The National Academies

NCHRP 10-49 [Completed]

Improved Contracting Methods for Highway Construction Projects

  Project Data
Funds: $312,500
Research Agency: The Texas A&M Research Foundation
Principal Investigator: Stuart D. Anderson
Effective Date: 1/1/1997
Completion Date: 3/31/2000

The project provided a comprehensive discussion of current contracting methods and implementation guidelines for three non-traditional contracting methods: warranty, multi-parameter, and best value.

Highway agencies have developed a system of contracting practices that specifies and stipulates exactly what is built, how it is built, what materials are used, and how traffic is maintained during construction. While this contracting practice tends to minimize the risks of the private contractor who is building a public project, it demands a substantial involvement by state highway agency personnel, which translates into high administrative costs. For this reason, this type of contracting method is being challenged, and other options are being sought by many agencies. Construction warranties, multi-parameter bidding, and best value are contracting methods not typically used in highway construction but could be refined or developed for successful use in highway construction contracts. Therefore, there is a need to identify, evaluate, and refine such methods to facilitate their use in highway construction.

The project reviewed relevant domestic and foreign literature; surveyed the construction industry; identified and evaluated contracting practices with consideration to compatibility with the low-bid system, impact on SHA resources, product quality, and risk allocation; and developed guidelines for three nontraditional contracting methods: warrant, multi-parameter, and best value. The agency's final report that contains the findings of the literature review, discussions of current use, and analysis of survey results has been distributed to all state highway agencies. The guidelines for nontraditional contracting methods has been published as NCHRP Report 451.

NCHRP Report 451 Part A

NCHRP Report 451 Part B

NCHRP Report 451 Part C

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