An Inside Look at US-54 East Kellogg Improvements
Raja Govindaswamy, PE
Chief, Bureau of Alternative Delivery & Project Director, KDOT
East Kellogg, US-54/400, is a major 6-lane freeway in Wichita, KS, with a system of frontage roads and continuous U-turns at major arterial street intersections throughout the City of Wichita in Sedgwick County, KS. The proposed project is from K-96 Interchange to 159th Street, approximately 2.5 miles, and aims to address the increasing traffic congestion, safety, travel time and the demands of the area’s economic growth by upgrading the existing 4-lane expressway to a 6-lane freeway with more efficient interchanges/intersections. The modernization of East Kellogg is part of Kansas’ Eisenhower Legacy Transportation Program (IKE)—a 10-year, $10 billion program focused on preserving, modernizing and expanding Kansas’ transportation system, and was identified as one of the most needed transportation improvement projects by the public and local officials.
In December 2021, Governor of Kansas Laura Kelly and Wichita Mayor Brandon Whipple announced funding to construct this portion of US-54 East Kellogg with an accelerated timeframe. The goal is to build this project with an estimated construction cost of $225M to be substantially complete by December 2025 and for the freeway to be opened for normal traffic. The scope of work will include a major fully directional system-to-system interchange at the west end of the project (K-96 & US-54) and two major grade separated arterial street intersections (143rd St. & 159th St.) to ½ mile east of 159th Street, ending just short of One Wood Drive in City of Andover. The project also crosses Four Mile Creek, a FEMA-regulated floodplain. The primary stakeholders are KDOT, FHWA, Kansas Turnpike Authority (KTA) (Tolled I-35 at the western end of the project), City of Wichita, City of Andover, Sedgwick County and Butler County.
After rigorous analysis of various delivery options, including Design Bid Build, Traditional Design Build, Construction Manager/ General Contractor and Progressive Design Build, it was determined that Progressive Design Build (PDB), with a single point of contract and accountability and early engagement of Design-Contractor team, was the best choice for the stakeholders, the public and the project, with its special considerations toward a tight schedule and budget conditions.
A schematic of the anticipated project scope
While KDOT has completed successful traditional design-build on at least two major transportations projects in the state, the proposed East Kellogg project will be the state’s first KDOT-managed Alternative Delivery project in Wichita-Sedgwick County (WAMPO) metro area and the state’s first PDB project delivery. The project requires NEPA clearance before final design and construction can begin and is currently underway by the Ike Program Management Consultant (PMC), a Joint Venture (JV) of Burns & McDonnell and Garver, precluded from the design or construction of the project. The project team, KDOT staff and PMC, are working in close coordination with FHWA throughout all phases of the project and will aim to provide a good example of engaging PDB to deliver a federally funded project of significant size and duration in the Midwest.
The procurement of a PDB contractor is currently underway and expected to be in place by early November of 2022. The goal of the project is also to utilize the spirit of partnership that facilitated much of the state’s past success among all affected stakeholders. The project will include consideration of the relatively new EPA initiative of Storm Water Discharge Management, MS4, to minimize the impact on natural streams and the environment in the area. Minimal impact to traffic during construction (MOT) on the neighborhood and businesses is also an important consideration of the project. The selected PDB Team must also meet KDOT’s requirement for DBE participation utilizing substantial federal funds.
As alternative delivery methods are varied and have been evolving over the past several decades, PDB provides much greater flexibility for the Owner in defining project goals and requirements from an early stage and fosters collaboration between the Owner (DOT), Designer and Contractor with a single point of accountability for the Service Provider. The Scope and Price can be negotiated openly until GMP (Guaranteed Maximum Price) is agreed upon with a stipulated schedule. Hence no ‘surprises’ for the Owner at the GMP stage. Early collaboration (5% stage) is key to having the Constructor’s input on constructability and cost from the start, thus no wasting of time in second-guessing the Contractor while developing the design and plans. Complete buy-in from all parties is achieved during the process and at GMP. The PDB Contract Team is selected basically using the QBS process with some pricing consideration since Best Value criteria are used for the final selection.
US-54/400 East Kellogg, Sedgwick & Butler Counties, Kansas (Cities of Wichita & Andover)
Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT)
Estimated Construction Cost:
Substantial Project Completion Goal:
Six (6) lane urban freeway with 2-lane one-way frontage roads north and south. One (1) system-to-system directional free-flow interchange and two (2) grade separated arterial street intersections. Three (3) regulated floodway bridges. Approximate project length 2.5 miles.
Raja Govindaswamy, PE. Chief- Bureau of Alternative Delivery, KDOT; firstname.lastname@example.org
Project Web Site:
Thank you to the following people for initiating and leading this ambitious undertaking in Kansas:
Kansas Governor Laura Kelly, Wichita Mayor Brandon Whipple, Kansas Secretary of Transportation, Julie Lorenz, State Transportation Engineer & Deputy Secretary, Burt Morey, Senior Director of Engineering Division, Calvin Reed, Special Project Manager, Carmen Bakarich, Director of Program and Project Management, Pete Van Sickle and the staff of KDOT and IKE PMC Burns & McDonnell & Garver JV. ◼
This article was first published in DBIA’s Integration Quarterly digital magazine.