U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590
202-366-4000


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Bridge Construction

Framework for Decision-Making

Frequently Asked Questions

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  1. What is the Decision-Making Framework?

    The framework is a quick and simple tool that a bridge professional can use to make an effective decision on whether to use prefabrication at the bridge location under consideration.

  2. Who should use the framework?

    The framework was developed for use by the representatives of the owner agency and the contractor. The users include the decision makers for the bridge type as well as those developing and implementing the details, including designers and project managers.

  3. Why should I use the framework?

    The framework will save time in the initial decision of whether to use prefabrication, and also provides additional information for consideration once the decision to use prefabrication has been made. Consideration of the many issues provided in its concise format will result in the effective use of prefabrication.

  4. When should I use the framework?

    The framework should be used at the very outset of planning for the bridge project if possible, for the most efficient use. However, the framework may be used at any stage of a bridge project, e.g., after contract award at the value engineering stage.

  5. Where should I start?

    Three formats are provided to choose from in using the framework. Only one of them, two of them, or all three of them may be used as desired. It is suggested that the user start with the one-page flowchart or the one-page "Yes-Maybe-No" matrix for a high-level approach, followed by the third more detailed question-and-discussion format as time allows.

  6. Why are three different formats provided?

    Three different formats are provided to accommodate the different responsibilities of the users. For example, a State Bridge Engineer or Chief Engineer making the decision of whether to use prefabrication will prefer the flowchart or "Yes-Maybe-No" matrix for a quick decision, while the bridge design engineer and project manager will want to review the more detailed question-and-discussion section for consideration of the many issues that may impact the technical details of the project.

    The three different formats were also developed to accommodate the different ways that users process information. Some prefer a flowchart to see the big picture, while others prefer a question matrix that they can simply respond with a "Yes," "Maybe," or "No." Others prefer to have more details to ponder prior to making a decision.

  7. How can I get assistance if needed in using the framework?

    The Office of Bridge Technology has staff available to assist as needed. Please refer to the contact provided to the right.

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Updated: 08/22/2013
Federal Highway Administration | 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE | Washington, DC 20590 | 202-366-4000