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Arrow Performance Contracting for Construction on M-115 in Clare County, MI

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Technology Transfer

MDOT was interested in using performance contracting to accomplish roadwork cost effectively and with minimum disruption to travelers and maximum safety for workers and travelers. FHWA sent a team of subject matter experts, including Dr. Mark Robinson, Sid Scott, Mary Huie, and Chris Schneider, to Michigan for a 3-day, hands-on workshop to acquaint contractors and government officials with PCfC and FHWA's Performance Contracting Framework. Contractors and government officials discussed the opportunities and challenges this approach offers. Top opportunities government officials cited included improved quality of workmanship, the potential for reducing resource and administrative burdens while improving cost-effectiveness, and the public benefits of reduced delay coupled with faster project completion. Top opportunities from the contractors' perspective included the ability to analyze cost and time benefits or savings, the elimination of acceptance testing with the use of performance warranties, and the opportunity for collaborative design efforts with the best-value approach.

Robinson and Scott led the group through an examination of the challenges and ways to address them through the PCfC approach. Perceived challenges included contractors' concerns about having enough project control to offset their risks and the need for MDOT to establish performance measures that are both clear and reasonable. Challenges identified by the government included concerns about whether this process would be more or less susceptible to claims and determining the types of innovations that should be encouraged and at what stages of the work process they should be permitted. By the end of the workshop, both government officials and contractors were comfortable with the approach and had a shared understanding of what to expect in using it.

As a result of the PCfC workshop, MDOT selected the planned project to reconstruct the roadway and replace bridges on M-115 from Lake Station Avenue to the Clare–Osceola County line as its pilot to implement PCfC. This project was awarded a grant under the HfL program. On September 30, 2008, following completion of most of the construction activities, a showcase was held at the Doherty Hotel (figure 46) in Clare, MI, to disseminate knowledge and experiences gained through the PCfC process to others in the highway community.

Figure 46. Doherty Hotel in Clare, MI.
Figure 46. Doherty Hotel in Clare, MI.

The showcase was attended by 36 participants (figure 47) representing MDOT, FHWA, consultants, paving contractors, and other highway agencies, including the Colorado Department of Transportation. The agenda for the showcase is included in appendix A. MDOT Bay Region Engineer Tony Kratofil introduced showcase participants to the project. FHWA Michigan Division Administrator Jim Steele presented an overview of the HfL program (figure 48). Mark Robinson, senior engineer at SAIC, presented background on PCfC. Tom Fudaly, engineering and operations manager from the FHWA Michigan Division, detailed the award process. MDOT Delivery Engineer Bill Mayhew discussed the agency's experiences with the PCfC process (figure 49). Operations Vice President Aaron White represented Central Asphalt Inc. (figure 50).

Figure 47. Showcase participants.
Figure 47. Showcase participants.

Figure 48. FHWA Division Administrator Jim Steele presenting HfL program overview.
Figure 48. FHWA Division Administrator Jim Steele presenting HfL program overview.

Figure 49. MDOT Delivery Engineer Bill Mayhew presenting MDOT's experiences with PCfC on M-115.
Figure 49. MDOT Delivery Engineer Bill Mayhew presenting MDOT's experiences with PCfC on M-115.

Figure 50. Central Asphalt Inc. Vice President Aaron White presenting contractor experiences with PCfC on M-115.
Figure 50. Central Asphalt Inc. Vice President Aaron White presenting contractor experiences with PCfC on M-115.

Figure 51. Visit to M-115 project site.
Figure 51. Visit to M-115 project site.

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Contact

Mary Huie
Highways for LIFE
202-366-3039
mary.huie@dot.gov

This page last modified on 04/04/11
 

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