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Major Projects


Lessons Learned

Project Delivery Lessons Learned Program

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On August 21, 2023, FHWA published a new Project Delivery Lessons Learned Program searchable database. The program’s main goals are to increase the effectiveness of FHWA stewardship and oversight and produce better project outcomes.

The FHWA encourages State DOTs and other project sponsors to share lessons learned with the database. Lessons learned can include successes and challenges, and can occur in any phase of project delivery (for example, planning, environmental, procurement, and construction) or any discipline (for example, design, right-of-way, utilities, National Environment Policy Act, civil rights, construction, or management).

While the FHWA Project Delivery Lessons Learned Program resides within the FHWA Major Projects Team, lessons learned in the database involve projects of all sizes.

View a presentation about this searchable database.

Major Projects Lessons Learned

The information that follows may not appear in the FHWA Project Delivery Lessons Learned database. While the information in some cases is dated, it is shared by the Major Projects Team to provide lessons learned from actual project experience with some of the United States' largest and most complex transportation improvements.

  • Marquette Interchange, Wisconsin The Wisconsin Department of Transportation lessons learned in a downtown Milwaukee multi-phase project.
  • Alaskan Way Viaduct & Seawall Replacement Program (.pdf) provides lessons learned related to the Earned Value Management System (EVMS) now in place in the Alaskan Way Viaduct and Seawall Replacement Program currently being delivered by the Washington Department of Transportation.
  • Central Artery, Massachusetts This document provides a brief description of the 34 recommendations made by the Federal Task Force on the Central Artery/Tunnel Project located in Boston, Massachusetts.
  • Transportation Expansion (T-Rex) Project: Final Lessons Learned Report, June 2007 (.pdf, 3 mb) This document summarizes the lessons learned in the Transportation Expansion (T-REX) Project, which was an exceptionally successful example of a Design-Build (D-B) contract delivery method applied to a multi-modal (highway and light rail transit) infrastructure major project.
  • Success Stories in Transportation Mega Projects A "Lessons Learned" Approach to Collaborative Leadership in Mega Project Management (.pdf, 1 mb)
    • I-15 Reconstruction Project (.pdf, 1 mb) This case study describes the collaborative leadership project management approach used on the reconstruction of I-15 in Salt Lake City, Utah. This $1.59 billion design-build project involved the reconstruction of 16 miles of Interstate mainline and the addition of new general purpose and high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes, construction and reconstruction of more than 130 bridges, the reconstruction of seven urban interchanges, reconstruction of three major junctions with other Interstate routes including I-80 and I-215, construction of an extensive region wide Advanced Traffic Management Services (ATMS) function. At the time it was completed in 2002, it was the largest single highway project and it was completion of the project ahead of schedule and under budget.
    • 2002 Olympic Winter Games Infrastructure (.pdf, 1 mb) When the Olympic Committee announced in June 1995 that Salt Lake City, Utah won the selection to host the Winter Games, it started a chain of collaborative events. The transportation professionals associated with the planning for the Utah infrastructure came together to develop partnerships between federal, state, and local stakeholders to ensure the success of the Winter Games. This case study describes how local transportation practitioners developed and implemented a transportation plan to ensure efficient operations during the games.
    • Alameda Corridor Project (.pdf, 1 mb) The Alameda Corridor consolidated rail traffic between the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach and the rail yards near downtown Los Angeles. The project placed 90 miles of rail with 200 roadway crossings into a 20-mile high capacity transit corridor between the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles, California. The $2.4 million project increased capacity in the corridor from 3.5 million containers to 12.7 million containers per year. The project involved a wide array of partners as well as a mix of private and public funding. This case study describes effective and collaborative leadership provided by the project's champions, the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach and a great deal of flexibility from other partners including the Federal level made the project come together.
    • Big I (I-25 & I-40) (.pdf, 1 mb) The Big I was the largest transportation project constructed in New Mexico and involved the replacement of the junction of two major interstate highways I-25 (Pan American Freeway) and I-40 (Coronado Interstate), which was one of the most congested interchanges in the country. The Big I project started in June 2000 and was completed in May 2002. This case study documents the successful collaboration that enabled the project's 55 bridges to be constructed in record time.
    • The Hyperfix Project (.pdf, 1 mb) The Hyperfix Project involved the rehabilitation of Interstates 65 and 70 in Indianapolis, Indiana to remediate deteriorating joints, potholes and rough pavements. The Hyperfix project was expedited by 85-day complete shutdown of I-65 and I-70 between May 27 and August 20, 2003 at a cost of $33 million. An early completion incentive was offered totaling $3.6 million or $100,000 every day the contractor opened travel lanes prior to the 85-day contract limit. Given that I-65 I-70 served a total of 170,000 vehicles per day, their closure required the cooperation of numerous stakeholders. This case study describes how INDOT and FHWA developed a collaborative relationship that also included IndyGo (the local transit agency), Indianapolis Department of Public Works, and the Indianapolis Metropolitan Planning Organization to implement the Hyperfix Project. Ultimately the project was completed 30 days ahead of schedule.
Updated: 09/26/2023
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