- Company: Goodwin Brothers Construction Company
- Industry: Water/Wastewater
- Location: LIberty, Missouri
- Expected Completion Date: March 31, 2017
The City of Liberty had outsourced treatment to a neighboring community for decades. Facing near-term rate increases, uncertain future rates and potential treatment capacity issues, Liberty began studying alternatives, and identified that building their own facilities and discontinuing outsourcing of treatment would save the City $27 million in treatment costs over a 30-year period. From there, Liberty worked with consultants to determine the scope, budget and user rates required for such an undertaking. The City estimated that it would take $95 million to construct the facilities, but user rates would be reduced and predicted to level out within 5 years. With this information, in August 2013 the Citizens of Liberty voted overwhelmingly 91% in favor of the project.
To maintain promised user rates, the new facilities had to be completed and operational by first quarter 2017. In February of 2014, request for qualifications were issued. Three teams were shortlisted in April 2014. Following review of conceptual designs, proposals and interviews the team of Goodwin Brothers and CMT was selected in September 2014. Construction of the new 7 MGD plant, two 10 MGD pump stations, 18,000 feet of force main, 6,000 feet of collector roadway, administration and maintenance facilities were completed by December 2016. Treatment operations began on January 3, 2017 just after the Christmas holidays.
What impact does this project have on America?
This project is one of the first wastewater plants in Missouri utilizing Design-Build delivery, and the first Design-Build in Missouri to utilize State Revolving Funds (SRF). SRF financing will save the City over $40 million in interest on this $74 million project when compared with conventional financing. With Design-Build legislation enacted last summer the Liberty project paves the way for municipalities throughout Missouri to maximize their dollars utilizing the cost and schedule saving efficiencies of Design-Build with low-interest SRF financing. This new facility diverts flows from undersized and outdated treatment plant and pump station ensuring that sewage is fully treated before entering Missouri, Mississippi Rivers and ultimately the Gulf of Mexico. So, this project essentially impacts millions in downstream communities that rely on quality water.
What interesting obstacles or unusual circumstances did you overcome to complete the project?
This project was unique in the fact that the Design Builder was responsible for property acquisition, easements, ROW, utilities and permitting. Liberty did make city-owned property available, but these sites were located in the flood plain with challenging subsurface conditions. As a result, we acquired 26 acres for the Administration, Maintenance and Treatment facilities in exchange for extending public roadway, water, power and fiber infrastructure to our site. All were required for the facility and were very valuable for future development. Instead of spending millions to improve subsurface conditions in a flood plain site, we used those millions to extend infrastructure. This will speed development of hundreds of acres resulting in more users and a greater tax base.
What dangers and risks did you encounter, and describe any extraordinary methods used to keep workers safe?
With the wide ranging scope of this project we encountered potential falls from a several hundred foot tall water tower to confined space within a 420′ long mixed face bore excavated by hand. In the case of the hand tunneling, we provided emergency breathers, air monitors and retrieval lines to all working within the casing. We met with the local fire department and paramedics to ensure proper equipment and training in the event of a rescue situation. This area of work was completed without incident or even a near miss.
How did you leverage new technologies to work faster and reduce waste?
This project fully utilized Building Information Modelling (BIM) from day one of the design. Being a Design Build project, Goodwin Brothers, as well as, Mechanical, Electrical and I & C participated daily in a design assist role. The use of BIM allowed in depth constructability and budget analysis of the project. With the model created we were able to transfer this to the field for automated layout and machine control, which translated in safer, faster and cheaper construction.