A Guidebook for Post-award Contract Administration for Highway Projects Delivered Using Alternative Contracting Methods

There has been much research and writing completed in the past decade regarding project delivery using alternative contracting methods (ACM) such as design-build (DB), construction manager-at-risk (CMR), construction manager as general contractor (CM/GC), alternative technical concepts (ATC) and other nontraditional delivery methods. However, the bulk of the work has been accomplished with a keen focus on the pre-award procurement and project delivery method decision process. The literature is fundamentally devoid of research focused on best practices for administering ACM contracts after they have been awarded. The Federal Highway Administration's (FHWA's) Every Day Counts (EDC) Program has increased the need for guidance on administering ACM contracts by increasing the visibility of DB, CMGC, and ATCs specifically in a series of nationwide summits in 2010 and 2012. Additionally, Section 1304 of the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP 21) legislation provides an increased federal share for innovative techniques to help deliver projects more efficiently. The combined effect of the two programs has been a large increase in the use of ACMs by departments of transportation (DOTs) which have not used them before. Therefore the timeliness of this research is high to fulfill an urgent need for guidance on how to execute ACM contracts after award. The proposed research should address the following questions: (1) What are the best practices for post-award contract administration for ACM projects? (2) How do the roles and responsibilities of ACM project personnel vary during post-award administration in comparison to traditional project delivery methods? (3) What should be contained in ACM preconstruction services contract? (4) How should the design contract be modified to support ACM project delivery? (5) What are the advantages and disadvantages of current post-award ACM contract administration approaches? (6) What training do in-house design and construction assets need to effectively administer ACM design and construction project delivery? The objective of this research is to benchmark the state-of-the-practice in ACM contract administration practices, critically analyze DOT experiences including the costs and benefits associated with various contract administration approaches, and produce a guidebook which contains the information necessary to fill the current void in the body of knowledge on ACM contracting. Specific tasks to accomplish the objective include: (1) Define the state-of-the-practice in ACM contract administration through a comprehensive literature review, the collection and analysis of relevant procurement documents, ACM design and construction contracts, review of enabling legislation and barriers to ACM contract administration implementation; (2) Select a representative set of case study projects from public transportation agencies with ACM contracting experience that can be studied in depth to identify both best practices and lessons learned; (3) prepare a research work plan that describes the details of the research methodology and methods for identifying ACM contract administration best practices and developing conclusions; (4) Execute the research work plan and prepare an interim research report that articulates the data collection and analysis as well as emerging conclusions, best practices, lessons learned, and a proposed outline for the guidebook; (5) prepare the draft guidebook for ACM contract administration, incorporate review comments as required, and validate the guidebook's efficacy on actual ACM projects; (6) submit the final guidebook and a final research report that details the full results of the research; and (7) develop training and workshop packages to support adoption or exploration of ACM contract administration by interested DOTs.


  • English


  • Status: Terminated
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 08-104

  • 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:

    Harrigan, Edward

  • Start Date: 20150805
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 0
  • Source Data: RiP Project 40196

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01572354
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project 08-104
  • Files: TRB, RiP
  • Created Date: Aug 6 2015 1:00AM