The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) signed a contract today with 6/10 Constructors, a design-build team composed of companies with deep Rhode Island and New England roots. The contract will rebuild the 6-10 Interchange in Providence, a $410 million project that has been on the drawing board for 30 years as its network of bridges fell into a state of structural deficiency. A project commencement ceremony has been scheduled for January 8, 2018.

The contract with 6/10 Constructors – which includes Barletta Heavy Division, O&G Industries, DW White Construction, and Aetna Bridge Company – was awarded based on the high score of their technical and financial proposals. Bidding teams were given base technical criteria to meet but were allowed to satisfy these goals with their own unique solutions.

The result of this approach is a more innovative and cost-effective approach for rebuilding the 6-10 Interchange. The 6/10 Constructors had both the highest scoring technical proposal and the lowest bid price with a construction cost estimate of $248 million. It is the largest single contract awarded by RIDOT.

«Our RhodeWorks initiative is putting Rhode Islanders to work fixing our roads and bridges. Since 2015, we’ve created thousands of construction jobs across the state, which means Rhode Island tradesmen and women are back on the job,» said Governor Gina M. Raimondo. «Fixing the bridges on the 6-10 Interchange and improving the traffic pattern will ensure that Rhode Island drivers are safe and will add to our quality of life. I look forward to hosting a project commencement ceremony early next year.»

«Governor Raimondo tasked RIDOT with fixing our roads and bridges. The 6-10 Interchange was near the top of that list,» RIDOT Director Peter Alviti said. «We made a promise to fix it and make it safe, and that’s exactly what we’re doing now. Seven of the nine bridges on the interchange are structurally deficient. They are about to get fixed. The design also will solve historic congestion problems in the interchange. We are getting an excellent product with a top rate design for less money. This is truly a win-win for Rhode Island.»

RIDOT specified a design-build contract to save time as it allows construction and design to proceed simultaneously. Because the designer and the contractor are part of one team, the risk of cost overruns is reduced. In addition, this approach historically leads to fewer change orders and design errors that would affect the cost of the job.

The winning team produced a proposal that will reduce the impact on traffic by rerouting and phasing the traffic throughout the project to ease the impact of construction on streets and neighborhoods. It includes innovative accelerated bridge construction methods similar to those used for recent «over the weekend» bridge replacements RIDOT has done. The design also provides permanent solutions to traffic and congestion that exist now.

The 6/10 Constructors plan reduces the size of the infrastructure overall with a significant reduction in bridge deck area. This makes the project easier to build and less expensive to maintain in the future.

RIDOT also has received proprietary rights to the proposal of the team that did not win the bid. In this way, RIDOT and 6/10 Constructors can, if they choose, use additional cost savings methods or design ideas.

Approximately 20 percent of the design has been completed. RIDOT expects the design to be ready in one year, and during that time RIDOT, working with the Federal Highway Administration, will conduct the National Environmental Policy Act process for this project. Following this work, construction is expected to start. The project is scheduled for completion in Fall of 2023.

Seven of the interchange’s nine bridges are classified as structurally deficient. This past year alone RIDOT has spent $5 million on temporary repairs to keep these vital transportation corridors safe and open for all traffic. This construction project will provide a permanent fix with a design life of 75 years.