Michael Baker International awarded second major contract in Dallas metropolitan area


Leading engineering and planning consultancy, Michael Baker International (MBI), has been awarded a US$4m contract by the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) to provide safer roadways and bridges along the southern gateway corridor for commuting into downtown Dallas.

In the expanding Dallas market, TxDOT’s Southern Gateway Corridor Project serves as a long-term transportation and operational improvement effort to enhance safety, congestion relief and traffic operations, while addressing roadway deficiencies and system linkage for the critical I-35E and US 67 artery. The project also provides an added benefit, as area residents will have a simplified hurricane evacuation route. As part of the larger transportation design/build construction project, Michael Baker will perform Owner Verification Testing and Inspection oversight, and conduct audits to verify the design-build team’s Construction Quality Management Plan. The overall I-35E/US 67 construction project is expected to be completed in 2021.

As part of its contract, the MBI team will perform Owner Verification (OV) tests at a stipulated testing frequency, along with the review and approval of Quality Assurance (QA) test results. The Pittsburgh-based consultancy will review the performance of statistical analysis of OV and QA test results and associated tasks arising out of the statistical analysis with all partnering agencies. The Southern Gateway Project, which is currently underway, consists of adding reversible non-tolled express lanes and/or general-purpose lanes to improve capacity in the corridor. In addition, bicycle and pedestrian accommodations are proposed where frontage road reconstruction is proposed.

“The I-35E and US 67 exchange continues to serve as a highly congested roadway for commuters traveling into the Dallas Metro Area, and the Southern Gateway Corridor Project represents a large-scale effort to improve transportation in this highly congested urban area,” explained Jorge M Suarez, MBI VP and director of structural engineering.

“Our construction management expertise, through inspections, audits and testing, will ensure that the project’s design and construction are completed smartly and safely to help the community and region, by reducing congestion and making freeways safer.”

This is the second major Dallas-area project TxDOT has awarded to MBI in the last month. The company was recently hired to provide Construction Engineering and Inspection services for the agency’s Lowest Stemmons Freeway project, which is designed to reduce congestion, improve mobility, and deliver more reliable travel times along a 2.3 mile-long (3.7km) stretch of I-35E that runs from I-30 to north of Oak Lawn Avenue in Dallas.

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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International (TTi) magazine and its Traffic Technology Today website since May 2014. During his time at the title, he has interviewed some of the top transportation chiefs at public agencies around the world as well as CEOs of leading multinationals and ground-breaking start-ups. Tom's earlier career saw him working on some the UK's leading consumer magazine titles. He has a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).