The transformation of a former at-grade intersection.

By Macy Degnan, RS&H

An award-winning design-build project is reducing accidents and improving traffic flow along a four-mile stretch of highway in Rogersville, Missouri, about 190 miles south of Kansas City. It also has been recognized for its outreach to young women engineering students and helping minorities become more interested in the highway design and construction industries.

ARTBA member firm RS&H was the lead designer of the $35 million Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) “Project Freeway” along the U.S. Route 60 corridor. Working with Radmacher Brothers Excavating Company, Inc., the project included three new interchanges, a series of connector roads, the removal of two traffic signals and the elimination of seven at-grade intersections.

The team successfully implemented a progressive right-of-way purchasing model. As part of the procurement process, MoDOT included acquiring right-of-way within the project scope and the design-build teams were required to propose a minimum number of optional project improvements paid for by the savings. A maximum set aside for the right-of-way was recommended and included in the total project budget.

“By saving on the right-of-way acquisition it allowed the design-build team to include recommended additional improvements without losing points or running into budget issues on the proposal,” said RS&H Lead Designer Jim Shaw. “It showed innovation and collaboration on all ends of the process.”

The efficiencies saved $3.1 million for the additional improvements. The Radmacher Brothers/RS&H design-build team, working with MoDOT, partnered with the community to provide several modifications to accommodate future development plans. These included:

  • Alterations to interchanges to facilitate safety and improve traffic flow
  • Expansion of pedestrian facilities
  • Aesthetic enhancements

Additionally, a structure crossing over U.S. 60 was constructed to enhance and expand the City of Rogersville’s roadway network and maintain the function of the community.

Project Freeway won the 2017 Design-Build Institute of America’s (DBIA) National Award for Excellence in Transportation. It also received DBIA’s first-ever Chairman’s Award for Community Impact and Social Responsibility for its Young Women in Engineering Program, a partnership with the local school district and Minority Outreach Program at Missouri State University.

The project received additional recognition from the Federal Highway Administration, and the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials.