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* News Release *
 
Monday, January 14, 2002
For Immediate Release

BCEO AMONG FIRST IN STATE TO TEST DESIGN-BUILD PROCESS

Butler County Engineer Greg Wilkens announces that the BCEO has been selected to test the State of Ohio's new Design-Build process. Butler County is one of only fifteen applicants authorized by the State to utilize this process at the county level.

Design-Build is a concept in which the design and construction elements of a project are combined to complete the project in a much shorter time frame. Typically, the contractor and engineering firm work together to develop a proposal to construct a project. This concept has been used in building construction for a number of years but is relatively new to the road and bridge business, according to Wilkens.

The Design-Build process is allocated to bridge projects only and includes a $2 million contract cap. "What this means is that we can include as many bridges as we want when testing the process as long as the total cost does not exceed $2 million," Wilkens said. The Butler County Engineer's Office has selected two bridges for replacement utilizing Design-Build -- a bridge on Hine Road in Ross Township and one on State Road in Milford Township. These projects are slated to begin with design this year, followed immediately by construction.

"I believe Butler County was one of the few selected Design-Build teams because we have a proven history of successful accomplishments," Wilkens emphasized. "We have clearly demonstrated our ability to understand the road building process and manage construction of major projects -- many which have led to significant economic development."

"Design-Build is yet another important source of outside revenues into which the Engineer's Office has tapped," Wilkens added. "The hard part is not really the engineering or construction. Finding the funding to actually construct these much-needed projects is the key to success. Our staff has developed a real expertise in seeking out new and innovative ways to fund projects."

Design-Build Explained

Design-Build, typically faster than the traditional design-bid-build process, combines the design and construction of a project into one contract, according to the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT). The designing firm and construction contractor become a team, working concurrently on the design and construction phases of a project, expediting delivery.

The time savings in Design-Build projects is realized by eliminating the lead time necessary to contract an engineering firm for design and then accept bids from contractors to build the design. Projects move from design to construction much faster through the use of the single Design-Build contract.

Additionally, because the engineering firm and contractor work in tandem, the contractor's changes can be incorporated into the design phase, eliminating the need for potentially costly and time-consuming changes during construction.

Design-Build project selection criteria include:

    • projects which due to physical conditions demand an expedited schedule and can be completed earlier using design-build;
    • projects that require minimum Right-of-Way acquisition and utility relocation;
    • projects which qualify for an environmental Categorical Exclusion;
    • projects that can have a clearly defined Scope Of Services and design basis.

In completing a Design-Build project, the County Engineer must use the process established by ODOT for locally administered federal aid projects and bridge sufficiency levels must be raised to the state standard.

# # #

For more information contact:

Chris Petrocy, Public Information Supervisor
Greg Wilkens, P.E., P.S., Butler County Engineer
Phone 513.867.5744 • Fax 513.867.5849


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