• A plethora of benefits for the City -- ahead of schedule
DENVER, CO, Jan. 25, 2009 -- CH2M HILL, a global full-service engineering, procurement, construction, and operations firm, is pleased to announce that, in partnership with the City of Fort Lauderdale, WaterWorks 2011 -- a massive $690-million citywide program management initiative to overhaul Fort Lauderdale's water, wastewater, and sewer infrastructure -- is reaching completion. Originally scheduled for significant completion in 2011 -- in time for the City's 100-year anniversary -- the CH2M HILL program team is now expected to fully deliver its commitments and to begin transitioning out of the program one year ahead of schedule, yielding numerous benefits for the City.
Known as the "Venice of America," the City of Fort Lauderdale boasts 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 valuable 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
• 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% of the $690-million program. Aggressive cost saving and containment strategies have generated a 150% return on the City's program management investment, with savings to date exceeding $92.5 million -- or 13% of WaterWorks 2011's total program cost. This savings was achieved in spite of some of the most daunting challenges the City has confronted in the past 50 years -- most notably a nearly 30% 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% 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.
A focus on enhancing the City's quality of life by giving back to the community has also been an important part of the program's success. The team fully immersed itself into the Fort Lauderdale community, and served as volunteers to support hundreds of community activities that promoted business patronage in construction zones and educated residents about construction impacts. Additionally, the program team's fund-raising efforts included raising money for Haitian hurricane and earthquake relief efforts, fund raising for the homeless, donating school supplies to local elementary schools, Thanksgiving food baskets to families in need, and support to a variety of community organizations. Since 2003, the team has partnered with Stranahan High School's Pre-Engineering Magnet Program to organize construction bid competitions and engineering exercises to help students gain real-world engineering experience.
The integrated delivery team of CH2M HILL and the City of Fort Lauderdale showcases what a highly effective public-private partnership can really achieve. Key subconsultants include Milian Swain & Associates Inc.; Keith & Associates Inc.; Dickey Consulting Services Inc.; and Emerge Consulting Inc.
About CH2M HILL
Headquartered near Denver, Colo, employee-owned CH2M HILL is a global leader in engineering, procurement, construction, management and operations for government, civil, industrial and energy clients. With $6.4 billion in revenue and more than 25,000 employees, CH2M HILL is an industry-leading program management, construction management and design firm, as ranked by Engineering News-Record (2009). The firm's work is concentrated in the areas of energy, water, transportation, environmental, nuclear and industrial facilities. The firm has long been recognized as a most-admired company and leading employer, including being named by FORTUNE as one of the 100 Best Companies to Work For (2009). Visit www.ch2mhill.com.