800 Percent Increase in Transportation Design-Build Projects Since 2002

by | Jan 3, 2019 | Design Build, Industry News

Design-build projects not only have faster completion times but are also more cost-effective. It’s no wonder that more major transportation projects in the U.S. are choosing this mode of construction over traditional methods.

The latest construction outlook report from FMI puts growth in the transportation sector at 13 percent, which is the highest growth rate of any U.S. segment. But this only tells part of the story. How these projects are being approached is also changing dramatically. Research released by the Design Build Institute of America reveals that design-build projects in this sector have skyrocketed compared to other market sectors.

The Use of Design-Build in Transportation Projects

The DBIA collected data from the U.S. Department of Transportation on the methods used for transportation projects across the U.S. Its committee examined data from 35 separate DOTs, noting the project types, extent of design-build use, best practices, procurement, and training needs relative to each project.

The data revealed that the use of design-build in transportation projects nationwide has soared, and continues to grow. In 2002, there had been just 140 design-build projects completed over a 12-year period, costing roughly $5.5 billion. Fourteen years later, that figure had jumped to 1,300 projects, an increase of more than 800 percent!

Who is Using Design-Build and On What Projects?

Of those studied in this survey, 87 percent had authority to contract for design-build services, and 62 percent had staff dedicated to its use. Project owners who have used design-build in the past are overwhelmingly in favor of it, with 87 percent saying that they would use the process again in the future. The primary reason given for not planning to use design-build is a lack of statutory authority, which is something that the DBIA is working to change nationwide.

How design-build is used in transportation projects varies widely, but there are some distinct trends. Ninety-five percent of the design-build projects are for highways, and 65 percent are designated for bridges. Nine percent were designated for rail projects, and there was no major distinction in using design-build or not based on the size of the project.

Major U.S. Transportation Construction Projects in 2018

The United States has many ongoing transportation projects that are worth billions, and some that will streamline moving people and goods from one place to the next. While not all of these are using design-build processes, statistics show that a majority have made this choice. Some of the largest projects include:

  • Gordie Howe International Bridge.

At a cost of $2.1 billion, this new bridge between Detroit and Ontario is meant to improve traffic flow.

  • Los Angeles Projects.

MyFigueroa is a pedestrian and bike-friendly area that opened in 2018 in the city’s Financial District. Los Angeles is also planning an expansion of its Crenshaw/LAX train line that is set to open in 2019.

  • Charlotte Light Rail.

Charlotte, NC doubled the size of its light rail system with a $1.1 billion expansion project that completed in the first half of 2018.

  • New York Bridge.

Currently one of the most costly infrastructure projects in the nation, New York state is working on a $4 billion bridge over the Hudson River that will replace the old Tappan Zee Bridge.

  • Salesforce Transit Center.

Called the “Grand Central Station of the West,” this massive train and bus station in San Francisco will be able to serve more than 100,000 passengers daily and is set to open in 2019.

K-Con, Inc. for Your Next Design-Build Project

K-Con, Inc. offers design-build services to both commercial clients and government entities. Our methodology ensures that clients have input and participation from conception through completion of the project, and the process provides a streamlined approach to even the most complex undertaking.

Whether you need to expand your space or build an entirely new project from scratch, contact K-Con today to learn more about how our services can help you achieve your goals.