A New Fast Track for Public Works

by Bill Hirsh, Principal; Hirsh & Associates, P.O. Box 5575, Eugene, OR 97405,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1992, Vol. 62, Issue 2, Pg. 45-47

Document Type: Feature article

Abstract: Most public contracts are still awarded to the lowest bidder, but some states are experimenting with other approaches for complex projects. In Oregon, officials facing a tight deadline and set-in-stone spending limits for the $42 million Snake River Correctional Institution turned to a new form of public sector contracting in which a single firm acts as both construction manager and general contractor, known as construction management/general contracting (CM/GC), with a guaranteed maximum price. The project was completed on schedule and without a claim, with 20% more beds than originally planned and nearly $2.5 million under budget. CM/GC can be used for any type of construction. However, the benefits are greatest with projects that incorporate one or more of the following elements: technical complexity, need for accelerated completion with fast-track phased construction and budget limitations requiring a construction cost guarantee during design.

Subject Headings: Construction costs | Construction management | Fast track construction | Financial factors | Infrastructure |

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