Canadian city marks first North American IPD bridge construction project
- The Canadian city of Kingston, Ontario, will partner with designers and contractors to deliver a CA $180 million bridge via the integrated project delivery method, Global News reported. According to Kingston officials, this is the first time the IPD model will be used in North America for the construction of a bridge.
- The city has contracted with Peter Kiewit Sons ULC, Hatch and SYSTRA International Bridge Technologies to design and build the Third Crossing bridge, which will span the Cataraqui River. The Kiewit team beat out such competitors as Dragados Canada, Graham Construction and Engineering and Astaldi by scoring the highest — 91 out of 100 — in the city's standard evaluation system. The multi-use bridge will have a dedicated pedestrian and bicycle lane and is expected to promote economic growth in the Kingston area, as well as reduce traffic congestion. Crews will also build a temporary bridge into the river to enhance access to materials and equipment during the construction of piers and decking.
- Bridge construction could begin as early as mid-2019, with completion anticipated by the end of 2022, and is expected to employ hundreds of construction workers. "Having this collaborative team," said Mark Van Buren, deputy commissioner and project director, "will ensure we build the best bridge possible for all residents while helping meet our long-term transportation goals."
Integrated project delivery is a collaborative construction delivery method that typically sees the owner, contractor and designer enter into an agreement, but can also include structural, utilities and other major subcontractors. Using this model helps ensure everyone is on the same page from the beginning of the project — i.e. no surprise design conflicts or change orders — which can assist in keeping costs within budget and the whole effort on schedule.
However, it's difficult for some public agencies, Brian Perlberg with the Associated General Contracts of America told Construction Dive earlier this year, to get involved in IPD projects because of the procurement laws by which they must abide. For example, IPD teams are often assembled according to their qualifications, while many public entities require that taxpayer-funded contracts go to the lowest bidder.
Contractors could also be constrained by licensing laws, which sometimes, depending on the jurisdiction, prevent them from engaging in certain design activity.
But once the IPD project is up and running, contractors and the other professional firms that are part of the contract could run into another issue, and that is one of owner involvement. Some owners are not prepared for the level of participation that is expected of them and could slow the construction process if they don't plan for a high degree of availability during the project.
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