Highland Avenue Water Treatment Plant Upgrade (GA)

Parsons upgrades Augusta’s water treatment plant to meet permitted capacity

The City of Augusta, Georgia’s Highland Avenue Water Treatment Plant (HAWTP) was permitted to treat 60 MGD, but could only produce a continuous 45 MGD. The city wanted to upgrade its facility to meet its permitted capacity. The construction management at-risk (CMAR) contract was awarded through a two-part qualifications-based selection process. The client shortlisted three CMAR firms after receiving statements of qualifications and chose Parsons to perform the reconstruction-phase services. Parsons and the city then negotiated a guaranteed maximum price for the construction of the facilities.

New multipurpose building houses a new plant control system and more

Parsons constructed a multipurpose building to house a new plant control room, seven new deep-bed filters (for a total of 17 filters), all chemical facilities (including a new sodium hypochlorite generation system), administrative offices, operations and maintenance areas, laboratories, and ancillary pumping systems. The total CMAR contracted value was $63.5 million. Design cost totaled $3 million.

Parsons adept at managing construction challenges

Parsons faced numerous hurdles while performing the work. First, Parsons developed and implemented a plan for the use of cranes on the site due to FAA restrictions. Second, the project resulted in a 2.5-year road closure. Parsons facilitated a community involvement program that included local businesses, residents, and the chamber of commerce. The group developed a mutually acceptable plan for the construction and road closure, including a website for road closure information and signage in the area to notify patrons of alternative parking for businesses within the construction zone. Third, the public needed access to buildings within the construction area during construction. Parsons developed and implemented plans for temporary concrete walkways, barricades, and fencing to maintain public access to buildings in operation during construction. Finally, Parsons ensured continuous water production while transitioning from the existing facilities to the new facilities. Parsons employed two state-certified water operators to perform all plant start-up activities and provided 30 days of training to the city’s plant personnel.

Project beats cost estimate, exceeds target of sub-contracts to local, minority and women-owned businesses

Parsons successfully met all the challenges, and the project was completed $1.8 million under budget. In addition, Parsons exceeded its target to subcontract 35 percent of the overall contract value to local, minority, and women-owned businesses. Forty-one percent of the overall contract value was awarded to local, minority, and women-owned businesses. The project will allow the city to meet projected population growth through 2050.