Mayors, Administrators and City Managers across the Show-Me-State now have a new tool in their tool-belt to rebuild and maintain infrastructures within their communities. On August 29 the long-awaited Missouri House Bill 2376 went into effect authorizing local Missouri public agencies to use the design-build construction process for everything from roads and bridges to water and wastewater projects.

This new law provides Missouri public agencies with the power to choose the best partner and construction method to build the projects and the infrastructure that will benefit us all for decades to come.

We work with communities every day who are looking for the most cost-effective and innovative ways to have those essential needs we all take for granted, like clean drinking water and efficient wastewater and stormwater systems. This bill is critical in helping smaller townships and communities maintain and rebuild their infrastructure.

Using results from a delivery system study conducted by the Construction Industry Institute in conjunction with Penn State University, there are three main advantages to using design-build for municipalities; particularly for water and wastewater projects:

  1. Speed. City leaders are committed to delivering projects to their residents as quickly as possible. Examining a comparison of project delivery methods, the study found that design-build has a delivery speed at least 23 percent faster than traditional methods.
  2. Single-Point of Responsibility. According to the study, single-point responsibility is the main advantage of the design-build delivery method. With one person carrying the responsibility for both design and construction risk, design-build eliminates confusion and eases the burden on an already overloaded city staff. Cleaning-up these points of confusion and confrontation, result in reduced change orders and construction related claims.
  3. Cost-effectiveness. With growing needs and shrinking budgets, cities are looking for ways to get the highest quality products and services at the lowest cost. The study also found that design-build is the most economical and efficient project delivery system at least 4.5 percent less than traditional methods.

Check out how the community of Harrisonville, Missouri, turned an emergency wastewater tank repair into a long-term benefit by using design-build project delivery. Download the case study here. This was the first design-build water project in Missouri under the new legislation.

To learn more about Missouri’s new design-build legislation, click here, or feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn.

Ron Coker is senior vice president and general manager of the Water Group at Burns & McDonnell, where he’s responsible for the operation of the firm’s water group globally and specializes in capital delivery initiatives with municipalities.