The Challenge

1-15 is one of the primary north-south truck/commerce routes in the Western US. Bridge No. 6 on I-15 was a 50-year old structure classified as structurally deficient with scour susceptible foundations, cracked steel girders showing signs of wear and fatigue, virtually no shoulders, and located between two large canyon cuts. In a TIGER Grant application to FHWA, ADOT mapped out a concept, and obtained the funding to replace the superstructure. The challenge was completing the design, the environmental clearance, and addressing all of the repairs/ replacements within the 3-year time-frame requirement of the TIGER grant.

Safety and Quality

Pulice Construction had 92,691 total manhours with no injuries. Wadsworth Brothers Construction had 57,368 manhours with no injuries.

The PWJV Team hosted a one-week safety campaign on the project to coincide with the National Safety Week initiative. The Team met at the field office every day that week, and on some days there were speakers like DPS Sgt. Bottoms talking about driving safely home. He presented pictures showing what could happen in a wreck specifically on the I-15 corridor. On other days, the Team viewed videos on safety. For example, the leadership team emphasized the importance of tying off when working on the girders and deck while working over the River. The Beaver Dam/ Littlefield Fire Dept. talked about fire safety. At the completion of Safety Week, there was a separate charter made and signed by the whole team and displayed on the field office wall.

On a monthly basis, the PWJV Team had Safety Team Leadership meetings where workers from the field met over lunch and discussed the previous month’s safety issues. Near misses and any concerns from the field about the project and any safety concerns were freely discussed. The team included all of the different crafts used on the project.


Contract Amount

Pulice-Wadsworth Brothers JV


Reported Incidents

We achieved finishing the project with no incidents.


Days of Work

Finished project in contract time without delays.

Interstate 15, Virgin River Gorge Bridge #6 Rehabilitation

Construction Practices

During the GMP Development, our team worked closely with ADOT to achieve an optimal balance of low bid (cost savings) contracts for the scope, which presented a lower risk to the project and a few select/best value contracts for features of work that could be performed by the CMAR, preferred subcontractors or suppliers to mitigate quality, schedule and cost risks.

Early communication has resulted in the project continuously staying ahead of schedule and protected project contingency funds. Many issues/challenges were associated with this site and setting:

  • Working in extreme weather conditions.

  • Maintaining traffic on a National CANAMEX route with tens of thousands of personal cars and over 5,700 trucks

Reconstructing a bridge and highway that crosses the highly sensitive Virgin River was a very daunting task from the beginning. Each step of the work had to be coordinated with ADOT, FHWA, and a host of state and federal resource agencies. Personnel from these agencies were involved, both during design and construction, to ensure that all matters of the work were performed in harmony with nature. The project location is situated in an area where multiple endangered species exist, thus every precaution was implemented to ensure the construction activities were environmentally compliant. The key was in establishing our partnering agreement, which enabled the Team to work together during the design, and continuing partnering through the construction.

“Everybody had fun. Every day during the entire project. That is truly something to be proud of. This is a terrific team and everyone should be very proud of their work.”

Erik Wolf, Pulice-Wadsworth Brothers Joint Venture

“Kept waiting for change orders but they never happened. Impressed with how the contractor and ADOT worked together. One mind, one unit working together.”

Ammon Heier, Area Engineer Federal Highway Administration

“Questions were always responded to quickly and this level of responsiveness proved to be valuable throughout construction. The whole team did a great job!”

George Wallace, ADOT Senior Project Manager
Interstate 15, Virgin River Gorge Bridge #6 Rehabilitation


Construction Manager at Risk (CMAR). This delivery method was a huge key to having limited RFIs during construction. The contractors and designers worked side by side during developing, aligning materials with available equipment and forms of the contractor, as well as experience to develop solutions that were clearly understood by everyone before any ground was disturbed.

With respect to cost alignment, while independent quantity tabs and estimates were developed, there was consensus not only on the high-level budgets, but down to every detail including how many jersey barriers were needed for the traffic control. Key was the retention of the leading managers from Jacobs/ADOT/PWJV that worked together from cradle to grave of this project. There were no surprises during construction. Every detail and scenario had been discussed and planned for. Even the rain events were anticipated, mitigated, and addressed.

Together, from project development through construction, the Team successfully worked across multiple agencies and stakeholders in executing this unique and innovative project. Design, environmental clearances, and construction were delivered on time, and ahead of schedule. The Virgin River Bridge #6 Team highly won the 2017 APWA PROJECT OF THE YEAR for the Arizona chapter.