Caltrans VEN-001 Slope Restoration CMGC

Myers-Condon Johnson, a Joint Venture (Myers-Condon Johnson) was a finalist for this California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) District 7 Slope Restoration CMGC. This two-stage alternative delivery procurement included a Statement of Qualifications and an Interview that was held virtually due to COVID-19 health and safety restrictions. The project constructs two secant pile retaining walls and performs permanent restoration for damaged slopes at two separate sites along the Pacific Coast Highway (Highway 1), totaling approximately 800 linear feet.


This section of Highway 1 in Ventura County has suffered erosion and materials slides due to high surf and inclement weather events at this location. This section of highway has undergone multiple maintenance and repair projects to correct similar damages over recent years. Caltrans District 7 proposes to construct two secant pile retaining walls and to perform more permanent slope restoration to the damaged slopes.

Caltrans has been an early adopter of alternative delivery and CMGC methods. In the case of this slope restoration, Caltrans utilizes two-stage procurement to identify a Construction Manager/General Contractor partner that can effectively and efficiently design and perform the work, develop innovations or value engineering options, and complete the full scope within District 7’s preferred schedule. Scope includes the secant pile retaining walls, slope restoration, maintenance of traffic, and utilities relocations and coordination. Additional scope included:

  1. Coordination with the County of Ventura Planning Division, California Coastal Commission, California Department of Parks and Recreation, Southern California Edison, local businesses and property owners
  2. Compliance with necessary environmental permits and authorizations, including noise permits from local agencies, including the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit, etc.

Technical Approach

In response to Caltrans District 7’s Request for Qualifications for the Slope Restoration CMGC, the Joint Venture between Myers-Condon Johnson began preparations early, with Mission Critical as the team’s Proposal Manager and Interview Coach for the two-stage procurement. These two firms had never partnered as a JV before, but Myers’ heavy civil highway experience and Condon Johnson’s CIDH pile-driving and secant wall expertise paired to make a strong proposing team for this particular project. Joining Myers-Condon Johnson on the pursuit were Dokken Engineering (Environmental) and Brierley Associates, Inc. as secant wall subject matter specialists.

Mission Critical ensured that the experience of these highly qualified teams was accurately represented in the proposal, emphasizing their capability in the most challenging aspects of the project scope and their ability to work with Caltrans as a CMGC partner.

We also illustrated the Myers-Condon Johnson team’s preconstruction and construction approaches, communicating to the selection committee how the team would achieve and exceed Caltrans’ project goals while protecting the schedule and budget. The proposed project is adjacent to Sycamore Cove Beach and construction staging is proposed at the beach on the portion adjacent to the roadway. An important component to the team’s narrative focused on our mitigation strategy for adjacent property owners and the inclusion of the California Department of Parks and Recreation into the preconstruction phase discussion.

A key challenge was to clearly communicate more complex aspects of the team’s approach to this highly technical project. In one instance, coastal boundary limits and existing geological formations required the team to establish staging areas for construction and management of traffic strictly with Caltrans ROW. The northbound shoulder was designated as the travel-through lane. Moving traffic lanes laterally toward the adjacent mountain face required a cable net mesh placed on the rockface to provide rockfall protection.

To provide clarity within the document while meeting strict page limitations, Mission Critical’s design group created a set of large, technical graphics based on existing site visit photos and our knowledge of the project corridor

After shortlist notification, the teams quickly went to work on preparations for the procurement’s interview stage. Due to social distancing to fight the spread of COVID-19, Caltrans opted for virtual interviews-presenting a unique set of problems to be overcome for the Myers-Condon Johnson JV. We prepared the team through mock interviews and Q&A sessions, study materials, delivery coaching and technology preparation and we provided presentation materials for the interview itself.


Myers-Condon Johnson’s team was ranked as the second finalist for this pursuit. The role of the Mission Critical team as Pursuit Managers was crucial in three ways:

  1. Identifying, vetting, and illustrating common systems, means and methods, as well as the experiences between two JV partners without traditional project experience in common;
  2. Strongly translating non-CMGC expertise of team members into relevant, scorable content highlighting the commonality between the firm and personnel collaborative success, and the ability to meet Caltrans District 7 goals for the project; and
  3. Translating the Myers-Condon Johnson team’s ideas and subject matter competency into technically accurate narratives and illustrations that guided and allowed reviewers to easily access, understand, and score the viability of the team’s approach.

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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