Since he was involved in the watershed $1.5-billion design-build widening of Interstate 15 and managed operations for the Utah Dept. of Transportation during the 2000 Olympics shortly thereafter, it is not surprising that Jim McMinimee has Olympian ambitions regarding construction. “We are relentless in our pursuit to deliver our projects faster,” says the UDOT director of project development.
Thanks to a gold-medal team of partners and a philosophy of seizing on transfer technology for accelerated bridge construction (ABC), UDOT has been replacing bridge structures in weekends, not weeks. “The first way was with design-build,” McMinimee notes. “Then we tried other ABC methods like CM-At-Risk.” Then came prefabricated bridge elements and Self-Propelled Modular Transporters (SPMTs). In 2007, Dutch firm Mammoet provided SPMTs for Ralph L. Wadsworth Construction Co. Inc., Draper, Utah to lift and roll out two 1.7-million-lb main spans of I-215 and roll in a 3-million-lb new span during a weekend. That was followed by 12 bridge replacements last year. “Our public-opinion surveys showed that 74% out of 500 people gave us a perfect score,” he says. That encouraged UDOT to keep using ABC methods in its bridge-replacement program.