Design/Construct Contract Speeds Bridge Job

by Kneeland A. Godfrey, Jr., Sr. Ed.; Civil Engineering Magazine, ASCE World Headquarters, 345 East 47th Street, New York City, NY.,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1988, Vol. 58, Issue 4, Pg. 54-55

Document Type: Feature article


In the name of time and money savings, Pennsylvania DOT is building a bridge using a modified turnkey contract. In contrast, the standard approach is first to design the bridge, then ask contractors to bid. On the bridge currently being constructed over the Susquehanna River at Lewisburg, PaDOT used a single design-construct contract. This cut the cost by at least $150,000 and time of design by six months. Previously lon large bridges the state had designed each structure in steel and concrete, then permitted bidding contractors to submit alternates. The contractor's alternate design was always the more cost-effective design and as a result was the one used. Thus, by going to a design-construct contract, and skipping preparation of the pre-contract designs, PennDOT was simply avoiding doing work that was not needed. Next, the agency plans to use the approach on the Allenwood Bridge, also over the Susquehanna River.

Subject Headings: Bridge design | Contractors and subcontractors | Contracts | Bids | Rivers and streams | Steel bridges | Steel structures | Hydraulic design | Pennsylvania | United States

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