Synthesis of Information Related to Highway Problems. Topic 47-02. Alternate Design/Alternate Bid Process for Pavement Type Selection

Some state departments of transportation have opted to make decisions about pavement-type selection for highway projects through the Alternate Design/Alternate Bid (ADAB) procedure. ADAB is a procedure that allows bidding contractors to select the pavement type that will be constructed. The bid with the lowest life cycle costs wins the project and determines the pavement type. Ten states (Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee) were noted as having used alternate bidding on at least one project to select pavement type in National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Report 703, Guide for Pavement-Type Selection, which was published in 2011. Partly based on this report, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) made major changes to its technical guidance on alternate bidding in December 2012 (TA 5040.39), reversing previous guidance that discouraged the procedure. The objective of this synthesis is to document the implementation of NCHRP-developed processes for ADAB and the subsequently issued FHWA technical guidance given to state agencies. This synthesis will be of interest to highway agencies that are interested in using alternate bidding procedures to make the pavement type selection on highway projects. Information to be compiled for this synthesis includes the following: (1) Extent of the use of alternative bidding for pavement type selection by state departments of transportation (DOTs); (2) Factors considered prior to making a decision to use ADAB; (3) Identification of the stages of planning, programming, or project development when agencies decide to use ADAB; (4) Procedures used to reflect risk, costs, and performance of the competing alternatives; (5) Methods for developing equivalent designs; (6) Factors that have led to successful implementation of an ADAB model; and (7) Assessment measures (e.g., return on investment, benefit / cost ratio and net present value). Information for this study will be gathered through literature review, a survey of state DOTs, and follow-up interviews with agencies for case examples of their practices. Lessons learned, gaps in information, and suggestions for future research will be included.


  • English


  • Status: Proposed
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 20-05, Topic

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590

    American Association of State Highway & Transportation Officials

    444 North Capitol Street, NW, Suite 225
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    National Cooperative Highway Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001
  • Project Managers:

    Gause, Jo

  • Start Date: 20150512
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 0
  • Source Data: RiP Project 39638

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01562867
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project 20-05, Topic
  • Files: TRB, RiP
  • Created Date: May 13 2015 1:00AM