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600451-00016-1 Report Abstract

Decision-Support Framework for Quantifying the Most Economical Incentive/Disincentive Dollar Amounts for Critical Highway Pavement Rehabilitation Projects

Kunhee Choi, Eun Sug Park, and Junseo Bae, November 2013

One innovative way of reducing construction duration is to reward contractors with an early completion incentive bonus and levy fines for delays. Although use of Incentive/Disincentive (I/D) is increasingly common, State Transportation Agencies (STAs) often struggle to select the most appropriate I/D rates due largely to the lack of the proper analytical methods. There is an immediate need to develop a holistic framework that is more general and applicable to a variety of transportation projects for the determination of optimal I/D rates.

The main objectives of this study were to create a new decision-support analytical framework of optimal I/D and test whether it can reasonably and realistically determine and justify the most economical I/D dollar amounts. This study blends existing schedule and traffic simulation techniques with a stochastic analysis by accounting for the integration of project schedule, Contractor’s Additional Cost (CAC) of acceleration, and total savings to motorists and to the agency. STAs can arrive at an optimal I/D rate by employing a seven-stage methodology proposed in this study. These steps include two adjustment algorithms that are factored on the concepts of level-of-service and net present value. The study results revealed a strong tradeoff effect between schedule and cost, suggesting that CAC growth rate can be analyzed by how the CAC interacts with the agency’s specified schedule goal. The robustness of the proposed seven-stage methodology was validated with two case studies performed on real-world construction projects.

This research work provides research communities and industry practitioners with the first holistic view to determine the most economical and realistic I/D dollar amounts for a given project—an optimal value that allows the agency to stay within budget while at the same time effectively motivating contractors to use their ingenuity to complete the projects earlier. It can help agency engineers and decision makers make better-informed decisions and allocate more realistic incentives, which will result in more favorable cost-benefit ratios and better use of public funds. It will significantly reduce the agency’s expenses in the time and effort required for determining I/D rates.

Keywords:  Highway Rehabilitation, Innovative Contracting, Decision-Support Model, Incentive/Disincentive, Contractor’s Additional Cost of Acceleration, Road User Cost, Level-of-Service, Net Present Value

ENTIRE REPORT (Adobe Acrobat File – 2.3 MB)