In early 1990s, the American driving public insisted that planned highway and bridge projects be completed quicker than was possible using the Design-Bid-Build (DBB) construction project delivery system, which had dominated the industry since 1930s. This led state Departments of Transportation (DOTs) to explore fast-track methods of construction. In late 1980s, some DOTs had experimented with Design-Build (D-B) delivery system. Forty-two state DOTs and numerous county and municipal transportation agencies now use the system and it remains the most popular integrated construction project delivery system in US transportation construction despite Federal Highway Administration efforts through the Every Day Counts initiatives to popularize newer methods such as Construction-Manager-as-General-Contractor and Alternative Technical Concepts. Its popularity is due to the speed with which projects move from conception through to completion and the ability through early contractor participation to implement innovative ideas that improve quality and further enhance the speed of the project. With all this speed, however, the design process has struggled to stay ahead of construction, especially when the Design-Builder is faced with new responsibilities such as Right-of-Way acquisition, the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process, the environmental permitting process, utility re-location, etc. This paper recounts the research performed by a team led by the University of Florida to produce a guidebook to help both design-builder and owner with the design management process for transportation infrastructure construction.
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