Expanding Population, Expanding Capacity
- Bob DiFiore, Barry Bickerstaff - Hazen and Sawyer
In May 2002, the Towns of Apex, Cary, and Morrisville (NC) formally agreed to jointly commission the Western Wake Regional Wastewater Management Facilities (WWRWMF) Study to evaluate options for providing long-term wastewater management services for western Wake County. As a result of the evaluation, those local governments elected to proceed with plans for the construction of regional wastewater management facilities to serve the needs of western Wake County to the year 2030. The Town of Cary was designated as the lead agency for the project partners.
Hazen and Sawyer was selected to perform program and construction management services for the eight major construction packages that comprise the Western Wake Regional Wastewater Management Facilities project. The project includes three pump stations, one water reclamation facility (WRF), and all the pipes that connect them. The West Cary and Beaver Creek pump stations move raw wastewater from the Towns to the new WRF for treatment. The third pump station, at the WRF site, and a force main take the treated effluent from the Western Wake WRF to a discharge point. The discharge of the treatment facility will also satisfy the terms of an interbasin transfer (IBT) certificate that requires effluent to be discharged to the Cape Fear River basin, the source of drinking water for the Project Partners.
The eight construction contracts had to be completed at the same time, and since every facet of the project was dependent on the others, scheduling management was of the utmost importance. Seven different contractors were selected for the eight contracts, providing additional challenges. Hazen and Sawyer held weekly meetings with these contractors to facilitate coordination among these contractors and devise a full construction schedule that accounted for all of the moving parts. We also developed a scheduling and electronic document management control system that seamlessly integrated all WWRWMF contracts.
Four of the concurrent contracts were based on the same site: the treatment plant. Daily coordination of the various contractors was required to ensure work got done in the proper order and without adversely impacting other components of the project. Our staff also managed coordination between the various points of overlap among these four contracts, including shared access roads, interface points between contracts, traffic control, and equipment deliveries.
Design and Constructability Reviews
The eight different components of the project were designed by five different design engineers. Since all of the projects were intended to operate in concert and consistency between designs was paramount, Hazen and Sawyer utilized an intensive multidiscipline approach at the outset of the project to ensure consistency between plans and specs, coordination between contractors and projects, and optimal plant performance when completed.
Due to our longstanding relationship with Western Wake Partners and our facility design expertise, we continued to improve the third-party design as construction proceeded. These improvements will result in improved process flexibility and more cost-effective plant operation upon completion.
We also managed and reviewed all shop drawings, RFIs, RFPs, change orders, and other submittals to ensure that no proposed changes would adversely affect plant operations or another component of the program.
Significant Community Outreach
The residential location of the project site required additional attention to noise mitigation, traffic management, and environmental compliance. Hazen and Sawyer worked with stakeholders to provide comprehensive community outreach, regular status/progress reporting, and regulatory monitoring to minimize any adverse effects on quality of life of surrounding residents. Local residents were given advance notification of all construction activities that could potentially impact them.
Meetings with community leaders and one-on-one meetings with residents most affected by construction were held on a regular basis to ensure open communication and foster public acceptance. A program website was developed to provide residents and other constituents with regular updates, construction photos, and resources. Additionally, our staff worked directly with the Western Wake Partners to provide additional related benefits to the community that included sewer service. As a result of these efforts, minimal community-related issues arose during construction.
“Hazen & Sawyer’s services providing construction management have been extremely valuable, particularly with regard to managing the numerous, concurrent critical schedule milestones on this important project for the Western Wake Partners,” said E. Alexandra Jones, engineer with the Town of Cary.
Construction of the facilities began in September 2011, and the facilities are now complete and in final check-out and start-up activities ahead of schedule and within the original project budget. We provided extensive training to the facility operators, including conducting 15 training sessions on site. In addition, we are preparing electronic O&M manuals to help ensure optimal operations long after we have left the site. As the final component of the project, we are providing complete start-up, testing, and commissioning services for the entire system and post start-up process and energy optimization to ensure these facilities meet the needs of the Partners going forward.
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