Infrastructure Matters: Building for Tomorrow

The seventh annual Infrastructure Week is underway as lawmakers mull options for a $2 trillion infrastructure deal. The issue of infrastructure resiliency is becoming increasingly important, as many areas of the country have been impacted by severe, devastating weather events in recent months. This year’s slogan for Infrastructure Week is “Build for Tomorrow,” a fitting motto as the construction industry faces decisions focusing on/works to increase focuses on climate change and resiliency factors.

In a recent interview we conducted with David Totman, Director of Asset Management at Innovyze, he urges everyone to take the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)’s “D+” grade for the national infrastructure seriously. “Some folks think the Infrastructure Report Card is a broken record—that it’s a bit Chicken Little. Let me assure you, it is not. The actual grade may vary here and there based on the availability of accurate data, but responding to the challenge of aging infrastructure is a community effort.”

Gordian is where the people who plan, build and maintain facilities and infrastructure find data-driven solutions, insights and expertise to make smarter decisions that save time and money. With clients in the Federal space as well as state and local government entities, our customer stories are full of successful projects that improve infrastructure throughout the nation’s communities. Here are some of the ways in which Gordian empowers our clients and partners to improve facilities and infrastructure throughout all phases of the building lifecycle.

Water, Water Everywhere

Clean water is essential to life. Therefore, the importance of properly managed water infrastructure cannot be overstated. Data is critical for local governments to plan, design, construct and maintain vital community assets. With geographic information systems (GIS) technology and applications like Cost Map, a web-based solution that integrates RSMeans data API from Gordian with the ArcGIS Platform from Esri, water utilities can quickly estimate the cost of repairs and implement solutions. David Totman is “really excited to see RSMeans data being delivered through an API. It’s perfect for integrating ‘real-time’ cost data into these prescriptive estimates.”

The 2018 Harry H. Mellon Award of Excellence in Job Order Contracting (JOC) was recently awarded to both East Bay Regional Park District (EBRPD) and local contractor Mark Scott Construction for the Las Trampas Water Tank Replacement project. Located in the Las Trampas Regional Wilderness, the Las Trampas Water Tank is the main water supply and fire suppression source for nearby properties and residential neighborhoods. The 60,000-gallon redwood tank was leaking, costing EBRPD money and posing a safety issue for the surrounding areas. JOC allowed EBRPD to replace the water tank, averting disaster and saving the water supply for the community.

Repairing Roads and Building Bridges

According to data sourced by Infrastructure Week, “44% of major roadways are in poor or mediocre condition, costing the average driver $533 each year in repairs.” Deferred maintenance continues to be an issue at the state and local level where shrinking budgets require an efficient procurement strategy. Many roads, highways and bridges built decades ago were designed to carry 10 times less traffic than what they currently endure and, as a result, constantly require emergency repairs.

Stringent regulations, tight budgets, plus the need for transparency and a fear of audits can make procuring construction work incredibly challenging for state and local governments. Gordian’s JOC solutions offer a fast, flexible and transparent way for public entities to buy construction services. This has helped communities across the nation pave potholes, repair roads and sidewalks, replace parking lots and renovate bridges through strategic planning and in emergency situations.

After a 200-year monsoon devastated the roadway, the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) quickly completed emergency repairs at seven sites along 24 miles of U.S. Route 89A with Gordian JOC. Because of the quick reaction speed, the $1.6 million project was completed in just six weeks.

Gordian repairs roads and bridges quickly with Job Order Contracting.

Bridge collapses have injured citizens and claimed lives in recent history. The average morning commuter isn’t even aware of the risk involved in crossing a bridge. According to a report from the American Road & Transportation Builders Association, there are more than 47,000 structurally deficient bridges in the United States with four out of 10 needing repairs or replacement.

Gordian has been there to help quickly repair bridges in times of emergency. In January of 2017, a major artery to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway was closed after a mobile car crusher crashed into a bridge, destroying four of 14 load-bearing girders. Needing to act fast to have the bridge re-opened by the weekend of the race, the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) turned to Gordian JOC to respond quickly to this emergency. The project was completed swiftly, and the road and bridge were reopened to the public in time for the Indianapolis 500 as well as the city’s other events surrounding the month of May.

Overhauling Airports

Another fascinating statistic from Infrastructure Week is that “U.S. airports have an estimated $100 billion in infrastructure investment need through 2021 to accommodate passenger and cargo growth.” Gordian’s JOC solutions have been utilized by airports to efficiently make these renovations while continuing to transport travelers to their desired destinations safely.

The Hillsborough County Aviation Authority was constructing a new Common Use Self-Service (CUSS) facility at Tampa International Airport. Schiff Construction provided and installed ticketing counters, baggage scale, stanchion lines, repacking tables, nine self-service kiosks and the power infrastructure the CUSS needed using ezIQC®, an alternative to traditional construction procurement. ezIQC allows public entities to buy construction services through cooperative purchasing networks at volume discounts, the same way they buy furniture and office supplies.

When the chiller at the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport needed repairs, decision makers acted fast to keep its customers comfortable. Armstrong International used JOC from Gordian to get a contractor on-site approximately two weeks from when the project was first identified.

The Community Impact

When cities and counties turn to Gordian to help expedite construction procurement and improve their infrastructure, they’re being the best stewards of their taxpayer dollars. With 1,400 miles of roads, 2 million square feet of buildings, 174 bridges and a system of parks, Monterey County found itself facing a mounting backlog of work. Monterey County was able to drastically reduce project timelines by 12-14 weeks and save $3.5 million in just one year, directly attributed to its JOC program.

The impact of the nation’s infrastructure goes far beyond that crack in your windshield or pothole-damage to your car tires. According to ASCE’s latest “Failure to Act” report, poor infrastructure has a significant financial effect on American households and the overall economy. Investments like the infrastructure package that is currently up for debate will stabilize the funding gap and avert the threats posed by the nation’s failing framework.

Find out more about Gordian Job Order Contracting.