What the client says about the 11th Street Bridges project
The new 11th Street Bridges in Washington D.C. makes life easier for motorists and the local community by creating a smooth flow of traffic. The improved connection brings the city, and opportunities it offers, closer together with the local neighborhoods.
The project is by far the largest venture ever undertaken by the District Department of Transportation (DDOT). Is it possible to replace two old bridges with three new ones without jeopardizing the daily flow of about 110,000 vehicles? Is it possible to meet the client's expectations – and still be profitable?
According to Ravindra Ganvir, Deputy Chief Engineer of the District Department of Transportation (DDOT), it is. "Team work is the key to success," he says.
What makes a winner?
It is definitely about team work. When you feel that spirit of cooperation, when the separate parts come together as one team, thaft is when you can resolve issues that arise. Working with Skanska and Brook Brookshire never felt like working with a contractor. It was one team with one goal. And with 30 years in business I know the difference.
When three entities like the government, a team of engineers and a contractor join forces, we can bring value to the customers. In this case, our efforts directly benefit at least 300,000 people. If they get home 15 minutes earlier every day, that’s a considerable amount of extra quality time to enjoy with their family and kids.
What are you looking for when you choose a partner?
While experience and the ability to overcome challenges are important, so is an innovative approach. We chose Skanska because of its innovative solutions that enabled us to maintain the flow of traffic while building the new bridges.
An additional bonus comprised the platforms, offering scenic river views. While they might not be that important in terms of traffic, it is a sign that we care about the community.
What about values? Do they matter if the technical expertise is in place?
Values are very important. Skanska's Five Zeros, in particular safety, ethics and the environment, mirror the values of DDOT with one exception – profit. We are here to make a product that serves society, not to make a profit.
So what is your take on profit?
Profit is not a dirty word. We support it, we recognize it. We want good contractors to succeed so we can work together on the next project and the next challenge. There is no doubt that successful results make both my and your job easier. And they make it more fun too.