Innovative Contracting Methods and Construction Traffic Congestion

Principal Investigators

  • Dr. Utpal Dutta
    University of Detroit Mercy

Project Dates:

09/01/2010 to 08/31/2011

Project year: Year 1

MIOH-UTC Project Identifier: TS 42

Focus Area:

  • Research: Intelligent Transportation Systems


Innovative contracting techniques are being used and increasingly reported in literature, particularly in studies related to mitigating the adverse effect of construction on traffic flow. State DOTs, such as Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) and  California Department Transportation (CALTRAN), do use innovative techniques such as cost plus time (A+B) and Incentive/Disincentive (I/D) to address construction related traffic delay. However, neither of them has any standard guidelines to adopt innovative contracting techniques in any project. At the same time thousands of dollars have been spent as a part of construction incentives.  According to the MDOT “The impact of the use of incentive on the long term pavement performance has not been determined, nor has a determination been made concerning the cost effectiveness of the use of incentives……”

 The purpose of this study is to develop a model to determine the functional relationship between project cost and duration where innovative contracting techniques are used. The model will be developed by using a construction related database of MDOT.  The threshold value of Road Users Cost (RUC) that would justify the use of innovative contacting approach will be determined.  A list of potential high, medium and low congestion causing projects, where I/D and A+B methods are appropriate will be prepared.  A template will be designed to be used by the state DOTs to decide suitability of any project for innovative contracting technique.

 Once a functional model is developed, its use in determining minimum contract time and maximum incentive for any project will be identified. The proposed study will be of great assistance to the MDOT and other DOTs when considering any innovative contracting project.

Final Report:


Total Budget: $112,510