Implementing Best-Value Procurement for Design–Bid–Build Highway Projects

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Tran, Daniel
Molenaar, Keith
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Gransberg, Douglas
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Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering

The Department of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering seeks to apply knowledge of the laws, forces, and materials of nature to the construction, planning, design, and maintenance of public and private facilities. The Civil Engineering option focuses on transportation systems, bridges, roads, water systems and dams, pollution control, etc. The Construction Engineering option focuses on construction project engineering, design, management, etc.

The Department of Civil Engineering was founded in 1889. In 1987 it changed its name to the Department of Civil and Construction Engineering. In 2003 it changed its name to the Department of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering.

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  • Department of Civil Engineering (1889-1987)
  • Department of Civil and Construction Engineering (1987-2003)
  • Department of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering (2003–present)

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State departments of transportation (DOTs) have typically used low-bid procurement to deliver design–bid–build (DBB) highway projects. Although low-bid procurement has provided predictable results for state DOTs, it does not always result in the best performance during and after construction. Thus, state DOTs are increasingly using alternative methods such as best-value procurement to ensure project quality and enhance project performance. In essence, best-value procurement incorporates price with other factors to achieve specific project goals. Compared with low-bid procurement, best-value procurement offers several advantages that can include opportunities to improve project quality, promote innovation, and enhance project performance. To date, with a few exceptions, state DOTs have only used best-value procurement for design–build projects. This study explores the procedures and existing practices for implementing best-value procurement in DBB project delivery. Data were collected from a literature review, a survey questionnaire, and case studies. Three best-value DBB projects from the Michigan, New York State, and Oregon DOTs are presented. The research results showed that the use of best-value procurement for DBB project delivery can provide other benefits to state DOTs besides what was found in the literature, such as emphasizing nonprice factors that align with project objectives, reducing risk, and saving cost.


This is a manuscript of an article from Transportation Research Record 2573 (2016): doi:10.3141/2573-04. Posted with permission.

Fri Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 2016