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Restricted Right of Entry Complicates Initial Investigation

July 13, 2020

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Robert Lawrence

Geotechnical Department Manager

The success of a traditional design-bid-build project depends on a thorough initial geotechnical investigation, so the contractor can develop accurate cost estimates and a comprehensive bid. However, achieving this accuracy can be very difficult when right of entry to the land is restricted during the initial investigation stage. For example, right of entry may be restricted if the construction is on private property and permissions will not be finalized until after the contractor is awarded the project.

This is the situation HVJ encountered outside Cresson, Texas when we provided design and construction recommendations for bridges, retaining walls and embankments for the US 377 Cresson Relief Route. Our team was unable to access about half of the planned geotechnical work during the investigation stage.

We worked closely with the project team to complete a desk study to assess the land despite the limited right of entry. We combined several sources of information, including geological maps, records, and walkover information (only for the areas for which we had right of entry). Combining this information, we were able to make reasonable assumptions and preliminary recommendations so that the plans could be issued to meet the bid document requirements.

After the contractor was awarded the project and we were able to access the land, we mobilized a field team to quickly complete the investigation and confirm/optimize the preliminary recommendations. Despite the limitations, our team’s investigation work resulted in minimal changes after the contractor was awarded the project, allowing the project to stay on schedule and on budget.

Read more about the project here: US 377 Case Study

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