“The ability to quickly and smoothly resolve challenges, while finding ways to reduce costs without sacrificing quality, is a sign of a great partnership.”

– Richard Duncan, Caltrans District 4

Partnering Results

  • Completed on-schedule.
  • OSHA recordable safety incident rate of 0.033
  • Aligned the design and construction team through the development of a partnering charter, partnering workshops, weekly meetings and team building activities.
  • Resolved various challenges and mitigated claims by developing a Dispute Resolution Ladder.
  • Enhanced communication among various project stakeholders with extensive public outreach by Caltrans, Sonoma County Transportation Authority and the JV, as well as coordination with local authorities for detours related to complicated freeway closures. This resulted in a well-informed public with very few complaints.

Project Description

Built to relieve traffic congestion north of San Francisco, the Highway 101 Petaluma River Bridge project included construction of a new 907-foot-long, six- lane bridge, which replaces a four-lane bridge built in 1955. In addition to the bridge replacement, this project involved construction of the Kastania Road Overcrossing, four new ramps, two frontage roads, seven retaining walls, and the overall raising of the highway for site-distance improvements.

A major challenge faced by the project team, was conforming and restaging this contract with an adjacent project. Working in close partnership with one another, the two teams devised creative engineering and scheduling solutions that allowed both projects to proceed logically and eliminated the need for the development of certain temporary facilities.

Further challenges requiring strong collaboration between Caltrans and the JV team emerged upon start of the project’s second retaining wall. Issues ranged from unsuitable soil to conflicts with third party utilities. To mitigate potential delays, the team developed a clever detour, which removed the wall from the critical path and allowed for a major embankment operation to proceed in the new median. The implementation of a Dispute Resolution Ladder enabled the project to proceed on normal terms without any distractions from the potential claim.

Project Details

907 foot long, six lane bridge
$78.6 million
660-day schedule

Project Team

California Department of Transportation (Caltrans)

Sonoma County Transportation Authority

General Contractor:
Ghilotti Brothers – CC Myers JV


Caltrans 2018 Excellence in Partnering Award – Best In Class Award For Projects Greater Than $50M