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Arrow I-85 Interchange Design-Build Project Using Prefabricated Bridge Elements in West Point, GA

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Final Report November 2009

Final Report November 2009

Table of Contents

List of Figures



The purpose of the Highways for LIFE (HfL) pilot program is to accelerate the use of innovations that improve highway safety and quality while reducing congestion caused by construction. LIFE is an acronym for Longer–lasting highway infrastructure using Innovations to accomplish the Fast construction of Efficient and safe highways and bridges.

Specifically, HfL focuses on speeding up the widespread adoption of proven innovations in the highway community. "Innovations" is an inclusive term used by HfL to encompass technologies, materials, tools, equipment, procedures, specifications, methodologies, processes, and practices used to finance, design, or construct highways. HfL is based on the recognition that innovations are available that, if widely and rapidly implemented, would result in significant benefits to road users and highway agencies.

Although innovations themselves are important, HfL is as much about changing the highway community's culture from one that considers innovation something that only adds to the workload, delays projects, raises costs, or increases risk to one that sees it as an opportunity to provide better highway transportation service. HfL is also an effort to change the way highway community decisionmakers and participants perceive their jobs and the service they provide.

The HfL pilot program, described in Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA–LU) Section 1502, includes funding for demonstration construction projects. By providing incentives for projects, HfL promotes improvements in safety, construction–related congestion, and quality that can be achieved through the use of performance goals and innovations. This report documents one such HfL demonstration project.

Additional information on the HfL program is at


This document is disseminated under the sponsorship of the U.S. Department of Transportation in the interest of information exchange. The U.S. Government assumes no liability for its contents or use thereof. This report does not constitute a standard, specification, or regulation.

The U.S. Government does not endorse products or manufacturers. Trade and manufacturers' names appear in this report only because they are considered essential to the object of the document.

1. Report No. 2. Government Accession No. 3. Recipient's Catalog No.
4. Title and Subtitle
I-85 Interchange Design-Build Project Using Prefabricated Bridge Elements in West Point, GA
5. Report Date
November 2009
6. Performing Organization Code
7. Author(s)
Jagannath Mallela; Paul Littleton, P.E.; Gary Hoffman, P.E., R.L.S.; Salil Gokhale (formerly ARA, Inc.); and Gerald L. Ullman
8. Performing Organization Report No.
9. Performing Organization Name and Address
Applied Research Associates, Inc.
100 Trade Centre Drive, Suite 200
Champaign, IL 61820
10. Work Unit No.(TRAIS) C6B
11. Contract or Grant No.
12. Sponsoring Agency Name and Address
Office of Infrastructure
Federal Highway Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590
13. Type of Report and Period Covered
Draft Final Report
May 2007—November 2009
14. Sponsoring Agency Code
15. Supplementary Notes
Contracting Officers Technical Representatives: Byron Lord, Mary Huie
16. Abstract

As part of a national initiative sponsored by the Federal Highway Administration under the Highways for LIFE program, the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) was awarded a $1 million grant to demonstrate the use of proven, innovative technologies to deliver an $81 million project in less time than conventional construction. This report documents the design-build project in Troup County to construct a new Interstate 85 interchange, 10 miles (16 kilometers) of four-lane frontage and access roadway, another bridge, and all other items associated with this large economic development project. The interchange includes prefabricated bridge substructure elements, used for the first time in the State.

This report discusses the use of the design-build (D-B) contracting method, a first for Georgia, implemented under newly passed State legislation. The project also includes other firsts for Georgia, including requiring the D-B contractor to propose state-of-the-art methods to achieve performance expectations, the use of prefabricated elements to construct the bridge substructure and real-time traffic operations support through speed band monitoring on I-85. GDOT also set traffic incident response time goals for this project. Under conventional construction, the impact of this project on the traveling public was estimated at 30 months, but with the use of the D-B contracting technique and prefabricated bridge elements, the impact was reduced to only 16.5 months.

Using D-B and other innovative techniques to accelerate the delivery schedule had a significant influence on the net construction cost. A comprehensive economic analysis including construction costs and user costs shows that the project saved about $1.98 million or about 45 percent over traditional contracting and construction methods. Because of the success of this project, GDOT is more comfortable with using the D-B method and prefabricated bridge elements on future large- scale projects.

17. Key Words
bridge connections, design–build, Highways for LIFE, PBES, prefabricated bridge elements and systems, performance contracting, real–time traffic operations management, return on investment, roller–compacted concrete, speed band monitoring
18. Distribution Statement

No restriction. This document is available to the public through

19. Security Classif. (of this page)
20. No. of Pages
21. Price  

Form DOT F 1700.7 (8–72) Reproduction of completed page authorized

Approximate Conversions to SI UnitsApproximate Conversions from SI Units
When you knowMultiply byTo findWhen you knowMultiply byTo find
(a) Length
(b) Area
square inches645.2square millimeterssquare millimeters0.0016square inches
square feet0.093square meterssquare meters10.764square feet
square miles2.59square kilometerssquare kilometers0.386square miles
(c) Volume
fluid ounces29.57millilitersmilliliters0.034fluid ounces
cubic feet0.028cubic meterscubic meters35.32cubic feet
cubic yards0.765cubic meterscubic meters1.308cubic yards
(d) Mass
short tons (2000 lb)0.907megagrams (tonne)megagrams (tonne)1.102short tons (2000 lb)
(e) Force
(f) Pressure, Stress, Modulus of Elasticity
pounds per square foot47.88PascalsPascals0.021pounds per square foot
pounds per square inch6.895kiloPascalskiloPascals0.145pounds per square inch
(g) Density
pounds per cubic foot16.019kilograms per cubic meterkilograms per cubic meter0.0624pounds per cubic feet
(h) Temperature
Fahrenheit temperature(°F)5/9(°F– 32)Celsius temperature(°C)Celsius temperature(°C)9/5(°C)+ 32Fahrenheit temperature(°F)
  1. The primary metric (SI) units used in civil engineering are meter (m), kilogram (kg), second(s), newton (N) and pascal (Pa=N/m2).
  2. In a "soft" conversion, an English measurement is mathematically converted to its exact metric equivalent.
  3. In a "hard" conversion, a new rounded metric number is created that is convenient to work with and remember.


The project team would like to acknowledge the invaluable insights and guidance of Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Highways for LIFE Team Leader Byron Lord and Program Coordinators Mary Huie and Kathleen Bergeron, who served as the technical panel on this demonstration project. Their vast knowledge and experience with the various aspects of construction, technology deployment, and technology transfer helped immensely in developing both the approach and the technical matter for this document. The team also is indebted to Darryl VanMeter, acting administrator of the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) Office of Innovative Program Delivery. Our sincere gratitude is also due to Greg Wiggins and Greg Bowen of GDOT for their assistance and coordination during the construction of this project. Finally, the team also appreciates the technical support for this report provided by C.W. Matthews Contracting, Inc. and the Arcadis design-build team.

Abbreviations and Symbols

AADT Annual average daily traffic
ARAN Automatic Road Analyzer
dB(A) A-weighted decibel
D-B Design-build
DOT Department of transportation
FHWA Federal Highway Administration
GDOT Georgia Department of Transportation
Hfl Highways for LIFE
HMA Hot-mix asphalt
Hz Hertz
IRI International Roughness Index
NB Northbound
OBSI Onboard sound intensity
OSHA Occupational Safety and Health Administration
PBSE Prefabricated bridge substructure element
PCC Portland cement concrete
RCC Roller-compacted concrete
RFP Request for proposal
SAFETEA-LU Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users
SB Southbound
SI Sound intensity
SRTT Standard reference test tire
VOC Vehicle operating cost
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Mary Huie
Center for Accelerating Innovation

This page last modified on 04/04/11

United States Department of Transportation - Federal Highway Administration