Synthesis of Information Related to Highway Practices. Topic 54-12. Programmatic Implementation of Alternative Contracting Methods

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.


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  • Status: Active
  • Funding: $55000
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 20-05, Topic 54-12

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    National Cooperative Highway Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO)

    444 North Capitol Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Project Managers:

    Harrigan, Edward

  • Performing Organizations:

    Tran and Associates, LLC

  • Principal Investigators:

    Tran, Daniel

  • Start Date: 20221110
  • Expected Completion Date: 20240510
  • Actual Completion Date: 0

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01845352
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project 20-05, Topic 54-12
  • Files: TRB, RIP
  • Created Date: May 17 2022 10:41AM