John Friel, PE, PTOE

Friel has helped lead more than $7 billion worth of construction value for highway, transit and aviation infrastructure projects. These projects have leveraged a wide array of alternative project delivery methods, including design-build, design-build-finance-operate-maintain, construction manager/general contractor, as well as numerous variations of these project delivery types. Major design-build projects have included the Honolulu High-Capacity Transit Corridor Project in Hawaii; Presidio Parkway in San Francisco; Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Tunnel in Seattle, I-15 Corridor Expansion in Utah and I-495 HOT Lanes in Virginia.

Friel is known for his expertise in leading large project teams, contract and project management program administration, design specification development, scheduling, cost estimating, resource leadership, team development and oversight, quality assurance and budget oversight.

Professional affiliations:
● Institute of Transportation Engineers
● American Society of Civil Engineers
● Intelligent Transportation Society of America
● Engineering Society of Detroit

30 seconds with John Friel …

Q. Why is design-build becoming a preferred delivery method for large, complex transportation projects?
A. “Design-build is extremely well-suited for today’s mega projects. Combining the talents of designers and contractors at a project’s onset can work to the owner’s advantage. The integrated approach can achieve speed and economies of scale, encourage innovation and tailor designs to a contractor’s specific construction methods. By allowing state departments of transportation to get projects under contract faster, design-build also helps them to qualify for federal monies that must be spent within a specified timeframe.”
Q. What is the potential for growth within design-build?
A. “There is tremendous potential. Industry studies have indicated that for the first time more than half of the projects above $10 million are now being delivered by design-build. Forty-seven states and Puerto Rico have adopted design-build. HNTB supports nationwide adoption.”

Q. What role should design firms play in shaping alternative delivery methods?
A. “Design firms can help states think through the best alternative delivery methods, based on the state’s individual needs, as well as share lessons learned from other states. While these methods still are early in their adoption and implementation, we have begun to see recurring scenarios regarding how they can be even more efficient and effective.”

● Bachelor of Science, civil engineering, Lawrence Technological University