About the research
Bridge construction projects are becoming increasingly complex as the demand for context-sensitive solutions, aesthetic designs, and accelerated bridge construction becomes more prevalent. In addition, the Iowa Department of Transportation (Iowa DOT) is entering a phase of design and construction of large border bridges, such as the I-80 (let 2008 for $56 million) and US 34 bridges over the Missouri River and I-74 over the Mississippi River.
Compared to typical construction projects, these bridges generate more contractor Requests for Information (RFIs), Value Engineering (VE) proposals, Requests for Changes (RFCs), and shop drawings. Management of these submittals is a significant challenge for Resident Construction Engineers (RCEs) and other Iowa DOT staff. In addition, some submittals require cross-departmental and project consultant reviews. Commercially available software exists for managing submittals and project collaboration teams; in-house solutions may also be possible. Implementation is intended to speed construction submittal review time, reduce incidence of delay claims, and free up Iowa DOT staff from project management administrative tasks.
Researchers from Iowa State University working with the Iowa DOT conducted a multi-pronged approach to indentify a web-based collaboration solution for Iowa DOT bridge projects. An investigation was launched to determine the functional needs of the Iowa DOT. Commercially available software programs were also evaluated to find what functionality is currently available. A Request for Proposals (RFP) was written to select a commercial web-based collaboration solution for pilot testing. In the second phase of research, a solution will be selected and implemented on two pilot projects. Lessons learned from these pilot projects will assist the Iowa DOT in developing and implementing a long-term solution to improve the management of Iowa DOT bridge projects.