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Managing and reducing risk in accelerated highway construction projects

Managing Risk in Rapid Renewal Projects (R09)


Highway projects come in a variety of sizes and use various financing mechanisms and delivery methods. Work on such projects often involves the potential for schedule delays, budget overruns, and other unexpected problems or “risks” that affect project performance. The risks of underestimating schedule, cost, or disruption can increase delays, negatively affect budgets, require expensive changes, and undermine public confidence. Managing a project by anticipating and planning for these risks can significantly improve its outcome for the transportation agency and the traveling public.

Current traditional risk assessment and mitigation activities used by transportation agencies often lack rigor and formality in project planning, design, and delivery continuum. Failure to adhere to a formal risk analysis process can result in unanticipated problems, delays, and costs. In addition, finding solutions during later phases of a project can be more difficult and costly. The Guidebook for Managing Risk in Rapid Renewal Projects provides practical tools and techniques to optimize innovation, minimize schedule and budget risks, and build better projects.


Managing Risk in Rapid Renewal Projects (R09) helps managers quantify risks and provides guidance on the level of risk management needed. It presents a formal risk management process that optimizes performance for accelerated reconstruction on projects. R09 offers practical methods to identify, assess, mitigate, allocate, and monitor risk. Also, it fills the gaps that current risk management practices do not address by adding project performance measures, and different project delivery and construction methods

The process described in the R09 Guidebook allows users to factor in project scope, strategy and conditions, structuring, risk identification, risk assessment, risk analysis, risk management planning, and risk management implementation. It also provides objective guidance that can be applied to various types and sizes of rapid renewal projects, as well as other rehabilitation efforts.

Implementation Tools

The R09 Guidebook includes the following implementation tools:

  • Spreadsheets that lead the user through a risk analysis process.
  • Two-day Train the Facilitator training course that includes instruction on the risk management process, and helps participants apply the principles in a case study activity.


Guidelines and training materials provide agencies with a greater understanding of potential risks associated with rapid renewal projects, and possible mitigation strategies. Training materials will assist transportation agencies with integrating this planning approach on a broader scale.

This product can be applied to highway projects of varying sizes and types to help managers proactively identify, plan for, assess, and manage their project risks to meet schedule and budget goals.

A better understanding of the potential risks leads to:

  • Better financial management of agency capital budgets.
  • Fewer changes due to unanticipated issues.
  • More disciplined decision making regarding crucial project matters in the context of all other risks.

The R09 product will help transportation agencies better anticipate and understand the range of performance outcomes that may occur during a project’s life cycle.

In the Field

State Project Description Activity Contact
Alaska Implementation Assistance Program – The Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (ADOT&PF) will receive assistance via a demonstration workshop for a project in the central region of the State. This workshop will assist with an urban repaving project involving Americans with Disabilities Act requirements and context complexities. ADOT&PF is interested in updating the Risk Management section of their Preconstruction Manual. User Incentive Carolyn Morehouse
Arizona Implementation Assistance Program – The Arizona Department of Transportation Phoenix Construction District will receive assistance via a demonstration workshop for the US60 (Grand Avenue) and Bell Road Traffic Interchange project in Maricopa County. The workshop will provide guidance, materials and training to help identify potential risks and implement risk mitigation strategies. ADOT is also interested in a train-the-facilitator session to allow identified ADOT staff to become risk workshop facilitators for future complex projects. ADOT plans to update their risk guidance/policies incorporating R09. User Incentive Madhu Reddy
Arizona Implementation Assistance Program – Federal Lands Highway (FLH) will host a workshop facilitated by FHWA/SHRP2 experts to establish a defined and uniform FLH process with tools for managing project risks, and conduct risk management on the Flagstaff Vista Overlook project. User Incentive Ed Martinez
Federal Lands Highway
Florida Implementation Assistance Program – Florida Department of Transportation is using rapid renewal project guides and training resources for the Gateway Express project. Proof of Concept Pilot Greg Davis
Florida Department of Transportation
Florida Department of Transportation is using the R09 product as a medium to: Update their Risk Analysis and Management Implementation Policies and Procedures. Acquire a Risk Analysis/Management Software. Train their staff to become facilitators of R09 Workshops. Lead Adopter Greg Davis
Florida Department of Transportation
Florida Implementation Assistance Program – The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) will purchase a risk repository system that will provide a means to capture statewide risks, impact costs, probabilities, etc. for future project risk assessments. It will also be used to develop and report on various metrics for evaluating the performance of FDOT’s risk management program and other reports as required by FDOT management. User Incentive Greg Davis
Georgia Implementation Assistance Program – Georgia Department of Transportation using rapid renewal project guides and training resources for the SR 96 corridor. Proof of Concept Pilot Genetha Rice-Singleton
Georgia Department of Transportation
Minnesota Implementation Assistance Program – Minnesota Department of Transportation is implementing the product on the reconstruction of I-35W from 46th Street to I-94 in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area to coincide with the current effort to better manage construction project schedules through proactive risk management. Lead Adopter Jenny Morris
Minnesota Department of Transportation
Oregon Implementation Assistance Program – Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) is implementing the R09 product in the Millersburg Interchange (which is part of the I-5 South Jefferson Interchange) with US-20 project and on the OR-62 modernization project. ODOT is interested in updating their project delivery guidance, design manuals, policies, process flows, and associated documentation to incorporate risk management. Lead Adopter Lea Ann Hart-Chambers
Oregon Department of Transportation
Pennsylvania Implementation Assistance Program – Pennsylvania Department of Transportation is applying R09 to the Potters Mills Gap Transportation Project. Lead Adopter Selena Griffett
Pennsylvania Department of Transportation
Pennsylvania Implementation Assistance Program – The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) will receive train-the-facilitator assistance to continue training central office and district staffs in application of the risk management process. PennDOT will also conduct an additional train-the-facilitator session that will be taught by PennDOT staff with the purpose of training additional staff. User Incentive Selena Griffett
Wisconsin Implementation Assistance Program – The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) is implementing risk management strategies through a demonstration workshop for the I-43 N-S project. The workshop will provide the project team, including regional and central office bureau experts with a better overall understanding of the R09 process and how it can be applied to a WisDOT project, as well as provide project specific R09 outcomes enabling staff to understand the real risks and the implications to a WisDOT I-43 N-S Corridor project. Risk Management procedures and guidance will be updated as part of the implementation. User Incentive Larry E Jones

In addition to the Implementation Assistance Program-supported projects listed above, the R09 risk assessment workshops were also piloted during the research phase. Representatives from Washington, Minnesota, Nevada, Virginia, and North Carolina participated.

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