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 Judson Fohr, PE who was GAI’s lead designer and engineer of record 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 Fohr. “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 engineer of record I can talk about the overall project, the award really belongs to a great team,” said Fohr. “I have to credit Sr. Technical Manager Jim Schlottman and Project Engineer Anna Zhang 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 Sr. Technical Manager Judson Fohr, PE, 321.319.3049, Senior Vice President Kevin Leadbetter, PE, 904.559.8087, or Vice President Steve Boylan, PE, 321.354.5661.

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

Judson (Jud) Fohr, PE has been involved in a variety of projects covering a broad sector of the transportation industry, including drainage and roadway engineering, construction, project development and environment (PD&E) studies, and design-build project delivery. Jud has worked with departments of transportation, counties, municipalities, and neighborhood homeowners associations, participating in many large PD&E studies in Florida, notably I‑95 in Brevard and Volusia Counties and the I-4 Ultimate widening project through Orlando.


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