Caltrans Sacramento River Bridge / Dunsmuir Gap CMGC

Mission Critical was pleased to work once again with Walsh-Myers, a Joint Venture (Walsh-Myers). Walsh-Myers represents a solid team comprised of two expert firms that are both individual clients of Mission Critical. The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) District 2 selected the Walsh-Myers JV as the Best Value proposer for this $130M Sacramento River Bridge Overhead Deck Replacement and Dunsmuir Gap CMGC. The Walsh-Myers team demonstrated their strengths in bridge replacement, roadway construction, and UPRR rail coordination throughout this two-stage Alternative Delivery procurement.

Background

The Sacramento River Bridge carries Interstate 5 over the Sacramento River and spans above Tauhindauli Park, Upper Soda Road, and a Union Pacific Railroad (UPRR) track. The original bridge was constructed in 1919 as a two-lane structure with sidewalks and the now-iconic concrete arches. In 1955, the bridge was expanded to accommodate four lanes of traffic by adding a nearly identical parallel structure that carries the additional two lanes.

The southbound lanes of Interstate 5 are currently asphalt and have required unusually high amounts of maintenance due to poor quality asphalt concrete and structural roadbed deficiencies. The roadway around the Sacramento River Bridge Overhead Deck was updated to a 40-year design life pavement, but the Dunsmuir Gap Roadway was left unreplaced in anticipation of the bridge replacement and approach tie-ins. The proposed scope for this CMGC project aims to replace the southbound bridge deck and railing and construct new conforming southbound freeway approaches. Approximately 850 feet of continuously reinforced concrete pavement (CRCP) will tie into the updated roadway and facilitate the completion of the 40-year design life pavement rehabilitation.

This civil infrastructure project is located in a challenging site with limited laydown and staging areas. It will also require significant coordination with UPRR rail representatives to mitigate potential delays to the project’s critical timetable. Caltrans District 2 procured this Alternative Delivery CMGC project to select a contractor that can deliver under these constraints and work around high water and winter weather conditions that limit the work season.

Technical Approach

This Caltrans CMGC project, located in Siskiyou County, California, drew a highly competitive selection of national, state, and local firms. Given the structures and roadway rehabilitation scope, this project was an excellent fit for the Walsh-Myers team.

Walsh brought a national portfolio of roadway and Alternative Delivery expertise as well as a strong California presence. Prior to this pursuit, Myers and Mission Critical had won six similar CMGC efforts across California and brought a strong local capacity. Although Walsh and Myers had not delivered a project as a unified team before, as a joint venture each brought a significant national and California experience in bridge replacement and roadway rehabilitation.

First, Mission Critical worked to discover, vet, and illustrate common capacities, systems, and experiences between the two companies. Through individual and group interviews, we discovered connections in experience, personnel, and approach that supported the benefit of the JV partnership.

Next, Mission Critical led intensive focus groups with the Walsh-Myers team to support group development of phasing alternatives for deck rehabilitation, MOT approaches for roadway work, collaboration with UPRR, environmental permitting acquisition, and work window planning. Late nights of team brainstorming yielded a strong set of ideas, innovations, and approaches.

Mission Critical then translated these into comprehensive technical narratives. Our work illustrated the strength of the team’s knowledge while consistently outlining the parity between experience and approach. The result was a strong Statement of Qualifications that clearly defined Walsh-Myers’ best-practice strategies, the tools and processes Walsh-Myers would use to achieve success, and the qualifications of the personnel that would be responsible for delivering an outstanding project with Caltrans District 2. In doing so, Mission Critical successfully illustrated to Caltrans why Walsh-Myers was more than just a qualified and capable contractor—we demonstrated their ability and experience as a CMGC partner.

On notice of shortlist, we began an intensive process of Interview Coaching including study lists, presentation materials and outlines, and delivery coaching. As this pursuit was unfolding amid the travel and social distancing restrictions set in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the official interview was conducted remotely through a virtual conferencing platform. This was a new system for the procurement process that no one on either team had used in this context, but our agility and long-standing use of these technologies allowed us to coach the entire geographically dispersed interviewing team through a virtual, non-video interview presentation and Q&A session.

Impact

One of the strengths of Mission Critical is the central role we play in managing the efforts of Joint Venture teams. For this Caltrans District 2 submittal, Mission Critical concisely validated common capacities, systems, and experiences between the two companies. We extended this effort to uncover connections in experience, personnel, and approach that supported the value of the JV partnership in meeting Caltrans’ goals for the project.

From a narrative perspective, this project highlighted three elements of successful technical writing which are strengths of the Mission Critical team. First, Mission Critical’s technical writing group successfully translated the JV team’s detailed knowledge of Caltrans’ preferences for CMGC into concise, scorable content. This highlighted their expertise in managing and optimizing the preconstruction services phase. Then, Mission Critical created detailed resumes through one-to-one interviews to generate original, project-specific content. Last, our team advanced technical details and approaches that provided unique value and innovation to the team’s approach for construction. The result was a strong win for Walsh-Myers on this $130M Caltrans District 2 CMGC pursuit.

“Knowing the competitive Caltrans CMGC market, the Walsh-Myers JV selected Mission Critical to capture our experience and strength and bring our technical innovations to reality. They then did a fantastic job in preparing our team to perform successfully in a new and challenging ‘audio only’ interview format to win this $130M District 2 project.”

David Cramer, Senior Project Manager, Walsh Construction

Key Information

Alternative Delivery Experts

Great pursuits and winning proposals require amazing ideas, the right people, and the grit to get the job done.

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