The Northwest Region Traffic Management Center is a 17,850-square-foot, design-build project for the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT). The building is considered a Risk Category IV Essential Facility, which requires the building to meet more restrictive seismic requirements, and for mechanical systems operations to withstand a severe natural disaster.
The facility’s primary operating room was built with over 2,500 square feet of wall space equipped with flat-screen monitors. Operations personnel are stationed at state-of-the-art console stations at which they will monitor the I-90 and SR99 tunnels, the tolling operation for the SR520 Bridge, and traffic in the NW region of Washington. The control room is bordered by an emergency operations center from which WSDOT can manage natural disaster, crisis, and other traffic-related emergencies.
Construction of the facility included sound-rated partition walls so that emergency operations personnel are provided with a virtually distraction-free space. Building mechanical systems include redundant ventilation systems and a 17-ton generator that is capable of operating the full load of the Traffic Management Center for 72 hours. The building has targeted the US Green Building Council certification of LEED Silver, contributing to employee productivity and health while greatly outperforming building energy-consumption baselines.
Construction of this project was closely coordinated with WSDOT. The Traffic Management Center is located directly north of the existing facility performing traffic management operations and providing development services. Traffic Management Center construction was required to tie into the existing building systems for direct monitoring and communication compatibility. This posed challenges for the PCL project team because shutdowns for electrical and communication connection were very restrictive—traffic management employees are continuously working.
A significant challenge to successful completion of the project was that the new Alaska Way Viaduct project, along with increased road tolling in WSDOT’s northwest region, required WSDOT to significantly increase the HVAC and electrical loads in the new Traffic Management Center. These owner-directed changes came after the team had completed the design and the structure for the building was well under way. The PCL design-build team dug in and reacted quickly, revising the mechanical design to accommodate the additional loads, expediting the revised mechanical equipment, and managing to implement the revised design without adding any time to the schedule.