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Doug Gransberg, PhD, PE and 
  Jennifer Shane, PhD

Doug Gransberg, PhD, PE and Jennifer Shane, PhD

Accelerating Project Delivery – CM/GC

by Doug Gransberg, PhD, PE and Jennifer Shane, PhD on September 15, 2011
Iowa State University; Principal Investigators, NCHRP 10-85: Guidelines CM-at-Risk for Highway Projects and NCHRP Synthesis 402: CM-at-Risk for Highway Projects

Our research has found that the major barrier to the use of CM/GC on transportation projects is obtaining the necessary legislative authority. Entering into the political process to change the status quo is never easy, and to be successful agencies have to build a solid base of support for the change among all the stakeholders impacted by the change. In CM/GC, the primary stakeholders are the construction industry, the consulting engineering industry, and the agency personnel.

Both the Oregon and Minnesota DOTs have followed Utah's lead by implementing a robust industry outreach program prior to asking for legislation. Oregon's was successful as evidenced by the two major bridges currently being delivered by CM/GC in that state. Minnesota's effort is in progress. To date, Mn/DOT has conducted a number of sessions with various stakeholders to identify what the real concerns about CM/GC are and what can be done while drafting the legislation to address those concerns.

They have also hired consultants to develop white papers on the critical concerns, which intended to conduct an analysis of the issue, solutions found outside of Minnesota for that issue, and a list of possible options for addressing the issue in the Mn/DOT market. While these outreach sessions can at times be difficult, the fact that the agency is initiating them signals its willingness to work with the stakeholders in finding mutually agreed solutions to the issues expressed during the meetings. Perhaps more significantly, it also signals that Mn/DOT will implement CM/GC in a similar collaborative manner when it eventually receives the authority to accelerate highway projects in Minnesota using this project delivery method.

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