Cost Effectiveness of Design-Build, Lane Rental, and A + B Contracting Techniques

Many state DOT specifications are generally prescriptive, in that they describe how contractors should conduct certain operations using minimum standards of equipment and materials. These prescriptive specifications, known as method specifications, have performed admirably in the past. However, rehabilitation and reconstruction projects, especially in a rapid renewal scenario, demand more creativity and innovation. Prescriptive specifications, used in conjunction with traditional procurement and contracting, do not properly foster this innovation. This study compares relevant performance criteria for three alternative contracting techniques (A + B, lane rental, design-build) and for traditional contracting. The research methodology involved surveying national experts who rated each innovative contracting method for each performance factor on each of the project types. Results indicate that design-build and A+B contracts are the most effective methods when time is the primary driver of cost or when complex design issues require interdisciplinary coordination. Because design-build appears to hold much promise for dramatically accelerating schedules, we utilized in-depth personal interviews of project team members involved in a design-build urban corridor reconstruction project in Minnesota. Interview data suggest the following issues need to be addressed as use of design-build contracting continues to gain acceptance: (1) Determination of appropriate level of design completion prior to issuance of the request for proposal; (2) Co-location of project team members; (3) Definition of responsibilities for quality control and quality assurance; (4) Adaptation of traditional state procedures, procurement systems, forms, and project information handling methods to better fit design-build delivery philosophy.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Print
  • Features: References;
  • Monograph Title: Proceedings of the 2005 Mid-Continent Transportation Research Symposium

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01004336
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 9780965231084
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Sep 21 2005 12:28PM