The Texas Project Award Program began in 1987 when Raymond Stotzer, Engineer-Director of the State Department of Highways and Public Transportation, and Tom Johnson teamed up to implement this award program to recognize department and contractor project personnel who work together to produce successful, high quality projects through difficult circumstances. This award program represents the beginning of the formal partnering program.
All districts and contractors take great pride in receiving these awards. This year, TxDOT and AGC recognized nine outstanding projects in the construction category and two projects for exceptional design. The consistent characteristic among all of them is the high level of collaboration and skill required to achieve these tremendous results.
The Construction Awards recognize people who have gone "above and beyond" in using a cooperative spirit to do a quality job. While there are many others essential to the success of these challenging projects, the awards are presented to TxDOT project engineers and inspectors and to the prime contractor’s project managers.
Construction Award #1
US 183 Expansion, Austin District
Chuck Goertz (TxDOT) and Forrest Word (Dean Word Company)
This $14.5 million dollar widening project included a five-lane roadway with two travel lanes in each direction and a continuous center-turn lane in Lockhart. The new section consists of a new storm sewer, curbs, gutters, sidewalks and bicycle accessibility, and new lighting to accommodate access changes to expand mobility, safety and accessibility for pedestrians and drivers and develop an improved underground storm sewer system.
Forecasting potential hurdles needed to carefully be outlined with a proper course of action in place, prior to construction, to address existing utilities and public access concerns. With extraordinary cooperation and planning between TxDOT and Dean Word in handling issue resolution to work around existing utilities and plan revisions, they were able to avoid and mitigate field situations accordingly.
The resulting project was a success for the city of Lockhart and delivered a beautiful urban section that improved overall safety and drainage that will benefit users for the years to come.
Construction Award # 2
Copano Bay Causeway Bridge Replacement, in the Corpus Christi District
Armando Bosquez, P.E., Dennis Myers, (TxDOT) and Steve Baughman (Williams Brothers Construction Co., Inc.)
The existing bridge, located on SH 35, was constructed in 1967 and in need of replacement due to significant deterioration of its elements due to harsh coastal environment and increased maintenance expenditures. Broken into two phases, work included demolition of the existing bridge and would create a wider, two-mile-long bridge with a clearance of 75 feet and a new second lane in each direction to allow passing and wider shoulders, an overall great benefit for the safety of motorists, cyclists, and pedestrians.
Together, TxDOT and Williams Brothers allowed for a successful completion, delivering the bridge to the Aransas County.
The project has had considerable compliments from the community and proved to be as resilient as the community in its encounter with Hurricane Harvey.
Construction Award #3
Red Oak Road Bridge, Dallas District
Kevin Mathis (TxDOT) and Jose Gonzalez (Hodges and Son Construction Co., (not pictured)
Built in 1923, to span Ten Mile Creek in Lancaster, this historic Warren through truss bridge was quickly reaching the end of its structural integrity in need of reconstruction, consisting of three spans, including the 80-foot Warren through truss main span. The project would restore the truss and replace railings, while preserving its historically unique design.
Thorough planning, monitoring, and coordination efforts of TxDOT and Hodges and Son Construction, paying close attention to various elements of this project, restored an improved and much safer structure for many years to come. The project was completed a month early and the total cost of the bridge came in $100,000 less than budgeted.
Collaboration with TxDOT, designers, and contractor personnel enabled the work to be done with minimum disruption and resolution to project problems.
Construction Award # 4
Horseshoe Project, Dallas District
Ceason Clemens, P.E. (TxDOT) and Bob Stevens, P.E, (Fluor) and Dan Young, P.E. (Balfour Beatty)
This $798M design-build project replaced the I-30 and I-35E bridges that cross the Trinity River, as well as reconstructed the interchange. This redesigned the existing freeway intersection of two major Interstate highways, while maintaining traffic at its level of more than 460,000 vehicles per weekday.
Critical steps were taken by TxDOT personnel, Fluor, and Balfour Beatty to work around the various hurdles, including traffic control remedies, using extra signage and clear direction to the public of pertinent road safety and travel flow change information to ensure the safety of all parties. The 5-mile-long project was delivered on time while able to maintain a safe environment for motorists as there were no increases in traffic accidents during construction.
The dedication and commitment to maintain the unrelenting amount of traffic during the project is admirable and is the reason this project is complete today.
Construction Award # 5
SH 7 Expansion project, Lufkin District
Verron Wayne Shepherd (TxDOT) and Raymond Amburn (Pinto Construction)
SH 7 runs from IH 35 to the west for 215 miles to the Louisiana border. This project area was the last narrow piece that had not yet been widened. This scope of work was to add 10-foot shoulders to both sides, widen the heavily commuted roadway for motorists and to improve mobility and motorist safety.
Among the expected obstacles of maintaining continuous and safe traffic flow during this project, on several occasions, natural spring water would percolate through the top of the paved surface of newly built sections of highway. Wayne and Raymond would have to once again establish a solid roadbed. Slopes were built and rebuilt several times as new excavations revealed new veins of groundwater.
The project would not have been accomplished without a high level of cooperation between the TxDOT staff and Pinto Construction. Both working together, the public traveling incident records can all attest to the positive impact this project has been to the Lufkin District.
Construction Award # 6
US 84 Bridge Replacement at Sabine River, Lufkin District
James Wise and Matt Nethery (TxDOT) and David Huckabay and Eric Lafitte (James Construction Group)
This $20.4M project consisted of the construction of two bridges, one approximately 1,100 feet long and the other about 900 feet long, over the Sabine River, demolishing the existing bridges. The new eastbound bridge and lanes would be placed south of the downtown area of Logansport and the westbound bridge would be built where the existing bridge was located. This project would improve traffic movement through the towns of Logansport and Joaquin, TX.
This multi-phase project required numerous traffic switches on a high-volume roadway and faced many challenges. Extensive coordination and planning between TxDOT, the Louisiana Dept. of Transportation and Development, and the Town of Logansport was required to see this project to the end.
Hurdling through some design changes and complex challenges, the cooperation of all parties involved, was critical to deliver a successful project and will last for the years to come.
Construction Award # 7
SH 276 Bridge Reconstruction project in the Paris District
Martin Gonzalez, P.E., (TxDOT) Jesse D. Herrera, P.E., (TxDOT, not pictured) and David Casteel (Williams Brothers, Steve Baughman accepting on behalf)
This project consisted of replacing and upgrading an existing 12 foot two-lane bridge structure between West and East Tawakoni over Lake Tawakoni. The new structure will consist of four 12 foot lane bridge structure with two 10 foot shoulders and a 10 foot median with continuous concrete safety barrier to improve motorist and roadway safety.
Divided into phases, tight work areas, and working above water obstacles made this a complex and challenging project. Strategic coordination, planning and tact, problem solving and decision making, both before and during this project, were key to successful completion by both TxDOT and Williams Brothers. During the five-year bridge construction project, there were various hurdles to work around, including those out of our control such as environmental habitat issues and the unpredictable Mother Nature elements. Though issues were encountered throughout the duration of the project, both parties worked together effectively to minimize costs, progress work, and produce a quality end product.
Construction Award # 8
I 10 Pavement Reconstruction Project, the San Angelo District
Ben Mittel (TxDOT) and Scott Roe (Kiewit Infrastructure South Co.)
The IH 10 corridor is an integral transportation system for Texas and the nation in moving heavy traffic loads associated with energy sector development. In Crockett County, project plans called for rehabbing the outside lanes while placing traffic on the inside lanes. Due to severe rain and heavy traffic loads, the inside lanes began to deteriorate, raising safety concerns. Through quick action of TxDOT and Kiewit Infrastructure South, a change order was promptly implemented, mitigating and resolving the matter, keeping public safety as priority and avoiding further project delays.
Despite setback from this unexpected safety hurdle, this project was successfully completed in less than the original number of contract days. This is an excellent showcase of planning, continuous communication, and expeditious problem solving of all parties. More importantly, motorists can use this roadway safely and will for many years to come.
Construction Award # 9
IH 35 at Solms Rd Project, San Antonio District
Carlos J. Rodriguez (TxDOT), Michael Pruitt (Angel Brothers Holdings Corp.) and Michael Acosta, P.E. (HNTB)
As we know, IH 35 acts as one of the state’s most critical links, both socially and economically. In New Braunfels, this section of IH 35 is an 8-lane divided freeway carrying an annual average daily traffic of over 146,000 vehicles. Performing any construction work in any direction on this highway, changes the level of service significantly. This IH 35 Project began at Solms Road and ended at the Guadalupe River, approximately 4.3 miles. Proposed work included rehabbing severe base failures and introducing new pavement technology. Through coordination and planning, the original plans were not going to benefit the traveling public and a change order was done for a redesign. The redesign encountered many challenges that required immediate responses and innovate techniques to mitigate any delays. Exemplary efforts by TxDOT, Angel Brothers, and HNTB with their pre-coordination planning, strategizing and forecasting the challenges of each project milestone, including seeking and utilizing available resources, completed this project in less than 80% the allotted time and exceeded every milestone in an average of 8 days as compared to the 19 days allotted per milestone.
Design Award # 1
WB IH 40 Bridge Replacement at RM 2381, Amarillo District
Jacob Tambunga, P.E., Sandra Sinton, P.E., (DES Div), Victoria McCammon, P.E. (BRG DIV), Kit Black, P.E. (AMA Dist)
This project replaced the westbound IH 40 Bridge at RM 2381 after a major crash caused detrimental damage that impacted the use of the bridge by the traveling public.
Amarillo District, Bridge Division, Design Division, and Construction Division worked together to create an accelerated design, letting, and construction schedule for this critical project. The coordinated effort for all involved allowed the new bridge to be opened to traffic on October 11, 2017, just eight months after the initial incident. This challenge highlighted the creativity and adaptability of the agency through the delivery of this project.
This project is an exceptional example of great leadership, humble teamwork, and no barriers in collaboration to ensure delivery of a quality project in a short timeframe.
Design Award # 2
SH 34 Design, Dallas District
Pauline Morrel, P.E. (DES)
This project included an extension of SH 34 from SH 243, around the city of Kaufman. The new roadway would allow heavy truck and through traffic to bypass downtown and would open up hundreds of acres of land for the city to develop.
TxDOT Dallas District designed the entire bypass with the TxDOT Kaufman Area Office constructing the northern section, and the city of Kaufman building the southern section. The design, which took less than two and a half years, was executed in a way that allowed both teams to work simultaneously and connect in the middle with nearly the same completion date.
With most of the large truck and pass-through traffic bypassing Kaufman’s downtown area, the city is revitalizing its downtown and looking for development opportunities off the new SH 34 bypass.