“Our partnering goal was July 1 2013. Contractually we had 220 working days. We probably used 165 days. That isn’t the whole story though. In 2011, we only worked 55 days, or so. Without partnering we probably would have worked 70 days this year. The result of the community outreach that started as a result of partnering also enabled us to work longer hours every day. At the end of the day, getting everyone together for eight hours, allowed this job to be completed in 2012 instead of mid year 2015 IF we had dry winters for the next three years.” Jeff Bean, Q&D Construction
This partnering efforts on this project were facilitated by Neal Flesner of Ventura Consulting Group.
Concerned about eroding profits and the nuisance of continued redeployment of men and equipment, Q&D Construction decided this summer to work around the clock to complete erosion-control work at Lake Tahoe. The general contracting firm last week wrapped up the bulk of its work four years ahead of schedule.
Q&D had three contracts for work on State Route 28 and Mount Rose Highway from the junction of State Route 28 to Tahoe Meadows. Due to snow and summer tourism, the company could only work from May 15 through June 30th and Sept. 1 through Oct. 15.
“This made for a five-season job on U.S. 28,” says Lance Semenko, president of Q&D’s general engineering department.
The projects, which centered on installation of storm drain improvements, water filtration vaults, curb and gutter and a roundabout at the junction of Mount Rose Highway and State Route 28, actually began in 2011.
However, heavy snows delayed progress, and Q&D became concerned about spreading its resources out over such a long period of time.
“It was not a great start,” says Project Manager Brian Graham. “Out of the gates we saw that it was going to be difficult to make any profit on the project at that kind of pace. We had planned on going up there for four or five seasons, but that doesn’t mean there is not a better way.”
Q&D mobilized two crews of 35 workmen for 100 working days and nights to complete the job four years ahead of schedule and reduce the disruption to Lake Tahoe residents and visitors. The costs of nighttime premium and overtime outweighed the costs of mobilizing and demobilizing its workforce over the next four construction seasons, Graham says. Finishing early helped build goodwill lost to frustrated motorists, as well as allows the company to dedicate more resources to other jobs.
“We had a lot of public outcry in 2011 about how much disruption there was and how little progress was made,” Graham says. “We spent the better part of this winter organizing and allocation resources so we could hit it hard as soon as the snow melted.
“Once we got rolling, we were lucky to have mild winter, and we started some work earlier than normal. With that and the success our crews had, we made much better progress than anticipated. About mid July we could see that if we maintained our level of effort a 2012 completion was very possible.”
The erosion improvement work was designed to filter sediment out of runoff water before it reaches Lake Tahoe in an effort to improve the lake’s clarity to 71 feet by 2016.
The three jobs totaled $13.3 million, says NDOT Spokesperson Scott Magruder.
Magruder says the biggest benefit of the early completion is the elimination of difficult seasonal commutes around the lake.
“For tourism and businesses it is huge,” he says. “Next year their won’t be any delays.”