Arizona transportation projects, including SR88, receive Partnering Excellence Awards

One of the projects was work on State Route 88 north of Apache Junction. (ADOT)

To address pavement damage from many harsh winters, the Arizona Department of Transportation engaged a contractor to rebuild 10 miles of Interstate 40 west of Williams near Devil Dog Road.

In addition to the complexity of removing and replacing 5 miles of freeway in each direction, challenges included minimizing impacts on travelers and communities while finishing as soon as possible around a winter hiatus when the weather made work impossible, according to a release.

The I-40 Devil Dog award given at the Arizona Conference on Roads and Streets in Tucson was for projects worth more than $25 million. (ADOT)

ADOT and Fann Contracting Inc. navigated these challenges along with others that weren’t anticipated, such as weather, fire restrictions and unsuitable and unstable soil conditions, to deliver the improvement on time while maintaining two-way traffic throughout. Contributing to this success was a defined process called partnering through which the agency, contractors and stakeholders including area governments and utilities agree to goals, a communication structure and a way to resolve issues that arise, according to the release.

For its efforts on this $34 million improvement, which was completed last fall, the project team, including ADOT personnel and Fann Contracting, recently received an Arizona Transportation Partnering Excellence Award. The I-40 Devil Dog award, one of nine given at the Arizona Conference on Roads and Streets in Tucson, was for projects worth more than $25 million.

Each year, the Arizona Transportation Partnering Excellence Awards recognize teams of contractors and other organizations that have used partnering to foster productive relationships and successfully complete projects through communication, commitment, cooperation and continuous improvement. In addition to ADOT, the awards are sponsored by the Associated General Contractors Arizona Chapter, Arizona Public Works Association, American Council of Engineering Companies, Associated Minority Contractors of Arizona, Arizona Transportation Builders Association, Federal Highway Administration and Maricopa County Department of Transportation.

The Arizona Transportation Partnering Excellence Awards for 2018 honored three other ADOT projects:

  • For projects worth more than $25 million: ADOT and Ames Construction Inc., I-19 Ajo Way traffic interchange.
  • For projects between $5 million and $25 million: ADOT and Nesbitt Contracting Co. Inc., State Route 88 improvements between Apache Junction and Tortilla Flat.
  • For projects under $5 million: ADOT and Fann Contracting, I-40 Twin Arrows traffic interchange.

“Successful partnerships reduce delays, develop positive and effective relationships and help partners identify and solve problems as quickly as possible,” Michael Carter, ADOT partnering administrator, said in the release. “Partnering allows ADOT to deliver projects on time and cultivate better working relationships with contractors and stakeholders.”

In 1991, before its partnering program began, ADOT faced 60 legal actions resolved through mediation, arbitration or litigation at a cost of $39.8 million. Today, almost no disagreements over projects give rise to legal actions involving stakeholders, and an ADOT legal team that once handled those actions no longer exists.

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