Design-Build HDD Project Offers Assurance To Owner

By Stephen Tait | November 2010, Vol. 65 No. 11

Susan Hines of the Design-Build Institute of America says utilizing design-bid-build can create contention between the engineer or designer of a project and the company that constructs the project because of concerns of liability and litigation. For instance, Hines said when the construction company finds changes need to be made to designs during construction, it takes paper work and dialogue for the changes to be approved and implemented.

“It slows things down a lot,” she pointed out.

In the end, design-build projects help to improve two important aspects of any project: money and time.

Design build projects generally cost at least 6 percent less than design-bid-build projects and are constructed about 12 percent faster, according to the Design-Build Institute of America. At the same time, the institute reports that design-build projects earned the highest owner satisfaction than other project concepts.

“One of the main advantages of design build is the fact that everyone on the design and construction job is on the same side,” Hines said. “They are all sharing in the risks and the rewards of a job well done.”

She added: “Owners save money, they save time.”

Mears drilled the feasibility pilot hole for the project in November 2009. Product pipe was pulled in April 2010.

Mike Maxwell, Mears’ project superintendent, said the crew drilled from both sides of the St. Johns River and intersected the two holes under the river -- a waterway lined with stately homes and used mostly for recreational purposes.

A 330,000-pound rig was used for the pilot hole on one side of the river and a 140,000-pound rig was used to drill from the opposite side.

Mears utilized its 500,000-pound rig to perform the reaming and to pull the product pipe through the hole, Maxwell said. Crews reamed the bore to 24-inch diameter and then swabbed the hole before pulling the product pipe. The bore path went through sandy silt before making it to clay for the drill’s running depth.

“It was fairly easy going; we were able to use a jetting bit all the way through,” Maxwell said. “The length of the drill combined with the unique aspects of the job, made it a satisfying accomplishment.”

Mears Group, (800) 632-7727,

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