Cost-Efficient Procurement of Bridge Infrastructures by Incorporating Life-Cycle Cost Analysis with Bridge Management Systems

Life-cycle cost analysis (LCCA) has recognized potential for rationalizing bridge procurement, but its use in this context is far from systematic. The integration of LCCA findings in decisions is often far from robust. Furthermore, although most bridge management systems (BMSs) include databases of relevant information, agencies do not use them effectively to improve future bridge-investment decisions. This paper introduces a comprehensive approach to help agencies exploit their BMSs to procure the most cost-efficient bridge design through fair design-build (D-B) tendering processes. The approach incorporates use of a novel LCCA technique, LCC added-value analysis, that can be conveniently integrated with public agencies' established procurement procedures and maintains contractors' freedoms in D-B processes. The proposed approach allows bridge procurers to establish monetary LCC-efficient benchmarks and embed them in tender documents as core specifications. Hence the lowest LCC bid, rather than the lowest bid in initial investment terms, can be used as the contract award criterion. The Swedish Transport Administration has recently procured several bridges using the approach, thereby gaining considerable cost savings. A case study provides insights into various aspects of bridges’ LCC and illustrates analytical steps that other agencies could apply in bridge procurement. The study shows that the use of D-B processes, together with the lowest LCC bid as the contract award criterion, afford greater opportunities to consider LCC aspects in bridge procurement, rather than relying on traditional contracts and the lowest-bid criterion.


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  • Accession Number: 01534502
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, ASCE
  • Created Date: Aug 1 2014 3:01PM