An Integrated Approach to the Intercounty Connector

Dewberry recently completed one of its largest projects in history—Contract C of the Intercounty Connector (ICC) in Maryland. Contract C is one of four design-build contracts advertised by the Maryland State Highway Administration to construct this east-west highway that will ultimately span nearly 19 miles across Montgomery County and Prince George’s County. After more than 50 years of study and planning, the first phases of the multi-modal highway are now open, serving residents, commuters, and businesses with state-of-the-art, cost-effective transportation infrastructure.

Contract C was the largest design-build project in our firm’s history, and the largest transportation project we’ve completed in Maryland. Dewberry led the design for this contract, which included 3.8 miles of new six-lane roadway from Route 29 to I-95, with two three-level interchanges, 20 new bridges, ten retaining walls, nine major culvert crossings, 15 stormwater management facilities, toll collection facilities, more than two miles of sound barriers, and more than two million yards of earthwork.

Working Together Like a Well-Oiled Machine

Our team of engineers and inspectors was based in the ICC’s hub office in Beltsville, supported by additional Dewberry engineers and designers in our Fairfax, Baltimore, Lanham, and Gaithersburg offices. We worked side by side with a team of outstanding consultants, including professionals from Whitney, Bailey, Cox & Magnani; Johnson, Mirmiran & Thompson; MACTEC; Hillis-Carnes Engineering Associates; Skelly & Loy; and So-Deep. With so much work going on simultaneously, we had as many as 200 designers working at the same time—sometimes around the clock. On the construction side, our team included Shirley Contracting Company, Clark Construction Company, Atkinson Construction, Facchina Construction Company, and Trumbull Corporation.

It was an exceptional team—dedicated and well qualified—but the sheer number of professionals and disciplines involved, together with the scope and complexity of this milestone project, required a diligent and highly detailed management plan. The Maryland State Highway Administration (SHA) did an excellent job of managing multiple design-build contracts. We worked hard to do our part by keeping Contract C on track—meeting the schedule and finding numerous ways to cut costs with innovative and time-saving approaches. Weekly coordination meetings with the design team, followed by meetings with the ICC team, kept the project running smoothly; along with the many discipline-specific meetings and reviews led by some of the best experts in their fields.

Always Looking for Innovative Opportunities

For me, the stand-out aspect of this project is that in spite of the size and complexity of the work and the tight schedule, we remained focused on opportunities to innovate and be creative. The commitment to bringing the very best of our technical skills to the job started early, when, before our contract was even finalized, we successfully redesigned both the ICC/I-95 and the ICC/Rt. 29 interchanges to save time and money. It was evident throughout the project, most notably in the use of wick drain technology in place of bridge structures over several wash ponds—a critical change that saved several months and millions of dollars. The entire team brought ideas and energy to the table. A knowledgeable and forward-thinking SHA team enabled these innovative approaches to go forward, making the project an all-around success.

ICC
Contract C of the Intercounty Connector included 3.8 miles of new six-lane roadway from Route 29 to I-95, with two three-level interchanges, 20 new bridges, ten retaining walls, nine major culvert crossings, 15 stormwater management facilities, toll collection facilities, more than two miles of sound barriers, and more than two million yards of earthwork.

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  • David Mahoney
    David Mahoney
 
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