Awarding Innovation on Veterans Expressway Design-Build

An innovative time and cost-saving approach to a project that brings faster, safer travel to drivers of Tampa’s Veterans Expressway earned GAI’s Southeast Transportation team the Florida Transportation Builders Association (FTBA) Best In Construction Award for the design-build category.

A Welcome Client Recognition

FTBA Award“This award was completely client-driven,” said Luis Tellechea, PE who was GAI’s PM on the project to widen busy Veterans Expressway Section 5 for client Florida’s Turnpike Enterprise (FTE). “It came as a total surprise, and we were really gratified to know that the client was so satisfied with our work.”

The project’s goal was to boost capacity on Veterans Expressway by introducing express lanes into a highly urbanized section of a 20-mile roadway system. The design-build project called for the addition of one general-use lane and one tolled express lane in each direction—that’s where GAI’s design innovation came into play.

Approach Saves Time & Expense, Lessens User Impact

“The traditional approach would be to expand each side of the roadway from the center outward—this work would proceed in multiple phases, in turn re-routing traffic traveling in each direction,” said Tellechea. “We saw that we could save time and money if we added the required lanes by performing all the widening on the east side of this section of Veteran’s Expressway.” This approach essentially eliminated an entire phase of work—significantly cutting down time, expense, and inconvenience to Veterans Expressway users.

The GAI team’s design also minimized lighting under bridges and decks—and replaced standard halogen lights with efficient LEDs, considerably lowering operating costs and environmental impact.

Talented Team Turns in a Winning Design-Build Effort

GAI’s work on Veterans Expressway Section 5 included design for roadway, bridge, MSE wall, sign structures; signing and pavement markings; traffic management planning; and utility coordination. “While as PM I can talk about the overall project, the award really belongs to a great team,” said Tellechea. “I have to credit Sr. Technical Managers Jud Fohr and Jim Schlottman and Project Engineers Anna Zhang and Abner Serrano for an amazing collaborative effort that clearly went above and beyond the client’s expectations.”

Get more insight into GAI’s Design-Build approach:

For more information about GAI’s design-build services, contact engineering Director Luis Tellechea, PE, 321.319.3128, Vice President Kevin Leadbetter, PE, 904.559.8087, or Assistant Vice President Steve Boylan, PE, 321.354.5661.


GAI’s Award-Winning Design-Build Expertise At Work


Luis TellecheaLuis Tellechea, PE specializes in the planning and design of interchanges, highways, and transportation infrastructure. He has extensive experience working on projects for several Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) Districts as well as Florida’s Turnpike Enterprise (FTE), Miami-Dade Expressway Authority (MDX), Central Florida Expressway Authority (CFX), Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), U.S. Virgin Islands Public Works Department, and local counties and municipalities.

Share this post: