The National Academies

NCHRP Synthesis 20-05/Topic 50-12 [Active (Synthesis)]

Development and Use of As-Builts Plans by State DOTS
[ NCHRP 20-05 (Synthesis of Information Related to Highway Practices) ]

  Project Data
Funds: $45,000
Authorization to Begin Work: 5/1/2018 -- estimated
Staff Responsibility: Tanya M. Zwahlen
Research Agency: University of Kentucky
Principal Investigator: Timothy R.B. Taylor
Effective Date: 10/17/2018
Fiscal Year: 2018

Final Scope
The development of as-built plans has long been the method used to capture, document and preserve construction changes, additions or details that were not previously depicted on the original construction plans. As-built plans are used by design, construction, operations and others in the maintenance, repair, widening and rehabilitation of constructed transportation facilities thereby leading to continuous updates. Over the past decades, various advanced and emerging technologies have been adopted in the transportation industry to improve the accuracy of data collection (e.g. GPS, LiDAR) and information modeling, leading to efficiency in design and construction. Migration to electronic plans and 3D models provides the potential for increased information on the plans. As a result, as-built plans are evolving to help manage assets in the future. However, the content, accuracy, format and platform vary across agencies and may also vary depending on the project delivery method (e.g., Design-Bid-Build vs. Design-Build).
The objective of this synthesis is to document how as-built plans are developed, used and updated by State DOTs. Information to be gathered will include but not be limited to:
  • How State DOTs define as-built plans
  • Information being documented and included on as-built plans
  • Methods used to capture and document changes to design plans during construction
  • Platforms used to establish the as-built plans (e.g. paper mark-ups, electronic models)
  • Entity used to develop as-built plans
  • How as-built plans are approved
  •  How as-built plans are retained and preserved
  • How as-built plans are used once approved (e.g. asset management)
  • Since approved as-built plans are legal documents, how state DOTs store and retrieve information from approved as-built plans for legal purposes
  • How State DOTs capture information for as-built plans from third party agencies
  • How as-built plans may differ for various types of delivery methods, including Design-Bid-Build, Design-Build, Construction Manager/General Contractor, and Public-Private Partnerships.

Information will be gathered through a literature review, a survey of State DOTs, and follow up interviews. The survey will be sent to the Research Director at each agency. The report will include at least five case examples that documents the spectrum of methods used to develop, use and update as-built plans. Knowledge gaps and suggestions for research to address those gaps will be identified.
Information Sources:
  • Calkins, M. (2017). “Electronic As-Built Plans Using PDF Software.” 96th TRB Annual Meeting Presentation, P17-21226, Connecticut Department of Transportation, January.
  • Turkan, Y. (2016). “Modernizing Road Construction Plans and Documentation.” Minnesota Department of Transportation, Office of Transportation System Management, September.
TRB Staff
Tanya Zwahlen
Phone: 585-315-1834

Meeting Dates
First Panel:  October 17, 2018, Washington, DC
Teleconference with Consultant: November 28, 2018
Second Panel: June 26, 2019

Topic Panel
Stuart D. Anderson, Texas A&M University
Kimberly L. Avery, Michigan DOT
Frank Flanders, Georgia DOT
Michael Kennerly, Iowa DOT
Lisa Pounds, Arizona DOT
Jeevanjot Singh, New Jersey DOT
C. Shannon Sweitzer, S&ME, Inc.
Katherine A. Petros, Federal Highway Administration
Nelson H. Gibson, Transportation Research Board

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