What Lies Ahead?

A Look at 2013’s ‘Big Ticket’ Items

It is hard to believe that we are getting ready to turn the lights out on 2012. In the most recent edition of Ohio Contractor magazine, I took a look at a number of the accomplishments OCA has worked on in the recent past. However, nowhere does anyone get to rest on their laurels for very long. As we look toward 2013, there are many upcoming endeavors on which to focus our attention.

2013 will be stepping off with ODOT’s budget followed by Ohio’s general revenue fund budget. Each holds the potential of impacting the heavy/highway industry.  In 2012, ODOT, under the leadership of Director Jerry Wray, has continued to push the envelope for operational efficiencies and funding alternatives. The recommendations for the future operations for the Ohio Turnpike will be announced this December, but the “how to” of implementing those recommendations will be playing out throughout 2013. Surely this will make for a lively debate centered on ODOT’s budget.

Other initiatives that were born in 2012 and will be carried into 2013 will include privatization initiatives, leveraging private funds for public projects, and the first-ever Construction Management/General Contractor (CM/GC) project.

In a nutshell, CM/GC brings the contractor, who is selected through a qualifications process, onboard early in a project’s development phase. The advantage is that the builder has input during the planning and design phases, thereby obtaining contractor input much earlier in the process. Once plan development has progressed to the point where construction costs can be established, ODOT would negotiate with the selected contractor for the final cost.

The big picture that must be kept in the forefront is that each innovation that is offered by ODOT presents the opportunity to shift operational funding into capital funding. This results in improved highways and bridges for the citizens ofOhioand more work for the heavy/highway community.

Read the full text of Mr. Runyan’s article here.

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