MD 32 Design Build Project

2020 Outstanding Civil Engineering Achievement

Over $20 Million

Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration | Owner

Whitman, Requardt & Associates, LLP | Consultant

Concrete General, Inc. | Contractor

Project Description

The MD 32 from MD 108 to Linden Church Road Design-Build project was procured with an A+B bid including a schedule component. This resulted in an aggressive completion schedule in which the design-build team (DBT) met or surpassed the design and construction milestones. The project included cooperation between multiple stakeholders including the owner MDOT SHA, Howard County which had a funding component and local road connections, utility owners (BGE, Verizon, and Williams and Columbia Gas) that required relocations and/or coordination during construction, and the DBT consisting of Concrete General Inc. (CGI) as the general contractor, and Whitman, Requardt and Associates (WRA) as the designer of record.

The project consisted of the dualization of 3.0 miles of MD 32 from an existing 2-lane roadway to a 4-lane divided highway with a grass median incorporating stormwater management (SWM) facilities, realignment/reconstruction of interchange ramps at Linden Church Road, and

connections into the existing dualization at the MD 108 interchange. WRA performed and managed the project design which included: four new MDOT SHA Small Structures including two reinforced concrete box culverts; a reinforced soil slope to minimize wetland impacts; existing pavement rehabilitation and new pavement construction with falling weight deflectometer testing (FWD); new open section storm drain systems; hydrology/hydraulic analysis; environmental site design (ESD) and SWM quantity control facilities including 20 bioswales, 28 grass swales, 5 SWM ponds, and 4 headwater pools; complex multi-phase erosion and sediment control (ESC); utility coordination for the relocation of gas, telephone, and

fiber optic being designed and relocated by utility owners; utility coordination for the avoidance of several major gas transmission mains; traffic management plan (TMP) and maintenance of traffic (MOT), including temporary cross-overs to facilitate construction of the dualized roadway;

new signing, pavement markings, and interchange and intersection lighting; intelligent transportation system (ITS) devices including new traffic cameras at the interchanges; landscape/reforestation design and a tree avoidance and minimization report; design quality assurance/quality control (QA/QC), coordination with the Independent Quality Monitor (IDQM); and public involvement/displays. Permitting included MDOT SHA Plan Review Division (PRD) ESC and SWM Approvals, Maryland Department of Environment (MDE) Small Pond Approvals, coordinating with MDE Dam Safety Division, NPDES permits, and SWM As-Built inspections and reports; coordinating with MDOT SHA for Joint Permit Application (JPA) submittals to MDE including wetland/waters delineations and impact plate development, quarterly construction reports, and coordinating with MDOT SHA for post construction permit close-out; and, assisting MDOT SHA with Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Conditional Letter of Map

Revision (CLOMR) and Letter of Map Revision (LOMR) Approvals. The project goals included completing construction as soon as possible, minimizing impacts to environmental resources, design excellence, and maintaining mobility by minimizing delays during construction, specifically minimizing the need for and duration of any detours. Design activities began in December 2016 upon notice of award from MDOT SHA and all significant design milestones were issued for construction by the Summer of 2018. Construction activities began in August 2017 and were substantially complete in September 2019. The project was completed with a total budget including several owner directed changes of $33,363,000.


Project Originality/Innovations

During the bidding phase, the DBT developed and presented several innovative Alternative Technical Concepts (ATCs) in accordance with the Request for Proposals (RFP) to bring added value to the project. Some examples included: maintaining the normal crown along existing MD

32 to reduce the amount of pavement wedge/level and to reduce SWM requirements for the project; the use of an increased subgrade modulus for pavement design based on a review of the available soil borings to reduce the proposed pavement section; the use of precast structural

elements for the MDOT SHA Small Structures to reduce construction duration and to minimize the duration of stream impacts; and, a revision of the roadway typical section and the use of a reinforced soil slope to significantly reduce permanent impacts to existing wetlands.

Based on the aggressive construction schedule, the primary design/approval packages for the project were divided into multiple zones including Rough Grading Packages and a Final Roadway and Stormwater Management Package. The intent of multiple design/approval

packages was to allow construction to begin upon approval of the first rough grading package while the subsequent packages were designed, the applicable permits obtained, and issued for construction (IFC) documents released. The advanced rough grading packages were prepared

to obtain initial erosion and sediment control approval, allowing clearing and grubbing, initial earthwork activities including SWM pond installation, and storm drain installation prior to receiving Final Roadway and SWM approval. Additional design packages including structural,

landscaping, traffic, and ITS, were advanced in conjunction with construction activities.


The DBTs proactive approach to design development and knowledge of construction means and methods facilitated meeting the project schedule with a reasonable and feasible plan. The use of multiple zones allowed for earlier completion of the first zone which included all four

MDOT SHA Small Structures. By doing so, two-way traffic could be switched onto the new southbound roadway earlier in order to allow construction of the second half of the small structures under existing MD 32, while the remaining SB roadway in the second zone was being constructed and, while adhering to time of year restrictions for in-stream construction from March 1 through May 31 st . Structural elements for each of the Small Structures were submitted in advance of obtaining final roadway IFC documents, which allowed for early shop drawing review and fabrication of the structural elements so they would be ready for installation when the roadway package was approved for construction. The DBTs construction management and quality control/quality assurance staff were engaged throughout the design process and provided over-the-shoulder reviews to avoid unnecessary delays during compliance reviews/approvals and during construction.


Stakeholder Coordination

The DBT scheduled and coordinated a total of 26 monthly partnering meetings held at MDOT SHA’s Dayton Shop near the project site. All meetings were attended by representatives from MDOT SHA, Howard County, various utility owners, and the DBT. All meetings included clear communication among all project stakeholders and unified relationships with all parties were established allowing project issues to be resolved in a cooperative and expedient manner. Bi-weekly construction progress meetings were held with MDOT SHA and the DBT to address current construction issues and to identify and resolve future potential issues in an effort to minimize impacts to the construction schedule. The DBT continuously coordinated with MDOT SHA throughout design and construction to ensure that project goals were met.


The DBT developed public displays and attended a public meeting prior to construction to assist MDOT SHA in providing an overview of the project including the design, schedule, and community impacts, and assisted in addressing public comments. Throughout construction the DBT assisted MDOT SHA with community outreach including providing information on ramp closures and changes in traffic patterns, and to address property owner concerns due to construction activities.


The project included significant involvement and funding from Howard County. County staff attended all partnering meetings and reviewed design submittals to ensure the project met County expectations and that the design was coordinated with County roads. The County was also an important participant in public involvement for the project, including attending the public meeting to address public comments pertaining to County roads or other issues. Proactive coordination with utility owners was a key component to expedite concurrent utility relocations. A utility coordination meeting with utility owners, MDOT SHA, and the DBT was held immediately after NTP to coordinate the projects design with the required utility relocations and to coordinate construction schedules. Subsequent monthly utility meetings were held to further coordinate the proposed utility relocations as the design advanced, and coordination continued throughout construction until all relocations were completed.


Project Contribution to Society

The project improved safety and capacity along the MD 32 corridor while minimizing impacts to the traveling public and the community, and while minimizing right-of-way and environmental impacts. The project increased safety by eliminating the existing 2-lane high speed configuration which

was prone to frequent and sometimes fatal accidents, a priority of MDOT SHA and Howard County due to MD 32 role as a major east-west arterial in the region. The project increased roadway capacity to accommodate a project average daily traffic (ADT) of 43,200 vehicles in the year 2040. The completed dualization of 3 miles of the MD 32 roadway is an integral component of MDOT SHA’s short term goal to expand MD 32 as a 4-lane divided highway continuing to the north to Interstate 70. Accommodating traffic throughout construction without causing delays or compromising the safety of motorists was an important MDOT SHA, Howard County, and community issue. Through the use of a public outreach program, on-going communication with MDOT SHA and Howard County, and performing traffic-critical activities during non-peak travel hours, impacts were minimized to the traveling public during construction while providing greater awareness of the construction schedule.


The DBT understood MDOT SHA’s desire to minimize impacts to private property and environmental resources. The MD 32 project passes through an area of diverse environmental resources. Minimization of impacts to and the protection of these resources was of paramount important to MDOT SHA and an incentive was established in the RFP for the reduction of impacts to environmental resources. The philosophy of the DBT throughout design and construction was to incorporate design refinements and stewardship measures to avoid and minimize impacts to wetlands, waterways, forests, cultural resources, and right-of-way to the greatest extent practical. The DBT continuously monitored and tracked impacts as the project

progressed.