Compendium of Best Practices for Incorporating Environmental Commitments into Transportation Project Construction Contract Documents

Focus Area

NEPA Process

Subcommittee

Environmental Process

Status

Archived

Cost

Under $99,000

Timeframe

1-2 years

Research Idea Scope

TERI Database Administrator Notes:: Funded under NCHRP 25-25 (47) “Compendium of Best Practices for Incorporating Environmental Commitments into Transportation Project Construction Contract Documents”

Background:

During the planning and design phases of transportation system improvement projects, transportation agencies routinely make commitments to implement environmental protection and enhancement measures as part of  their construction. These commitments are included in the transportation project environmental, design, and construction documentation. Also, the environmental commitments are included in memorandums of understanding and permits issued by federal and state regulatory and resource agencies as products of their environmental reviews occurring during project planning and design.

As part of the design phase, provisions for implementing the environmental commitments are incorporated into the project construction plans and contract documents.

Ensuring that the environmental commitments are fully implemented during transportation facility construction continues to be a major challenge for transportation agencies. There is often a gap in the transition between the design and construction and environmental commitments are not implemented in construction. Also, there are often changes in the project design during construction that changes how the environmental commitments can be implemented. When environmental commitments are not fully implemented, transportation agencies face permit violations and fines, increased regulatory burdens, project delays, and loss of regulatory and resource agency and public trust. This negatively affects the transportation agencies ability to deliver its transportation projects in a cost-effective and timely manner.

Research to synthesize a compendium of best practices for incorporating environmental commitments into construction contract documents is urgently needed.

Research Objective:

Develop a compendium of best practices for fully incorporating environmental commitments into construction contract documents.

Specific Tasks:

Task 1: Develop criteria for evaluating the effectiveness of transportation agency practices for incorporating environmental commitments into construction contract documents.

Task 2: Conduct a review of transportation agency construction contract development policies and procedures and contract documents to identify best practices for incorporating environmental commitments into construction contracts documents. The review may include but is not limited to: website reviews; policy and procedure reviews; contract document reviews; telephone interviews; and questionnaire surveys.

Task 3: Evaluate the effectiveness of transportation agency construction contract development practices and identify the best practices.

Task 4: Prepare a draft compendium of best practices for incorporating environmental commitments into construction contracts documents.

Task 5: Coordinate a review of the draft compendium with a work group of representatives from the AASHTO Standing Committees on Environment, Subcommittee on Design, and Subcommittee on Construction.

Task 6: Prepare a final compendium of best practices for incorporating environmental commitments into construction contracts documents.

Task 7: Prepare a power point presentation highlighting the contents of the compendium for presentation at the Transportation Research Board, AASHTO Standing Committee on Environment, Subcommittee on Design, Subcommittee on Construction, and Federal Highway Administration Environmental Specialists annual meetings. Make a presentation at these meetings using the power point presentation.

Suggested By

Shannon Eggleston, Center for Environmental Excellence by AASHTO

Submitted

10/19/2007