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Delay-caused claims in infrastructure projects under design-bid-build delivery systems




Mehany, Mohammed S. Hashem M., author
Grigg, Neil, advisor
Guggemos, Angela, advisor
Fontane, Darrell, committee member
Senior, Bolivar, committee member

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Delay-caused claims lead to cost overruns in infrastructure projects due to the cost of construction time and impacts on related services. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the causes and effects of these claims on road and bridge projects and to create an effective claims management system. The study was conducted on road construction because data are more readily-available than for other infrastructures, but findings may apply to other categories, such as the construction of buried utilities. The study was limited to projects where the design-bid-build (DBB) delivery system was used. The study investigated the driving factors that give rise to claims, such as the extent to which delays affect them; how other parameters affect them; how the methods to estimate and analyze cost and delay claims work; what the most significant cost and resource items for delay-induced claims under DBB contracts are; whether a practical relationship can be established to analyze claims; how a workable claims management system can be created at the lowest level; and how this system can be addressed in DBB contracts. These questions were explored by isolating a list of variables including but not limited to the location of the project according to the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) region plan, budget variations, schedule variations, schedule type, scope of work, and road material type. Data for the study covered the six regions of CDOT and included 1,060 projects with a timeframe that spanned from 1997 to 2012 with more than 213 claims. Dates on the claims were organized using several Microsoft Access databases and Excel worksheets to screen and organize all the information where for each claim, the corresponding data on for all the variables were identified and catalogued. The study used three different methods for statistical analysis including frequency analysis, logistic regression, and correlation analysis to analyze delays and the driving variables. One of the issues explored was how the causes of delays are identified during the complex evolution of the construction project through different methods and techniques. The methods explored included different analytical and forensic techniques including Net Impacted Method, Impacted as Planned (IAP), Collapsed As-Built (CAB), Schedule Window Analysis (SWA), and Time Impact Analysis (TIA). A case study was also formulated to explore and prove the differences between these different analytical and forensic techniques of delays within a construction schedule. The results indicated that schedule variation is the most significant contributing parameter to claims occurrences in the road infrastructure industry. It identified a significant relationship between schedule and budget variations and showed an expected association between costs and time in claims. Unlike the general consensus of the construction industry that claims occur due to issues of cost and added contract items, the study indicated that schedule delays were the main driver behind claims occurrences. The case study showed the differences and the manipulation ability of different schedule analysis techniques where a contracting party can analyze the same delays using a certain technique that favors the party's advantage or reduces its responsibility in the delay claim. This in turn shows the need for the standardization of the delay analysis techniques between the contracting parties. It also showed the advantages, disadvantages and accuracy of the different delay claim analysis techniques and proved the overall superiority of the Time Impact Analysis (TIA) technique due to its accuracy and contemporaneous and proactive approach. The study included development of a standardized delay claims management system and a set of best practices for owners and contractors to create a fair and proactive process to resolve claims and minimize disputes and delay costs. The claim management system and best practices identify in detail all issues of delay claims management including but not limited to delays in detection and documentation, standardization of the delay analysis method represented in the TIA, weather issues and delays, scheduling specification and delay claims schedule and cost documentations. Given that road agencies generally lack standardized methods of integrated cost and time estimates to facilitate the claim resolution process, a growing number of claims will create more disputes and conflict resolution issues. The identification of major parameters to explain the occurrence of claims and how to deal them in a claims management system should help to lower infrastructure costs and speed completion of projects.


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construction claims
construction management
delay claims
dispute resolution
roads and highways


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