Not too long ago, the roads connecting the stretch between I-15 and Redwood Road near Salt Lake City passed through farmland and scattered homes and businesses. Fast forward to today, it seems like every time you drive through, there is a new high-rise that was built seemingly overnight.
To accommodate this explosive population growth, update infrastructure and improve public safety, the Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) created a plan to make considerable improvements to SR-151 (106th South) from I-15 to Redwood Road through the heart of South Jordan, Utah. This project consisted of widening both sides of the road and adding an additional lane in each direction. Additionally, the project scope included installing new curb, gutter and sidewalk along the roadway and upgrading an intricate maze of utilities, including water lines, storm drains, communication lines, and gas and power lines.
Early on, the project was met with complications. It isn’t uncommon for older roads like 106th to not have accurate mapping of utility locations. The designer did the best possible job with the provided information, but it meant that we needed to anticipate potential obstacles. While these daunting challenges could have created a more difficult project, our construction team used the partnering principles of communication, honesty, innovative problem-solving and hard work to confront and overcome each individual challenge, creating an exceptional finished project.
Geneva Rock and PEC assigned Phil Nordquist and Tyler Zimmer, respectively, to track utility conflicts and coordinate with all third-party utility companies. Tyler built relationships with these individuals so that he could call at a moment’s notice to address a utility conflict and get it solved quickly.
As each challenge arose, the construction team settled into a successful strategy that helped resolve issues again and again. Many issues were solved in the field because team members were empowered to make decisions and fix issues on the spot.
However, when an issue couldn’t be immediately resolved, the team would make everyone aware of the situation. At the next scheduled weekly meeting, the team would bring possible solutions to the problem and decide on the best way to reach a resolution. One particularly valuable member of the team was Jim Jones, Geneva Rock Products’ general superintendent, who is a master at solving problems in the field and normally has devised a potential solution prior to even discussing it with the owner.
Most issues were resolved by Monday or Tuesday of the following week. The team developed enough trust in each other that even when a change order hadn’t been fully resolved, construction continued moving forward in good faith without delaying or halting the project.
Without this trust and forward momentum, the project would have been severely delayed.
Our relationship with PEC has been quite fair and reasonable. The UDOT oversight team of Peter Tang and Bryan Chamberlain were also professional and good to work with. We have shared partnering lunches and have found common ground on all items to date. In our weekly meetings, we always discuss whether there are any issues requiring escalation.
We are proud of the fact that we have never needed to use this tool.
While there were undoubtedly some pains of construction felt by motorists, businesses and residents in the area, the project has been able to maintain the lane configuration which existed preconstruction throughout the construction process. Ultimately, the added lanes (one in each direction) will ease congestion and expedite travel and commerce in the area.
The SR-151 project was an extraordinary success due to an extraordinary team.