WASHINGTON - The phrase "design-build" is common in the remodeling world. It's when the same contractor designs a home and then builds it.
Some Virginia transportation projects are using the same formula.
Virginia now has five projects that will be done next year using the design-build concept, including a $33.8 million project to improve traffic management on Interstate 66 from D.C. to Gainesville and an $80 million High Occupancy Vehicle ramp on Interstate 395 at Seminary Road in 2012.
"You can start constructing the project before the final design is done. As you finish portions of the design, you can move things a little quicker," says Virginia Department of Transportation Chief Engineer Malcolm Kerley.
By using the design-build method, Kerley says projects can be done cheaper and faster, shortening the life of each project by a year or two. Kerley, though, is unable to say how much money might be saved.
The HOV ramp on I-395 is critical because of the Defense Base Closure and Realignment plan that relocated more than 6,000 Pentagon employees to the Mark Center in Alexandria.
(Copyright 2011 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)