Best Highway/Bridge: North Tarrant Express 35W
North Tarrant Express 35W
Owner: Texas Dept. of Transportation
Lead Design Firm/General Contractor: North Tarrant Infrastructure (Joint Venture Between Ferrovial Agroman US Corp. and Webber LLC)
The team on the $1.4-billion reconstruction of a 6.5-mile section of I-35W in downtown Fort Worth relied on tactical safety planning, fast-paced scheduling and robust engineering to deliver this megaproject two months ahead of schedule, within budget and without major injuries.
Teams worked 24/7 and used an accelerated scheduling and a design-build concept that allowed projects to be completed a decade ahead of traditional construction methods, according to the North Tarrant group.
The project was an engineering feat. It involved removing 2.8 million cu yd of excavation, building 2.4 million sq ft of bridge decks and constructing 900,000 sq ft of retaining walls— all while maintaining traffic flow for 170,000 motorists on one of the state’s most congested corridors.
The team developed a conveyor belt system that allowed them to transport about 150,000 tons of material across the roadway.
All areas of the corridor had to be under construction simultaneously, creating the potential for significant safety issues.
The project team worked with local police and fire departments and emergency responders to familiarize them with the jobsite in case of an emergency. The project included 16 work zones, and the team provided maps of the zones to all emergency responders and subcontractors that needed to access the site or deliver materials.
The project has increased the capacity of this major corridor in Tarrant County, and the area is already seeing an improvement in traffic flow.