As a result of its extraordinary efforts in facilitating professional opportunities for minorities and women, as well as for promoting diversity and cultural awareness within its organization, the Intercounty Connector (ICC) Project earned the Women’s Transportation Seminar (WTS) Rosa Parks Diversity Leadership Award. The award was presented to ICC team members at the WTS Baltimore Chapter Annual Meeting held last week at the Hunt Valley Golf Club in Phoenix, Maryland.
The WTS Rosa Parks Diversity Leadership Award recognizes astute organizations, companies and innovative individuals that are broadening their multi-cultural initiatives, changing corporate cultures and philosophies. This award was conceived to honor those individuals and organizations for being bold in their support and promotion of diversity, inclusiveness, and multi-cultural awareness within their organization, the transportation industry, or in a project or activity that supports the WTS diversity goals and mission.
“Our success in the area of diversity and inclusiveness is due to a great deal of hard work by a very talented team of professionals,” said Maryland State Highway Administrator and former ICC Project Director, Melinda Peters. “Great achievements are the result of a skilled team of people all pulling together in the same direction, and that is certainly true in this instance. My thanks go out to everyone involved for their tireless efforts that led to the ICC receiving this prestigious award.”
The ICC, an 18-mile, $2.5 billion multi-modal toll highway located in Montgomery and Prince George’s counties, has enjoyed significant success in the achievement of multiple diversity goals since project management began in 2005.
“With a project of this size and duration, the project team was confronted with a complex mixture of contractors, subcontractors, engineers and consultants,” said ICC Civil Rights Manager Karen Williford. “But through careful planning, execution and vigilance, the project was able to meet its diversity goals by every measure. All three design-builders exceeded their goals for Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) participation.
“We could never have experienced this level of success without the hawkish scrutiny of our DBE compliance monitoring team, our ‘On-The-Job-Training’ and public outreach coordinators, and top-down commitment from the ICC project leadership, including our resident engineers,” she added. “I am humbled to have had the pleasure of working with such a talented group of professionals.”
On Contract A, the design builder’s (Intercounty Constructors) original DBE goal was 15 percent. However, the actual payout for DBE participation was $104 million or 23.9 percent of the total contractor dollars.
The DBE participation goal for the Contract B design builder (MD 200) was set at 20 percent. So far, more than 25% of the payments on that contract have been paid to DBE firms, or $136 million.
Contract C’s design builder (IC3) has proven equally successful in exceeding the 20 percent DBE participation goal set for that contract. Payments to DBE firms equal 20.3 percent, which translates to nearly $103 million.
ICC Corridor Partners, the general engineering consultant, performed the management function of the overall project. It is also on track to exceed the 25 percent DBE goals set for its contract, with more than $43 million already paid to DBE firms.
Likewise, On-the-Job Training programs exceeded initial expectations of placing 135 graduates across the project—45 for each of the three design builders.
As further evidence of the ICC team’s exemplary performance in these areas, during a recent visit to the ICC’s Project Management Office, former Federal Highway Administration Associate Administrator for Civil Rights, Allen Masuda, said the ICC program is “helping the Federal Highway Administration understand what a national DBE program model might look like.”
The WTS Rosa Parks Diversity Leadership Award was named for an African American woman who changed the course of history on December 1, 1955, after she refused to give up her seat on a segregated bus in Montgomery, Alabama and was subsequently arrested. Her action sparked a year-long transit boycott and led to new public transit laws, and launched the modern American Civil Rights movement and other freedom movements throughout the world.
The first seven-mile segment of the ICC known as Contract A, from I-370 to MD 97 (Georgia Avenue), opened to traffic on February 23. The next 11-mile segment, from MD 97 to I-95, known as Contracts B and C, opened to traffic on November 21.
For more information about the project, please call the ICC Community Outreach office at 1-866-462-0020, or visit the ICC project web site at www.iccproject.com