Contracting Strategies: A Different Approach to Address Long-Term Performance in Road Projects.

Enhancing long-term performance is one of the main goals that public agencies pursue when delivering infrastructure projects. Project goals are the basis for public agencies to select each project’s contracting strategy. Contracting strategies such as how projects are delivered (i.e., project delivery system) and how designers and constructors are selected (i.e., procurement methods) have shown to be influential in the accomplishment of cost and schedule goals in road projects. However, few studies have focused on how these contracting strategies are related to the accomplishment of long-term performance goals. Thus, this research aims to identify contracting strategies that contribute to improving long-term performance in road projects by promoting the application of new materials, design, and technology. To this end, the research project poses two research questions based on which the methodology is articulated. - Q1. Which contracting strategies and long-term performance data are used in California as compared with other states across the U.S.? To answer this question data will be collected from interviews, public documents, and subject matter experts. A benchmarking will be conducted based on the data collected, which will constitute the outcome of this first part of the project. - Q2. How contracting strategies relate to long-term performance data in road projects? To answer this question, qualitative content analysis will be conducted on the data collected in the previous step. As a result, a mapping of the relationships between contracting strategies and long-term performance data will be created. Both the benchmarking and the mapping resulting from answering research questions Q1 and Q2 will constitute a first stepping stone toward the integration of long-term performance goals as a deciding factor in the selection of contracting strategies in road projects.

Principal Investigator: 

Maria Calahorra-Jimenez

PI Contact Information: 

mcalahorrajimenez@mail.fresnostate.edu

California State University, Fresno

Dates: 

January 2021 to December 2021

Impacts/Benefits of Implementation: 

This research project will contribute to the field of knowledge of project delivery and procurement methods by investigating the relationship between contracting strategies and long-term performance goals in road projects. The results of this project will help public agencies to define the contracting strategy that best matches their long-term performance goals. Further, the topic addressed by this project aligns with the contents covered in the Construction Management course “CM 20 Construction Documents”, taught by this proposer. This project will constitute a framework for boosting undergraduate and graduate research. Finally, this research’s objective relates to one of the synthesis topics discussed in the 2021 TRB Annual meeting by the Project Delivery Methods Committee (AKAC20). This topic focused on evaluating whether the project delivery method selected was the right one based on the accomplishment of project goals. Thus, working on the proposed research project during 2021 has the potential for attracting NCHRP funding in the future

Project Number: 

2130