Evaluating design-build procurement documents for highway projects: How good are they?

James Ernzen, Ken Vogelsang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Recent innovations by the Arizona Department of Transportation in the use of design-build procurement for highway construction are presented. Explosive population growth in Arizona has pushed the department to the limits of its capacity and challenged it to develop innovative ways to stretch its resources to meet the constituents' needs. In 1996 the department spearheaded the passage of a pilot design-build law aimed at completing public construction projects more rapidly than could be done using traditional methods. An evaluation made of the procurement documents used for the second design-build project in this pilot program is described. The project reconstructed an extremely congested 12.9-km (8-mi) segment of Interstate 17, a primary artery carrying 180,000 vehicles per day through the city of Phoenix, widening it from 6 lanes to 10. The department used a two-step method for the selection of the winning design-build team from both a request for qualification and a request for proposal. Both documents were evaluated for the clarity of thought and the fairness of the point distribution methodology used by the selection teams. The responding teams were also surveyed about their costs expended during the proposal process. The primary method of data gathering was by written survey of all the proposing teams followed by unstructured interviews with responding principals. Analysis of the data gathered clearly showed the areas in which the procurement documents were unclear and in which the department needed to make corrections for future projects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)148-158
Number of pages11
JournalTransportation Research Record
Issue number1761
StatePublished - Jan 1 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering


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