Disputes in Public Highway Projects

highway photo from overhead

Disputes in Public Highway Projects

Given the general perspective that disputes arise out of a lack of understanding between parties and that traditional low-bid procurement methods for selecting contractors foster adversarial relationships, substantial efforts have been made to evolve alternative project delivery methods (PDMs) that create collaborative project environments to reduce disputes. While the idea of such PDMs is appealing, such efforts necessitate empirical tests to be validated. This research empirically investigates the impact of PDM on the occurrence of disputes. To achieve this objective, we sent a survey to several states’ DOTs to assess their procurement processes, dispute occurrences, and other factors known to affect disputes (partnering, repeat business, trust, and communication); each respondent provided information about three recently completed projects—particularly projects that employed diverse PDMs. Our study uses descriptive and inferential statistics to analyze these projects, and our empirical outcomes reveal that partnering, repeat business, collaboration, and trust play a substantial role in dispute occurrence.

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