Fifteen exceptional Caltrans project teams who have gone above and beyond what it takes to successfully deliver their highway projects through the fundamentals of Construction Partnering were recently honored during the Caltrans 22 nd Excellence in Partnering award ceremony. The Interstate-580 Rehabilitation/Roadway Improvement Project, with Partnering facilitated by Neal Flesner of VELO Group, was among the honorees and received a Gold Award with the Best-in-Class distinction.

“Every project is unique, and the challenges are complex. However, one commonality each of these winning teams possess—that additionally sets them apart from all others—is the exemplary collaborative teamwork to develop solutions with a “project first” attitude. Partnering was/is/will always be the way of doing business at Caltrans,” said Mrudang Shah, Caltrans Partnering Program Manager.

Built by DeSilva Gates Construction in partnership with Caltrans District 4, the I-580 Improvement project entailed construction to: replace slabs, resurface shoulder and ramps, modify curb ramps, construct metal beam guardrail (MBGR) and concrete barrier, and electrical and drainage work along the heavily traveled corridor. Located in Alameda County, Calif., I-580 runs through residential and urban communities, connecting the Tri-Valley and San Joaquin Valley Areas to Oakland, San Francisco, and the Greater Bay Area.

Impacting the project, COVID-19 emerged in March 2020 while the project underway. Rather than suspending the project, the team adjusted its schedule by re-sequencing work during low-traffic daytime hours instead of nighttime. To protect workers from contracting COVID, the team implemented additional safety training, sanitization procedures for labor and equipment, and the use of additional PPE at no additional expense to Caltrans. Resulting from this collaborative effort, the team enhanced worker as well as public safety, achieved a high quality of work with no rework required, and completed construction 27 days ahead of it 525-day schedule.

Some of the best practices in Partnering for this project included:

  • Kick-off workshop
  • 6 self-direct meetings
  • 3 professionally facilitated meetings
  • Meetings among field crews and inspectors for DGC, subcontractors, and Caltrans to review the plan of work and concerns were conducted prior to commencing major operations.
  • Communication between DGC and Caltrans multiple times a day to resolve issues in real-time
  • Bimonthly meetings between Caltrans and PG&E

Congratulations to all project team members for safely and efficiently improving the quality of this heavily traveled roadway, exhibiting excellence in Partnering and achieving this honor!

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