Paseo del Norte Extension

Wilson & Company was the lead program consultant for this pivotal major interchange in the northern metropolitan area of Albuquerque, collaborating with the New Mexico Department of Transportation (NMDOT). On this project, Wilson & Company developed the conceptual design for the interchange, prepared the preliminary design and plans, and developed and executed the procurement process for the selection of the design-build team.

Initially, the interchange complex was unachievable at a cost of more than $350 million. A strong partnership of funding stakeholders was formed that included NMDOT, the City of Albuquerque, and Bernalillo County. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) provided political and technical leadership. Finally, a design was developed that provided significant necessary operational and safety improvements.

An aggressive and interactive design-build procurement process was used to ensure best-value selection that met schedule milestones. The project schedule was constrained by the FHWA approval process and a local political milestone, which required expeditious and innovative procurement.

An FHWA Interstate Access Change Request (IACR) submittal and approval were required before the Final Request for Proposals (RFP) could be issued, which jeopardized the political necessity of meeting a milestone date for contractor selection and notice-to-proceed. The project team worked closely with the FHWA to obtain approval for the IACR within six weeks. The two-step process expedited the timeline from short-listing and issuance of the Draft RFP to the submittal of design-build proposals to only six months.

Even with an extremely abbreviated schedule, more than 30 confidential one-on-one meetings were conducted with short-listed design-build proposers, resulting in 13 approved Alternative Technical Concepts (ATCs).

The best-value RFP required proposers to meet or beat a Guaranteed Maximum Price (GMP) for budget compliance, which included strong schedule incentives. Scoring emphasized qualitative elements such as project management plans and technical approaches. The selected design-build team met the project GMP, provided a strong qualitative approach, and committed to a project schedule that reduced the construction time from two years to only 15 months.