The National Academies

NCHRP Synthesis 20-05/Topic 48-04 [Active (Synthesis)]

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

  Project Data
Funds: $45,000
Authorization to Begin Work: 5/9/2016 -- estimated
Staff Responsibility: Jo Allen Gause
Research Agency: University of Kansas
Principal Investigator: Dan Tran
Effective Date: 9/13/2016
Fiscal Year: 2016

Final Scope

Alternative Contracting Methods (ACM) is a significant part of the FHWA Every Day Counts initiative because they are seen as tools that can be used to improve project delivery. Most U.S. Departments of Transportation (DOTs) have implemented ACMs in varying degrees and with varying degrees of success. Staffing needs and organizational structure for traditional
Design-Bid-Build (DBB) projects are well understood. One issue that has not been adequately documented is organization and staffing needs when an ACM is used.

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 decide how to deliver an ACM project. Both methods have been successful, but the literature contains little, if any, detailed information on the human resources and skill sets required in the DOT project team. Since there have been hundreds of ACM projects of all sizes, types and levels of complexity completed across the nation, there is a rich set of practices and lessons learned by individual agencies that would be valuable to the rest of the industry once captured and published in a single document.

The objective of this synthesis is to document current practices for organization and staffing needs of ACM projects. This synthesis will focus on these practices for Public Private Partnerships (P3), Design-Build (DB), and Construction Manager/General Contractor (CM/GC) project delivery methods. Internal agency needs will be examined as well as considerations for consultant staff augmentation.

Information to be gathered includes (but is not limited to) the following:
• Agency organizational structure to deliver ACM projects (e.g., centralized, decentralized,
• Critical staffing/teaming needs (e.g., selection, skill sets, experience level, number of
full-time equivalents, etc.);
• Staffing utilization throughout the project life (e.g., scoping, environmental, procurement, design, construction, operate/maintain);
• How agencies address work load staffing peaks and valleys;
• Unique staffing issues for the primary delivery methods (CM/GC, D-B, P3);
• Staffing issues related to project close-out (e.g., warranties, documentation, unpaid
bills); and
• Lessons learned.

Information will be gathered by literature review, a survey of state DOTs, and follow up interviews with selective agencies to provide case examples. The survey should be directed to voting members of the AASHTO Subcommittee on Construction.

Information Sources (Partial):
• NCHRP Synthesis 450: Forecasting Highway Construction Staffing Requirements
• NCHRP Synthesis 473: Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity Contracting Practices
• NCHRP Synthesis 455: Alternative Technical Concepts for Contract Delivery Methods
• NCHRP Synthesis 429: Geotechnical Information Practices in Design-Build Projects
• NCHRP Synthesis 376: Quality Assurance in Design-Build Projects
• NCHRP Report 787: Guide for Design Management on DB and CMGC Projects
• NCHRP Legal Research Digest 61: Legal Aspects for Performance-Based Specifications for Highway Construction and Maintenance Contracts
• Gransberg, D.D. and K.R. Molenaar, “Does Design-Build Project Delivery Affect the Future of the Public Engineer?” Transportation Research Record 2081, Journal of the Transportation Research Board, National Academies, December 2008, pp. 3-8
• VDOT PPP projects 

TRB Staff
Jo Allen Gause
Phone: 202-334-3826
Email: jagause@nas.edu

Meeting Dates
First Panel:  September 13, 2016, Washington, DC
Teleconference with Consultant: September 29, 2016, 3:30 p.m., EST
Second Panel: June 28, 2016, Washington, DC

Topic Panel
Stuart D. Anderson, Texas A&M University
Jacqueline H. Cromwell, Virginia Office of Public-Private Partnerships
Eric K. Kahlig, Ohio DOT
Kevin Kosobud, Minnesota DOT
Carrie Stanbridge, Florida DOT
Raymond S. Tritt, California DOT
Richard B. Duval, Federal Highway Administration
Gerald "Jerry" Yakowenko, Federal Highway Administration
Nelson H. Gibson, Transportation Research Board

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