unleashes contractor led innovation. The ideas and synergy that you can get from innovative contracting are very helpful in implementing PBES. Scanning tours have proven to be very successful in Utah. These are visits to out-of-state PBES projects to see the technology and to show it can be done. In Utah they have taken their contractors and consultants on these tours and they have proven to be very successful. Lastly, it’s very important for regular communication with industry utilities local governments and anybody else who will listen about PBES. In Utah to have regular meetings with all of these entities and keep them informed and keep them hearing messages about implementation of PBES.
 

Slide 16. Lessons Learned and Best Practices

Engage the industry A

Diagram of Lessons Learned and Best Practices. In order to implement PBES we engage the industry with contractors AND suppliers.

Speaker Notes:

Lastly, IF we want to do this we need to involve the entire industry. If we want to implement PBES, we can provide the leadership but we can’t do everything alone we need our partners to understand we need their help in implementing this exciting program. We need to make sure we engage fully both contractors and suppliers.

 

Slide 17. Culture or innovation

  • You will know success when Regions and contractors are using and improving Innovation without central prompting

  • ABC – SPMT, Precast, Improvements in Slide-in Projects.
 

Slide 18. Module Conclusion

You should now be able to:

  • identify customer needs from a Utah perspective
  • recall the concept of user costs
  • identify associated risks from Utah’s perspective
  • identify lessons learned and best practices
 

Slide 19. Polling Questions

What are 3 best practices for implementing PBES

 

Slide 20. Questions and discussion

Media

Page last modified on August 14, 2013.
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