During the first 17 days of RS&H’s five-year, $25 million contract with the VDOT Fredericksburg District, associates in the Virginia and San Antonio offices helped to negotiate, execute and perform a contract negotiation with a P3 concessioner.
“It was the first thing we did out of the chute,” said Virginia Leader John Vandergriff. “I think it helped reinforce to our client that when they ask, we supply.”
RS&H’s contract with the district reflects the widest range of services the company has provided in Virginia to-date, with every service VDOT contracts out included in the agreement. So far, in just under a year, RS&H has executed 13 task orders, ranging from small right-of-way appraisals to large, $100 million-plus projects. RS&H has even provided communications and public relations services for the district.
Beyond the notable breadth of services included, the contract stands as a strong testament to the value of cross-practice collaboration.
An Up-and-Coming District
The VDOT Fredericksburg District is made up of counties growing at a phenomenal rate. Located at the edge of urban Washington, D.C., the district requires increased transportation infrastructure to meet that growth.
To meet that need, the district established its first general engineering consultant (GEC) contract, under which RS&H will be working for the next five years.
Dusty Holcombe sees the Virginia T-I and T-CM offices’ record of cross-practice collaboration as a key factor in RS&H’s selection.
“VDOT knows RS&H can bring the needed resources across multiple practices because we’ve done it successfully in the past,” said Dusty, T-I Mid-Atlantic region leader.
In Virginia, there’s little distinction between T-I and T-CM.
“As I often say, there’s no tower of power,” said John. “We’re all working on the same team.”
VDOT’s project outlook makes cross-practice collaboration even more important than in the past.
“The Virginia Department of Transportation views projects holistically from start through ribbon-cutting,” said John. “So, we’ve really fit our practice structure to meet that makeup.”
The team combines its holistic outlook with a tailored approach to individual projects’ needs.
“We try really hard to put ourselves in the owner’s boots,” said John. “Sometimes, they’re construction boots with steel toes, and sometimes they’re dress shoes at a public hearing.”
Associates & RS&H Benefit
“Work like this is great because it requires us to see the services from A to Z and to see the connections between all of them,” said Virginia-Central Area T-CM Leader Todd Lemasters, who has worked closely with John on this contract.
“To me, any time you can learn different disciplines, whether they are on the construction side or the design side, it’s extremely important,” he said. “It leads to more implementable designs in T-I and better insight into the reasoning behind those designs in T-CM.”
Virginia is not the only state seeing increased cross-practice collaboration. RS&H is working on similar projects in Maryland, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Illinois, said Dusty.
Whether it’s in Virginia or another state, encompassing T-CM, T-I or another practice, cross-practice collaboration is gaining ground as RS&H breaks ground on projects nationwide.