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The National Academies

NCHRP Synthesis 20-05/Topic 51-17 [New]

Practices for Closing Out Highway Projects from Substantial Completion to Final Document Receipt
[ NCHRP 20-05 (Synthesis of Information Related to Highway Practices) ]

  Project Data
Funds: $45,000
Staff Responsibility: Tanya Zwahlen
Fiscal Year: 2019

Preliminary Scope

Because of the complexity of closing out a highway project, it is not unusual for a project to take months or years before it is officially concluded. The challenges to closing out a project can include change of personnel from both the contractor and the owner (DOT), migration of information (paper to electronic), lack of interest in finalization of as-built drawings, and contract amendments that tend to linger due to final negotiation or agreement. Not closing out a project within an expected time frame can lead to additional costs to the owner, frustration to the contractors and impediments to release of retention or final payment to the contractor. The delay ultimately impacts relationships and possibly the bonding capacity for a contractor. While there are check lists and processes for closing out a project among some state agencies, a better understanding of factors that drive delayed project close-outs could help ensure timely conclusion of highway projects.

The objective of this synthesis is to document successful practices for closing out highway projects.

Information to be gathered will include but not be limited to:
• Reported durations of time to close out a project from substantial completion from opening day to final closeout and final payment to contractor
• Required documentation for close out (e.g. certifications of work, materials, test results and other documents)
• Financial implications of closing out a project
• Metrics or processes transportation agencies use to control the duration required to close out projects
• Major factors influencing the close out of a project, including issues and opportunities
• Concerns that the contracting industry has regarding close out of projects to their business

Information will be gathered through a literature review, a survey of state transportation agencies, and follow-up interviews with selected agencies and industry representatives to document effective practices including metrics to support closing out projects.

Information Sources:
• FHWA (2017). “e-Construction: Facilitation and Documenting of FHWA Division Office e-Construction Pilot,” Final Project Report, US Department of Transportation, March.
• FHWA (2012). “Project Construction and Contract Administration: Project Closeout: Companion Guide to Video, August. Available at: https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/federal-aidessentials/catmod.cfm?id=2
• Taylor, T., Sturgill, R. and Li, Y. (2017). “Practices for Establishing Contract Completion Dates for Highway Projects,” NCHRP Synthesis 502, Washington, D.C.
• Include Ohio DOTs SiteManager—Point Based Incentive Finalization Report

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