Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT)
Utah County, UT, U.S.

UDOT I-15 CORE Highway

Provo River Constructors [PRC], a Fluor-led joint venture, designed and reconstructed a 24-mile-long stretch of Interstate-15 (I-15) in northern Utah.

The largest road construction project of its kind in Utah history, the I-15 Corridor Reconstruction [CORE] project was initiated to alleviate traffic congestion and increase public mobility and safety.

The project was designed to improve interchanges and bridges along the corridor, as well as add two additional lanes in both the northbound and southbound directions of the highway. I-15's expanded capacity has helped enable Utah to meet its projected transportation needs through 2030.

The I-15 CORE Project extends through the following cities in Utah County: Lehi, American Fork, Pleasant Grove, Orem, Provo, Springville, and Spanish Fork.

The I-15 CORE project was recognized in 2012 in Roads & Bridges magazine's Top 10 Roads List, recognizing the top road projects in North America and is based on project challenges, impact to region, and scope of work.

The I-15 CORE project was honored by the International Partnering Institute (IPI) with the 2013 John L. Martin Partnered Project of the Year (diamond level). The award recognizes construction projects that demonstrate collaboration among clients, contractors, and stakeholders to resolve issues and save time and money.

On October 9, 2013, Fluor announced that the I-15 Corridor Expansion (CORE) project was selected as one of five finalists for the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) 2014 Outstanding Civil Engineering Achievement (OCEA) award.


Client's Challenge

Under conditions laid out with the Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT), PRC committed to tight budgetary conditions. UDOT issued a Fixed-Price, Best-Design Procurement process, in which the competitors were given a predetermined amount for the project cost and asked how much highway they could design and build for that sum. PRC's 24-mile bid was well above the estimated improvements state officials expected to get.

The agreement with the state also included a commitment to see the last construction phase of the project completed by December 2012. That was nearly two years ahead of UDOT's planned completion date in 2014.

Fluor's Solution

As the managing partner of the PRC joint venture, Fluor facilitated the planning and decision-making that resulted in time and cost savings for UDOT. An aggressive 35-and-a-half-month schedule was developed, beginning in 2010. The schedule aimed for the new corridor to be in operation by the end of 2012. To stay on schedule, Fluor and its PRC partners mobilized nearly 2,000 professional and craft workers in just the first six months of the project.

The design phase of the $1.1 billion project laid out an ambitious agenda for such a short time period: More than 200 lane-miles of general purpose lanes; 42.5 lane-miles of new express lanes; seven new interchanges; four modified interchanges; ramp modifications; new auxiliary lanes; and new concrete pavement along the entire corridor (except the last 2 mile transition on the south end) that will last 40 years. In addition, 63 bridges along the corridor were restored or replaced.

Designers strove for high design quality across the project. Forty-year concrete pavement design was employed to maximize the renovation's durability over time. An additional lane in each direction of the interstate was provided during construction to minimize delays. Another novel design feature of I-15 CORE was a phasing process which allowed for I-15 to keep all its existing lanes in service even as construction work went on.

PRC also used Accelerated Bridge Construction [ABC] to expedite the schedule. Under this ABC method, four bridges were constructed on the side of I-15. These bridges are as heavy as 3.8 million tons, and as long as a football field, including end zones. With the use of a remote-controlled, self-propelled modular transporter, the bridges were be moved into place overnight, allowing for full freeway closure without impacting the safety or travel times of motorists using the interstate.



Although the I-15 CORE project had an accelerated schedule, safety was not compromised. Safety measures to maintain a safe workplace included toolbox meetings, area-wide and project-wide all hands meetings, field and office safety committees, weekly safety audits, and management commitment and visibility. Nearly 2,500 people, including UDOT personnel attended the project's safety orientation class.

The project achieved 5-star status for 1 million hours work without a recordable incident and also achieved two 1 million safe work hour milestones without a lost time incident.

The I-15 CORE's achievement of 5-star status for 1 million hours was the first for any Infrastructure Design-Build project.

The project was completed ahead of schedule and under budget.