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Liberty, MO Takes Ownership of WasteWater Treatment Through Collaborative Design-Build Process

City of Liberty, MO

Beginning operation in January of 2017, the new wastewater treatment plant for Liberty, Missouri is the first in the state of Missouri to utilize the design-build delivery method, financed and approved through the State Revolving Fund (SRF) program. The low-interest loan financing will save the city an estimated $40 million in interest expense when compared with conventional financing methods.

Relying on a neighboring city for its wastewater treatment for many years, time was of the essence when faced with pending rate increases and capacity issues. Citizens overwhelmingly supported the planning that recommended taking over their own treatment needs and issued bonds for what they believed would be a $95 million initiative. Building their own facilities will allow the city to save an estimated $27 million in treatment costs over a 30-year period.

The team of Goodwin Brothers and CMT were brought on board following a multi-tiered design-build selection process to design, construct and deliver the project which included a new plant to handle up to 7 MGD average flow; 20 MGD peak flow, two 10 MGD pump stations, 12,000 lineal feet of new gravity sewer; 17,000 lineal feet of new force main, 6,000 feet of collector roadway, new Administrative offices for the city’s wastewater (treatment and collections) staff featuring a new state-of-the-art laboratory, and a new maintenance and storage facility for the utility’s fleet of vehicles.

While the initial scope and price were established at the onset, the design-build team welcomed ongoing input from the City to optimize the project to best meet the city's objectives and achieve their satisfaction. There was a great deal of collaboration and prioritization of project components with Liberty during design including major process equipment manufacturers and features, architectural features and the level of sustainability features incorporated into the project.

Even with significant scope additions, the Goodwin/CMT team was able to deliver the project two months ahead of schedule and for under $76 million (nearly $20 million below initial estimates). The city’s decision to utilize the design-build approach shortened the overall project timeline by approximately 1 year. This successful project demonstrates a client-centric approach to design-build that welcomes their input during the process and seeks their satisfaction as a primary defining measure of success.