The National Academies

NCHRP Synthesis 20-05/Topic 54-12 [Active (Synthesis)]

Programmatic Implementation of Alternative Contracting Methods
[ NCHRP 20-05 (Synthesis of Information Related to Highway Practices) ]

  Project Data
Funds: $55,000
Staff Responsibility: Edward Harrigan
Research Agency: Tran and Associates, LLC
Principal Investigator: Daniel Tran
Effective Date: 11/10/2022
Completion Date: 5/10/2024
Fiscal Year: 2023

Final Scope

Alternative Contracting Methods (ACMs), including Design-Build (DB), Construction Manager/General Contractor (CM/GC), Public-Private Partnerships (PPP), and other combinations that may include Operations and Maintenance, have added a wide range of options for state departments of transportation (DOTs) to consider when delivering projects. DOTs have traditionally used the design- bid-build (DBB) method – by awarding a contract for construction to the lowest bidder, based on agency-designed plans. After many generations of use, the DBB delivery method is so engrained in local, state, and national agency processes, standards and contracts that most agencies are organized around this one delivery model. States may be implementing these ACMs under a specific legislative authority. Implementing ACMs warrants different mindsets and approaches to processes, standards, risk allocations, and contracts to reach successful project outcomes. Most DOTs across the country have used at least one form of ACM to deliver, operate, or maintain their transportation facilities. While some agencies have focused on a single project to test an ACM, or have developed each ACM project on an individual or one-by-one basis, other agencies have developed agency-wide programmatic approaches to build consistency when implementing ACMs across multiple projects or regions.

ACM procurement and implementation does not fit within the traditional DBB project development and contracting processes. As agencies try to adapt to maximize the value of ACMs, they can find that even their organizational structures, built around traditionally discrete and distinct areas of professional expertise, must be reimagined. These agencies have had to rethink administrative processes and procedures, each developed over decades to accommodate the DBB delivery method, to be tailored to function successfully and sustainably in this evolving and dynamic environment of multiple delivery method options. DOTs that have implemented more than one ACM project have discovered the importance of building consistency from one ACM project to the next ACM project, much like the DBB practices now considered standard. This consistency brings greater efficiency and familiarity for agency staff, stakeholders, and industry participants. But whether and how an agency chooses to establish a programmatic approach to implementing ACM projects varies from one agency to the next.

The objective of this synthesis is to document state DOT practice of programmatic approaches to ACMs.

Information to be gathered includes (but is not limited to):

·         Which DOTs have implemented programmatic approaches to using ACMs, and which have not;

·         Organizational structure, policy and/or procedural changes by DOTs utilizing programmatic approaches:

o   Department(s) involved in procurement and design and/or construction administration;

o   ACM-specific methods or procedures (e.g., forms, tools, manuals, guidance, specifications) used from project initiation to construction completion; and,

o   Changes to programmatic approaches over time.

·         Factors DOTs considered for implementing programmatic approaches to ACMs, including:

o   Legislative authority;

o   Selection of delivery methods;

o   Qualifications and process for evaluating and selecting proposer;

o   Training of staff (e.g., project managers and review staff);

o   Performance measures (i.e., KPIs) and reporting of successes;

o   Collection and implementation of lessons learned; and,

o   Risk identification and assignment.

 Information will be gathered through a literature review, a survey of state DOTs, and follow-up interviews with selected agencies for the development of case examples. Information gaps and suggestions for research to address those gaps will be identified.

TRB Staff
Edward Harrigan
Phone: 540-454-2149
Email: eharrigan@nas.edu

Meeting Dates
First Panel: October 3, 2022, Virtual meeting
Teleconference with Consultant: November 7, 2022, Virtual meeting
Second Panel: July 31, 2023

Topic Panel
Paul Chung, California Department of Transportation
Hongtao Dang, Washington State University
Jay Hietpas, Minnesota Department of Transportation
Carrie Lavallee, Massachusetts Department of Transportation
Christine Mizioch, AI Engineers
Raymond Tritt, California Department of Transportation
Keli Wylie, Arkansas Department of Transportation
John Huyer, Federal Highway Administration
Robert Shea, Transportation Research Board

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