The Group 3 Piping Project was procured by the Tumalo Irrigation District (TID) under a Best Value model, incorporating separately scored Technical and Cost Proposals.
The scope includes the replacement of the existing open feed canal with a closed pipe system to mitigate water loss during irrigation. The canal system is located in Deschutes County, northwest of Bend, Oregon, and is the District’s only diversion point along Tumalo Creek.
This project is part of a more extensive collaboration between TID, the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, the Deschutes Basin Board of Control, and the Farmers Conservation Alliance. The project’s goals include reducing water loss through evaporation, increasing irrigation delivery efficiency, and improving public safety as exposed canals are moved underground. The recapture of water currently lost to evaporation has the added effect of increasing arterial stream reservoirs and habitats for threatened and endangered fish species.
As the Best Value proposer, Taylor Northwest (TNW) will execute the project scope, including the installation of 2,200 linear feet of concrete reinforced pipe, nearly 3.5 miles of HDPE solid-wall pipe ranging from 8 to 36 inches in diameter, selective demolition, tree removal, trenching, earthwork, backfill, compaction, natural landscape restoration, and riparian restoration.
As a firm, Taylor Northwest has a breadth of experience in the Central Oregon region, especially with large diameter underground piping and irrigation projects of similar size and scope. Many of the proposed project team members had previous collaborative experience, including the City of Bend Southeast Interceptor (SEI) projects. However, the proposed Project Manager was new to the firm and did not share the same experiences with other members of the TNW team. Mission Critical first focused on identifying and developing core experiences and joint competencies to overcome this potential deficit. Our writing group then interviewed each TNW team member both individually and in small groups. Lastly, we used the results of these efforts to create detailed narratives focused on the components of successful experience rather than attempting to emphasize cross-collaborative experience across team members.
Framing approaches, innovations, and best practices relative to public benefit was another key strategy developed by our team. Mission Critical collaborated with TNW to advance and develop a clear understanding of the project from the viewpoint of corridor stakeholders. Many of these stakeholders were vocal and ardent opponents of the proposed project.
The strict limits to overall page and section size required the writing team to optimize the written content and precisely plan for graphic allocations. Mission Critical’s project coordination team first created a page-by-page wireframe to identify each area of written, visual, and illustrative content. Next, our writing group identified key areas to successfully translate ideas, innovations, and unique concepts into concise graphics.
This collaboration between our writing and design groups yielded multiple opportunities to visually illustrate the benefits and reduced impacts of TNW’s approach to the project. The added betterments included benefits to public stakeholders as well as individual land and homeowners. Again, precise detail was critical to this success. In one instance, Mission Critical’s team developed an enhanced model to illustrate TNW’s approach to preserving the mature trees adjacent to three residential properties. Using technologies including Google Earth, Bluebeam, and AutoCAD Civil 3D, our team accurately rendered distances, identified critical ROW, and developed site-specific illustrations to identify critical root protection zones under the canopy drip line.
Clients often approach Best Value procurements with the mindset that the “lowest price always wins.” While this may be true in some instances, the ability of a strong Statement of Qualifications or Technical Proposal to overcome a higher price proposal is proven. For the TID Group 3 Piping Project, TNW was able to offset a slightly higher price proposal with a stronger allocation of points from the Technical Proposal to secure this important Central Oregon Best Value win.