Minnesota Department of Transportation

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News Release

July 22, 2013

Orange barrels on a highway

MnDOT announces new procurement method for Winona Bridge project 

ROCHESTER, Minn. – The Minnesota Department of Transportation has announced the selection of the Construction Manager General Contractor procurement method to deliver the Winona Bridge project, marking the first use of CMGC on a MnDOT project. 

With CMGC, a contracting team is hired during the design phase to aid in estimating costs, assessing project risks, reviewing construction staging and maintenance of traffic, and tailoring the final design towards the most cost effective contractor means and methods. The selection is based on a Best Value process that includes evaluation of the contractor’s background and experience with projects similar to the Winona project. The most highly qualified teams will be shortlisted to become eligible to submit proposals for the CMGC role on the project.

The CMGC contracting team competitively bids the construction work against a series of cost estimates and the final pricing is required to be within 10 percent of a blind Independent Cost Estimate. This differs from the traditional low bid project delivery system used to deliver MnDOT construction projects, where the bidding is open to multiple contractors.

CMGC has been used by other state departments of transportation across the country, including Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Oregon and Utah. Its use is growing in the transportation sector as a means to maximize constrained budgets and benefit from early involvement of the contractor during the design phase. CMGC is one of the Federal Highway Administration’s 13 Every Day Counts initiatives, specifically designed to accelerate the use of innovative practices.

For the Winona Bridge project, the selection of CMGC is in direct response to input from the Winona community and its overall goals for the project. 

“For years, we’ve consistently heard from the Winona community and Winona city leadership that they have several critical goals for the project: inclusion of a new bridge in the project scope; move traffic off the existing Winona Bridge as expeditiously as possible to minimize the likelihood of additional closings of the Mississippi River crossing for bridge maintenance activities; and keep the Winona river crossing open during construction,” said Terry Ward, MnDOT project manager. 

“The use of CMGC will best position MnDOT and our project partners to accomplish these project goals within our available project funding.”
The Winona Bridge project was included in the Chapter 152 legislation that passed in 2008. This legislation directed MnDOT to establish a Trunk Highway Bridge Improvement Program with an emphasis on structurally deficient and fracture critical bridges. The existing bridge is fracture critical, meaning there is limited structural redundancy in the structure. 

The Winona Bridge project was initially funded with $142 million, not including cost for right of way acquisition.

“The original project scope included rehabilitation and reconstruction of existing bridge using a temporary bridge or ferry crossing services to maintain the river crossing during construction,” Ward said. “Even though we have not received any additional funding, the project scope has expanded to now include a new bridge. CMGC will allow us to deliver the project within these previously established funding constraints, while also meeting the overall goals of the city. 

“With our current project scope and use of CMGC, without any unforeseen project delays, we are committed to starting construction on the new bridge sometime between July 2014 and March 2015.” 

Until recently, a spring 2015 construction letting date had been targeted.

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