Alternative Technical Concepts for Contract Delivery Methods in Accelerated Bridge Construction

Link to the Latest: September 2020 Progress Report

Background:
Accelerated bridge construction (ABC) is known to reduce the construction time and cost of bridges drastically, yet there are several issues in its delivery methods that have yet to be fully investigated. It is vital to provide specific frameworks and guidelines for ABC projects, which disseminates knowledge to encourage ABC stakeholders understand the various contract delivery methods that promise possible savings on a project’s cost and schedule. This study aims to address one effective contract delivery methods, by highlighting and providing a metric that support ABC stakeholders and contractors recognize the merits of using Alternative Technical Concepts (ATC) on ABC projects. ATC is an effective project delivery method which is achieved through early contractor involvement, thus encouraging early understanding of the project, reducing risks proposing materials and modifications to contract requirements before the bidding or proposal process. That said, employing ABC projects with ATC contract method not only will reduce traffic and travelers’ disturbances, but also reduces ABC’s contract duration and cost by avoiding change orders as well as eliminating uncertainties within ABC projects. To be able achieve this goal and showcase to ABC stakeholders the advantages of ATC, the first step will be to conduct a rigorous literature review to understand the status of contract delivery methods in ABC projects and identify any potential case studies with ATC methods. Then a focus group/interview to professionals from construction, transportation, and the structural disciplines will be conducted to develop decision criteria that are usually used in the analysis of analytical hierarchical process (AHP). Afterwards, a semi-structured survey to representative samples of ABC stakeholders will be conducted to validate the hierarchical decision criteria developed through the focus group discussions/interviews. The obtained results from the survey are also used to develop a binary logistic regression model to determine the benefits of using ATC specifically on time/schedule in ABC projects. The findings of the study foster the development of a streamlined procedure for effective adoption of ATC, which would surely expedite ABC projects’ delivery, eliminate uncertainties about the ATC as a contract delivery method for ABC projects, and provide a framework to support early contractor involvement when ATC is adopted thus advance the frontier of ABC.

Objective:
The proposed research project will be geared towards determining the factors which impact the integration of ATC in ABC projects through the analytic hierarchy process (AHP). The objective of conducting this analysis is to develop a hierarchical model that can be used to develop a guideline for effective adoption of ATC thus expediting the contract delivery. These streamlined procedures for ATC would aid to successfully accelerate the design, construction process and procurement of infrastructure assets for either rehabilitation or new projects related to ABC. The integration of ATC in ABC projects not only ensure smooth regulation of traffic and adequate safety but more importantly address the issues of elevated cost and delay in project schedule.

Scope:

This project focuses on the development of A “Guide to the Use of ATC in ABC”. The following tasks will be performed to achieve this goal:

Figure 1: Flowchart Describing Sequential Project Activities

  • Task 1 – Literature Review
    • The objective of the first task is to understand the current status of contract delivery methods for Accelerated Bridge Construction (ABC) in addition to highlighting potential methods that may foster success in ABC projects.
  • Task 2 – Data Collection
    • Identifying and selecting stakeholders from the professional or academic setting in transportation, construction and structural disciplines who possess knowledge about ABC projects. After selecting the stakeholders, a focus group/interviews will be held. Through focus group/interview discussions, benefits and factors affecting the integration of Alternative Technical Concepts (ATC) in ABC projects will be identified by those experts. Afterward, a survey questionnaire will be prepared to arrange all the factors/criteria in a hierarchy, which provides an overall view of the relationship between the factors. This survey will be used to validate the focus group/interview discussions by other ABC stakeholders. The previous three steps in Task 2 would eventually assist in preparing an agreed-upon guide specific for ABC stakeholders, which pledges to expedite contract delivery in ABC projects.
  • Task 3 – Data Analysis
    •  The objective of the third task is to conduct an analytical hierarchy process, which is a multicriteria decision-making method combining a hierarchy of decision criteria and consisting of both tangible and intangible factors for obtaining the priorities related to alternatives.
  • Task 4 – Recommendations and Metrics
    • This task compiles and comprehends the data analyses by providing a robust approach using the analytic hierarchy process and binary logistic regression analysis. This approach will facilitate the construction stakeholders to determine the applicability of ATC in ABC projects by taking into account a wide range of criteria.
  • Task 5 – Final Report
    • A final report will be developed to summarize the research conducted by FIU and recommendations developed from the research.

Research Team:
Principal Investigator: Dr. Mohamed ElZomor
Co-Principal Investigator: Dr. David Garber

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