About the research
Innovative contracting methods are being constantly refined to meet the challenges facing state departments of transportation (DOTs) in their efforts to rehabilitate the nation’s infrastructure. These contracting methods emphasize best value practices and attempt to minimize construction cost and service disruptions to the traveling public. The importance of innovative contracting methods stems from the flexibility they offer to state DOTs in the procurement and delivery of construction. One innovative contracting method that appears to be underutilized is flexible start date contracts which allow contractors to schedule their work during dates that optimize schedules and minimize the public impact of their projects. The present paper describes an exploratory investigation of flexible start/fixed duration contracting. The paper presents the current practices of a number of state DOTs along with a case study of the Paseo Bridge rehabilitation project in Kansas City, Missouri. The results of this investigation demonstrated the advantages of flexible start/fixed duration contracting and its potential benefits in large transportation projects in urban settings.