The objective of this project was to recommend to the Washington State Department of Transportation a new process for conducting constructability reviews. In Phase I of the project, the researchers sought to define the problem, identify critical issues, and develop the initial elements of a Constructability Review Process (CRP).
To understand how WSDOT develops its projects, the researchers obtained documents and briefs on a current series of management studies; reviewed WSDOT's manuals, directives, and guides describing the project development process involved; and conducted an extensive round of interviews with WSDOT staff and management, as well as interviews with consultants and others involved with the process. They also reviewed projects on SR 18 in the Northwest Region.
The CRP model was developed concurrently with other studies focusing on other aspects of improving the WSDOT Project Development Process. Although significant changes are being implemented that should result in improvements, the researchers found that issues germane to constructability remain. These include the need for WSDOT to consider constructability in a statewide Project Management Process; to form a multi-disciplinary CRP team at the project scoping phase; for closer communication, coordination, and team building between the Headquarters Structures Service Center and the Regional Design offices; for plans review coordination with the final constructability review; for structured project checklists for use throughout the project development process; and for an accessible record of design decisions made, as well as design and post-contract lessons learned.
The researchers agree that the re-engineering being done to the project development process is making improvements that are consistent with the constructability enhancement provided by the CRP. The main aspects of this new process are as follows: At the draft Project Identification Report (PIR) stage, a project-level Value Engineering study should be considered for projects that are major, costly, or that include complex features to evaluate every possible alternative for the project. A set of up to four constructability reviews should be implemented, with the number depending on the project's type, size and complexity. The general purpose of the constructability review is to assure that constructability issues, including maintainability, are identified and resolved before completion of the PS&E. A system of checklists and a compendium of lessons learned should be developed for use throughout the project.