Synthesis of Information Related to Highway Practices. Topic 48-04. Staffing for Alternative Contracting Methods

Alternative Contracting Methods (ACM) are a significant part of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Every Day Counts initiative because they are seen as tools that can be used to expedite project delivery. Most U.S. Departments of Transportation (DOTs) have implemented ACMs in varying degrees and with varying degrees of success. The issue that has yet to be resolved is the question of what changes to the traditional design-bid-build (DBB) staffing level requirements need to be made when an ACM is used to procure a given project. Some DOTs have created separate “innovative contracting” divisions that centrally manage ACM projects. Others retain the decentralized approach and let current geographic areas of responsibility dictate who will deliver an ACM project. Both methods have been successful, but the literature contains little, if any, detailed information on the human resources requirements necessary to adequately staff the DOT project team so that it can fulfill its statutory due diligence responsibilities during design and construction. Since there have literally been hundreds of ACM projects of all sizes, types and levels of complexity completed across the nation, there is a rich set of local lessons learned by individual agencies that would be valuable to the rest of the industry if they can be captured and published in a single document. The objective of this synthesis is to identify effective practices for establishing staffing levels for ACM projects. Topics to be studied include research and practice on the following, but not limited to: (1) staffing practices during ACM project planning and programming; (2) staffing practices during ACM project environmental clearance; (3) staffing practices during the ACM project design phase; (4) unique staffing issues for the primary delivery methods (CM/GC, D-B, P3); (5) project staffing practices during ACM project procurement; (6) project staffing practices during ACM project construction; (7) impact of incentives/disincentives to accelerate project delivery on office and field staffing requirements; (8) planning, design, and construction contract administration process modifications that promote accelerated delivery of projects in tight areas; and (9) structural modifications to various project delivery methods for implementation with minimal DOT staff oversight. This synthesis will also explore public and industry outreach efforts that were used successfully by transportation agencies in implementing the delivery of ACM projects, as well as barriers to implementation of the recommended effective practices. The study may consider DBB staffing as a baseline. Information will be gathered by literature review, a survey of state DOTs, and follow up interviews with selective agencies to provide case examples of successful ACM project delivery programs and industry outreach efforts.


  • English


  • Status: Proposed
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 20-05, Topic 48-04

  • 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:

    Gause, Jo

  • Start Date: 20160509
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 0
  • Source Data: RiP Project 40813

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01598968
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project 20-05, Topic 48-04
  • Files: TRB, RiP
  • Created Date: May 11 2016 1:00AM