Orange County Branch Newsletter

March 2014

Project Spotlight

Hatch Mott MacDonald's OCTA Grade Separation Program

Courtesy of: Hatch Mott MacDonald

OCTA  Grade Separation

Project Description

In April 2008, the California Transportation Commission voted to approve the Orange County Transportation Authority's (OCTA) Grade Separation Program, which is currently referred to as the OC Bridges Grade Separation Program. The program includes seven grade separation projects along the Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) railroad in the cities of Anaheim, Placentia and Fullerton. The projects are partly funded through the Trade Corridor Improvement Fund, as well as various other state, federal and local sources.  Among the seven crossings, four will be undercrossings and three will be overcrossings. When complete, the projects will alleviate the current and potential traffic impacts and hazards posed by existing at-grade rail crossings along the Orangethorpe corridor. The OC Bridges projects include the following improvements:

  • Grade separation between the road and the BNSF railroad in seven locations
  • Construction of a railroad shooflies for the undercrossing separations
  • Construction of vehicular detour roads during construction
  • Construction of pump stations for the undercrossing separations
  • Construction of connector roads to the elevated streets for the overcrossings
  • Improvements to city streets and sidewalks
  • Soundwalls and landscaping along the project limits

HMM Role

HMM services include providing a full-time program and project management staff to manage the preliminary engineering, environmental, design, utilities, and right of way along with project management support during construction and on-call services for special assignments, including claims and schedule analysis, cost estimating, quality control reviews, city geometric alternative resolution, traffic engineering, specification and contract document development, and project programming and funding. HMM acts as an extension of OCTA’s staff in providing these services and in managing multiple design contracts, including five engineering design firms, and one design review/plan checking firm. 

HMM provides the following to the client under this program:

  • Assistance in establishing program and project management policies and organizational structures needed to manage the overall program.
  • Assistance in defining the scope, schedule, budget, and funding for the individual projects.
  • Providing a project controls specialist to perform project master scheduling functions and to monitor projects, review and track project budgets and costs, cost estimating, to analyze contract change orders, and to prepare project status reports.
  • Provide project programming support to secure federal, state, and local funds for the individual projects, including preparing and submitting Federal Request Authorization (E-76) to Caltrans Local Assistance and Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).
  • Coordinating and providing status and project information to the client, public agencies, and local relations consultants.
  • Maintain a client-supplied DDMS, which includes Document Control System and Primavera (P6) software for the program.
  • Assist in formulating creative financing for the implementation of the program. Secure federal, state, and local funds for the program (work with planning and programming).
  • Oversee coordination and develop various agreements with BNSF, CPUC, Orange County Flood Control District, FHWA, cities, utilities and local agencies.
  • Support construction management functions, including schedule and claims analysis, reviewing construction change orders for schedule and cost impacts and coordinating proposed construction changes that effect project scope, cost, or schedules.

Project Highlights

Active railroad operation during construction

  • Construction of multiple railroad shooflies and vehicular detour roads
  • Construction phasing of all seven grade crossings
  • Coordination with cities of Placentia, Anaheim, and Fullerton, and Orange County
  • Delivering program with multiple funding sources, each with specific restrictions and timelines
  • Construction Contracts awarded for all seven projects, with four actively under construction.

Fast Facts

Location  |  Orange County, CA

Client  |  Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA)

Project Type  |  Grade Separation

Services  |  Program Management

Duration  |  2008 – 2016

Construction Cost  |  $635 million