April 11, 2014
Innovation of the Month:
Alternative Technical Concepts
Through Every Day Counts, the Federal Highway Administration is encouraging highway agencies and other industry stakeholders to add alternative technical concepts to their construction project toolkits.
Basically, an ATC is a contractor's request to modify a contract requirement generally by offering an innovative construction option that can help the contractor gain a competitive edge during the bidding or proposal process.
Here's how the ATC process works:
- The highway agency issues an invitation for ATCs that describes the base project design and construction criteria.
- Contractors submit suggestions for ATCs that, if the agency approves them, can be incorporated into bids or proposals. The process allows contractors to offer innovative ideas confidentially.
- The agency reviews and determines which ATCs to accept. They can include, for example, concepts that accelerate project delivery, reduce the impact of construction on travelers or add features the agency and the public desire.
- Each contractor incorporates its approved ATCs into its proposal or bid.
A new Transportation Research Board publication, Alternative Technical Concepts for Contract Delivery Methods, documents how transportation agencies have used ATCs successfully during the highway contracting process.
Illinois Group Reviews Innovation Funding Opportunities
The Illinois State Transportation Innovation Leadership Team agreed at its March 31 meeting to pursue FHWA State Transportation Innovation Council incentive funds to support deployment of three-dimensional modeling. The group formed a team to work with consulting and contractor industry representatives to develop a funding proposal.
The group also discussed FHWA Accelerated Innovation Deployment Demonstration grants and reviewed status reports on implementation of Every Day Counts innovations in the state.
Massachusetts Workshop Focuses on Design-Build
About 120 people from across Massachusetts participated in a Boston workshop on design-build lessons learned. The March 28 event was a key activity in the effort to implement the design-build project delivery method in the state. The workshop focused on what's working well and policies and procedures that need improvement. Participants included construction contractors, consulting engineers and staff from the Massachusetts Department of Transportation and FHWA. A report is in the works to document key findings and recommendations identified during the workshop.
Alternative Contracting Resources Now Online
FHWA's Alternative Contracting Methods Library offers online access to information on deploying design-build, construction manager/general contractor and alternative technical concepts. The website includes samples of documents prepared by state legislatures and transportation agencies for using alternative contracting methods to accelerate project delivery, encourage innovation deployment and minimize delays and cost overruns. Examples of what's available include enabling legislation, request-for-proposal templates, risk allocation guidance, procurement strategies and instruction manuals.