Friday, January 17, 2014

Five for Friday with the Gateway Project Director

Burt Morey at the Gateway Project site.

Today is an exciting day as it’s the launch of a new feature we like to call “Five for Friday” where we pose five questions to a key transportation stakeholder.  Today’s feature is on KDOT’s own, Burt Morey, who serves as the project director for the Johnson County Gateway Project.

What is the Johnson County Gateway Project?
“It’s an improvement of the I-435/I-35/K-10 interchange in Johnson County.  More than 230,000 travel through this interchange daily making it one of the most congested areas in the state.  And it’s expected to grow to over 380,000 by 2040, which is why improvements are needed.”

What is unique about this project?
“This is the first-ever design build project in Kansas.  The Kansas Legislature has authorized KDOT to complete one highway project by using this alternative delivery tool.  Traditionally separate contracts are issued for the design and for the construction of a project. With a design-build project, a single contract is issued for both design and construction of the project.”

What’s the benefit of design-build?
“The benefit of this approach is that you combine the skills of designers and contractors at a project’s onset, which can result in faster project delivery, more efficient use of materials and resources.”

Who’s going to build the Gateway Project and how much will it cost?
“On Jan. 10, we selected Gateway Interchange Constructors to build the project for $288 million.  GIC is a joint venture led by Kansas City, Mo.-based Clarkson Construction Co. They are partnered with Kiewit Infrastructure Co., which has national design-build experience on large scale projects such as T-REX in Denver. “

Given the size of this project and that it’s the first-ever design build project, that must make for a pretty extensive process to get this underway.  How do you think it’s going so far?
“It’s going very well.  We put together a great team to oversee the development of this project.  Everyone has been very supportive and has worked together well.  We’re pleased that we’ve been able to meet all of our deadlines and keep this project right on schedule.  I’m confident that we’ll continue to be successful as we enter the next phase of the process.”

The Gateway Project is scheduled to be completed in 2017.  You can keep track of how progress is going with the Gateway Project by visiting the project website at

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