Will County, IL Department of Highways Project Management
In 2008, the Will County Department of Highways (WCDH) created the Build Will Multi-Year Transportation Program. The initial Build Will program identified sixty (60) projects throughout the County in need of various levels and types of improvement. Prior to turning the first shovel of dirt or pouring the first yard of concrete, there are many tasks which need to be accomplished to move each project to be construction ready. Each individual project requires design; design review; agency and stakeholder coordination; permitting; right-of-way determination/acquisition; and preparation of bid/construction documents. At $350 million, this is the first program of its type and size in the County’s history.
To implement and manage a program of this magnitude and diversity, WCDH was faced with a decision regarding short-term staffing needs. One option was to hire the appropriate number of staff to match the ramp up in workload associated with the program. However once the program is completed, WCDH will face the inevitable dilemma of what to do with the excess staff once the projects are constructed and the immense improvement program is finished. This increased labor cost could lead to a lingering financial impact to the County. Another option for WCDH is to look to the private sector to handle the additional workloads associated with the Build Will program.
In 2009, HR Green, Inc. was hired to perform Project Management services as directed by the Will County Department of Highways (WCDH). The consultant team works side by side with staff from the County to manage the program providing numerous tasks including coordination of multiple project design consultants; project scheduling management; project design reviews; agency coordination efforts with numerous jurisdictional agencies including Illinois Department of Transportation and US Army Corp of Engineers; and miscellaneous design tasks as appointed by the County Engineer. The Build Will Program is still active today and by all measures it has been a success. Since the program’s inception, Will County has designed, permitted, bid and constructed roadway improvement projects with an estimated combined total value of over $350 million. In 2013, Will County’s Public Works and Transportation Committee unanimously accepted HR Green’s contract renewal with the Will County Department of Highways (WCDH) at slightly for another 12 months.
Benefits to the County:
- Access to the right technical expertise at the required time.
- Scalable staffing levels to match the varied workload levels
- Agency and consultant coordination expertise
- Team members dedicated to champion each project on behalf of WCDH
- Scalable database developed to help track and manage multiple projects
Bruce Gould, PE, County Engineer for WCDH, states that, “The Build Will program was a great opportunity that has become a tremendous success. We knew that this unique program would require a new delivery approach given its magnitude and complexity. Program management was our chosen approach and it has proven to be very effective in delivering on this $350 million program.”
Work assigned to the Program Management consultant includes:
- Plan review of project submittals prepared by others to make sure work is completed in accordance with Will County, IDOT and Federal Standards.
- Management and monitoring of progress of design consultant project submittals.
- Review of design documents including: Engineering Contract Plans, Engineer’s Cost Estimates, Estimates of Time, MFT Scoping Checklists, Specifications and Special Provisions.
- Management and coordination with Federal, State and Local Agencies, utilities, design consultants and others.
- Coordination with property owners.
- Management and tracking of:
- Project costs
- Design standards
- Coordination and management of FAU and MFT submittals with IDOT.
- Assist in developing and standardizing WCDH policies and procedures.