The announcement was made at ARTBA's 35th annual P3s In Transportation conference, held at the Grand Hyatt hotel in Washington, D.C. The Innovation of the Year award recognizes projects and organizations which demonstrate outstanding achievement in establishing, delivering, and operating P3 transportation projects in the United States.
The $3.7-billion multi-modal Transform 66 mega-project — among the largest P3 infrastructure projects in the U.S. this century — won the competitive annual award for its innovative methods throughout the procurement and construction phases. Construction of the Transform 66 project is slated to be fully complete by the end of the summer of 2023.
"It's a pleasure to accept this prestigious award on behalf of the entire Transform 66 Outside the Beltway project team, including VDOT and FAM Construction," said Nancy H. Smith, Director of Corporate Affairs for EMP, a consortium of infrastructure companies Cintra, Meridiam, and APG. "We believe there are tremendous value propositions in the P3 partnership between EMP and VDOT, and we thank ARTBA for recognizing that value."
In 2016, I-66 EMP was selected from a competitive bid to enter into a 50-year P3 partnership with VDOT to design, build, and fund the entire Transform 66 Outside the Beltway project. That project entails 12 rebuilt interchanges, two new park-and-ride lots, the 66 Parallel Trail and connected shared-use paths, additional transportation infrastructure improvements, and the design, building, funding, operation, and maintenance of the 22.5-mile 66 Express Outside the Beltway managed-toll facility.
“We are honored to be recognized, along with our partners, by the American Road and Transportation Builders Association as the P3 Project of the Year for Innovation,” said VDOT Northern Virginia Megaprojects Director Susan Shaw. “Together, we successfully delivered one of the nation’s largest transportation improvement projects, opening 22.5 miles of new express lanes ahead of schedule and completely transforming I-66 into an expanded, multimodal highway facility that moves more people, with faster and more reliable travel options. Innovative approaches were used in the procurement, design, and construction of this monumental effort, resulting in transportation solutions that will benefit I-66 travelers for generations to come.”
Among the engineering innovations leveraged in the Transform 66 Outside the Beltway project:
- Self-propelled modular transporter systems to rotate straddle bents in multiple pieces, not just a single bent piece
- Advanced Lidar technology developed by Ferrovial Construction, a partner with design-build contractor FAM Construction, for large-scale geotechnical monitoring in near-real-time
- The rubblization of more than one million square yards of concrete pavement — one of the largest rubblization projects ever in the U.S. — reducing the project's carbon footprint by reusing rubblized concrete
Luis Vazquez, CEO of I-66 EMP, noted the benefits of the strong partnership between VDOT, developer/operator I-66 EMP, and design-build contractor FAM, a joint venture of Ferrovial Construction and Allan Myers VA.
"A mega-project the size of the Transform 66 Outside the Beltway project requires constant cross-channel coordination among the various partners," Vazquez said. "I-66 EMP would like to thank all our partners, including VDOT and FAM Construction and more than 400 local and regional subcontractors and suppliers, for their hard work and dedication which has led to this Innovation of the Year award. This award demonstrates how public-private partnerships make good business sense.”