Fayetteville, AR — October 15, 2018 — It is rare to see a project increase in size and remain within budget, but that is just what engineers at RJN Group Inc. were able to do for the City of Hot Springs’ Davidson Drive Wastewater Treatment Facility. The facility was beginning to show its age, which made time of the essence. With that in mind, City leadership decided to take an unconventional approach in order to shorten the project’s timeline.
City of Hot Springs Utilities Director Monty Ledbetter said that the City had to think outside of the box to streamline and expedite the usual design-bid-build process.
“We opted to streamline the process, leaving out the bidding portion and move straight from design to construction,” Ledbetter said. “Additionally, we knew that equipment lead times would be lengthy, so we opted to order our equipment prior to receiving our construction permits from the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality, which shaved about a year off our schedule.”
RJN Group Inc., an engineering firm located throughout the country, was selected to lead the design-build project delivery, and immediately began work.
“Because we had to remove the headworks from operation for an extended period of time, it was necessary to build a new gravity bypass to the existing wet weather equalization basin,” said RJN Project Manager, Shannon Jones. “Once we got into the project, we found that the plant’s nonpotable water system was not going to be able to serve the new plant’s needs, so we had to increase the project’s scope.”
“The decision to construct a permanent gravity bypass line to the equalization basin in lieu of utilizing temporary bypass pumps paid off big time, as we experienced a major storm series that would have otherwise overwhelmed a bypass pump system,” Jones added.
The increase in scope due to replacing the nonpotable water system extended the project’s overall timeline; however, RJN managed to accommodate all changes and will complete the project within the revised schedule. Additionally, RJN has been able to complete the project under budget, with an estimated savings to the City of just under half a million dollars.