Ancient Project Methods Lead to Costly Construction Boondoggles

Penney Vanderbilt and KC Jones: All About Railroads

Engineering Reports

In an age when image recognition, Big Data analysis and artificial intelligence are coming to define construction, outdated and inefficient contracting and construction management practices won’t cut it to build critical infrastructure at the scale and speed they’re now needed. Innovative methods such as public-private partnerships and integrated project delivery already are proving their value globally to fast-track construction and avoid costly errors from poor planning and management. Political leaders must adopt such approaches pronto if there’s any hope to upgrade U.S. infrastructure before it deteriorates beyond any realistic cost and schedule framework. ASCE’s D+ infrastructure grade in 2017 was the same as in 2013.

While new-age technology is at more jobsites, contract terms and project delivery methods used by most U.S. public agencies are stuck in the early 20th century. Stubborn reliance on design-bid-build as the only method for most public works is at the core of…

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