Fort Lauderdale Wraps Up WaterWorks 2011

A $690-million citywide program management initiative to overhaul Fort Lauderdale’s water, wastewater, and sewer infrastructure is reaching completion, according to a press release from CH2M HILL.

Originally scheduled for significant completion in 2011—in time for the city’s 100-year anniversary—the program team is now expected to fully deliver its commitments and to begin transitioning out of the program one year ahead of schedule.

The city has an intricate network of canals, miles of golden beaches, and some of the world’s most recognized coral reef systems. WaterWorks 2011 will help to safeguard its tourism industry, protect the public’s health and safety, enhance the quality of life for residents and businesses, and ensure a sustainable future for its community. When WaterWorks 2011 was established in 2001, the program team committed to the following missions:

  • Provide modern wastewater service to all customers;
  • Improve the quality and reliability of drinking water for all customers to maximize the benefits to the community;
  • Optimize use of financial resources and assure financial viability of the program;
  • Leave capabilities in place to sustain continued development of the infrastructure; and
  • Communicate effectively with stakeholders and implement practical ways to help the community cope with construction impacts.

The program team has achieved these goals by utilizing innovative program delivery approaches to utility infrastructure, financial management, community involvement, local small business outreach, and team integration, which included skills transfer through staff co-location. Overall program management services totaled $59.8 million, or 8.6 percent of the $690-million program. Aggressive cost saving and containment strategies have generated a 150 percent return on the city’s program management investment, with savings to date exceeding $92.5 million — or 13 percent of WaterWorks 2011’s total program cost, according to CH2M HILL. This savings was achieved in spite of a nearly 30 percent increase in the cost of construction materials during peak construction, an energy shortage that doubled fuel prices, multiple hurricanes between 2004 and 2008 that critically drained local resources, and the worldwide economic downturn that brought many large infrastructure programs to a halt.

To help spur economic development, the program team implemented a contractor outreach program to maximize local business participation. Almost 40 percent of the cost for program management services was paid to local subconsultants, and more than 180 local firms worked on the program, ensuring program spending stayed in the community. Strong contractor management and prequalification strategies minimized disruption to residents, improved schedule performance, and reduced the overall cost of delays.

The integrated delivery team of CH2M HILL and the City of Fort Lauderdale showcases what a highly effective public-private partnership can achieve. Key subconsultants include Milian Swain & Associates, Inc.; Keith & Associates, Inc.; Dickey Consulting Services, Inc.; and Emerge Consulting, Inc.

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