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The Caltrans Excellence in Partnering Awards recognize project teams who use Partnering and its best practices to facilitate successful project implementation. In 2013, the 23 award-winning projects demonstrate the benefits of partnering to  Caltrans, its partners and the public – project statistics show that overwhelmingly, the projects finished safely, on time and within budget.

These 23 award winning projects had a combined contract value of $840 Million and saved almost $10 Million as a result of their partnering efforts.  In addition, the total working days for these 23 projects were 10,403 with a savings of 569 working days, cutting over 5% off of the total schedule for all 23 projects.  All three of the projects listed below were facilitated by Jim Eisenhart of Ventura Consulting Group.


The project construced two new lanes, one northbound, one southbound, with both lanes functioning as HOV lanes; construct new, wider on and off ramps; build a new overpass; and build a new, straight underpass linking Wilfred Avenue to Golf Course Road. The new HOV lanes will link to existing HOV lanes to the north, and to-be-constructed HOV lanes in the south. 

In addition to relieving congestion, the project will resolve the long-standing problem of traveling from one side of Rohnert Park to the other. Currently, the east and west sides are linked in this area by Commerce Boulevard, a rather long, circuitous route under the highway. When completed, eastern and western Rohnert Park will be joined by a short, straight, wide road that runs beneath the highway.

The project stretches along U.S. 101 from Rohnert Park Expressway in the south to Redwood Road in the north, a distance of 1.6 miles.


Flatiron is the managing partner of a joint venture team reconstructing the Interstate 880/State Route 92 interchange approximately 15 miles south of Oakland in Hayward, Calif. After nearly ten years of complex design, Caltrans awarded the $138 million contract for the project to the joint venture team of Flatiron and Granite Construction. The interchange is one of the Bay Area’s busiest junctions. Approximately 235,000 vehicles pass through the intersection each day. Reconstruction was necessary to relieve congestion, provide additional traffic capacity, eliminate merging- and weaving-related accidents, and improve traffic safety and operations.

The project began in October 2007 and was completed in November 2011. The project replaces the previous at-grade four quadrant cloverleaf interchange with multi-lane fully directional flyover ramps from SR 92 eastbound to I-880 northbound and SR 92 westbound to I-880 southbound. Crews constructed 30 temporary roadways, a $2 million pump station, seven new bridges and 11 retaining walls. The project used 75,000 tons of asphalt concrete, 30,000 cubic meters of structural concrete and 3.35 million kg of rebar. Crews demolished three bridges, drove 1,120 piles and drilled 775 piles. The contract included replacing two pedestrian overcrossing bridges. One unique aspect was that the project team rebuilt the original separation structure that carries SR 92 traffic through the interchange at a higher elevation and in stages, to allow continuous traffic flow through the interchange during construction. Crews used creative solutions to keep traffic flowing; the contract only allowed four-hour closures. There were more than 50 traffic switches on this project. Flatiron, the managing partner of the line-item joint venture, constructed the project’s structures, foundations, retaining walls and electrical work. JV partner Granite Construction was in charge of the roadways, wick drains, ground modifications, paving, grading, striping, signage, underground work and detours.


The long awaited Novato Narrows Highway 101 HOV/Bridge Widening project has recently been awarded to Ghilotti Bros., Inc. /RM Harris JV. The $25.18 million dollar contract is just another of many projects Ghilotti Bros., Inc. (GBI) will have worked in collaboration with Caltrans. This is the 41st contract to be awarded to GBI by Caltrans since 2006. The project consists of adding and constructing two HOV Lanes, one along the northbound and one along the southbound lanes of 101 from Hwy 37 to Atherton Ave. in Novato, CA., the widening of three bridges; the Novato Creek Bridge, Franklin Avenue Overhead Bridge and Olive Avenue Bridge, placement of 55,000 tons of base rock, 18,000 cy of lean concrete base and 52,000 tons of asphalt concrete pavement, construction of sound walls and retaining walls, misc. drainage and drainage structures, structural section repairs to on-ramps and off-ramps from Hwy 37 to Atherton Ave., asphalt concrete overlay of existing freeway on both north and southbound lanes from Hwy 37 to Atherton Ave., traffic meters at ramps, signage and striping. It is estimated that once the work is completed, drivers will see 1,200 fewer hours of delay daily on the freeways including relief for delayed drivers, several whom live in Novato and surrounding areas.

While GBI is recognized as an industry leader in partnering, this will be another project partnered by GBI and Caltrans to ensure the project success. At GBI Partnering is a way of life. Our teams approach to all projects in the spirit of cooperation with open and honest communication. We utilize formal partnering with internal and external stakeholders to establish mutual project specific goals to create high performing teams. Partnering provides a collaborative approach to identify, mitigate and address potential issues, as well as establish and maintain communication among the parties through the completion of a project.

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