The National Academies

NCHRP Synthesis 20-05/Topic 49-02 [Active (Synthesis)]

Emerging Technologies for Construction Delivery
[ NCHRP 20-05 (Synthesis of Information Related to Highway Practices) ]

  Project Data
Funds: $45,000
Authorization to Begin Work: 6/2/2017 -- estimated
Staff Responsibility: Jo Allen Gause
Research Agency: Louisiana State University
Principal Investigator: Christofer Harper
Effective Date: 11/7/2017
Fiscal Year: 2017

Final Scope

Advanced technologies are emerging in the construction industry to assist with production, management, and safety in highway construction work sites. Evidence of these technologies was recorded in the 2009 NCHRP Synthesis 372, Emerging Technologies for Construction Delivery. This report serves as one of the few documents that summarized emerging technologies in transportation construction; most other literature heavily focuses on new construction materials, contracting practices, and construction methods. However, as technologies continue to evolve and advance, so does the need to update the literature that documents these technologies.

The objective of this synthesis is to provide state departments of transportation (DOT) with information about emerging technologies that are in varying stages of implementation for highway construction. The synthesis will capture DOT and industry input on the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats/barriers associated with implementing these technologies

Information to be gathered includes, but is not limited to, the following:
• Visualization and modeling technologies for constructability analysis, communication and documentation during construction. Current technologies in this field include virtual reality, augmented reality, 3-D printing, 4-D visualization, and fabrication.
• Interconnected construction vehicles and equipment at construction project sites. New functions on small, hand-held equipment allow them to be interconnected for purposes of monitoring performance, required maintenance, and inventory assessment.
• Safety technologies used during construction for workers and the traveling public.
• Instrumentation during construction to evaluate short-term or locked-in boundary conditions or member forces in specialty projects. For example, the use of sensors to enhance as-built documentation and further use for asset management.
• Uses of unmanned aerial systems (UAS’s), or drones, for construction monitoring, documentation, survey, and inventory.
• Other promising technologies.

Information will be gathered through literature review, survey of DOTs, and follow up interviews with selected agencies and contractors for case examples. The principal investigator will describe the survey methodology and distribution in the work plan. Surveys require an 80% response rate.

Information Sources:
Transportation Research Board Cooperative Research Program (NCHRP) Synthesis 372, Emerging Technologies for Construction Delivery.

TRB Staff
Jo Allen Gause
Phone: 202-334-3826

Meeting Dates
First Panel: November 7, 2017, Washington, DC
Teleconference with Consultant: November 30, 2017, 4:00 p.m., EST
Second Panel: August 22, 2018, Washington, DC

Topic Panel
Kerry A. Bates, Virginia DOT
John Hancock, California DOT
John Hannon, University of Southern Mississippi
Michael D. LaViolette, HDR Engineering
Rachel Lewis, Ohio DOT
Cheryl H. Simmons, Utah DOT
Thomas D. Wiser, New York State DOT
Thomas P. Harman, Federal Highway Administration
Katherine A. Petros, Federal Highway Administration
Nelson H. Gibson, Transportation Research Board

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