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Flexible Notice-to-Proceed Provision on the Performance of Transportation Infrastructure Projects
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State departments of transportation (DOTs) are looking into alternative contracting techniques to shorten project delivery time, reduce total project cost, and/or improve project quality. One such technique is the use of flexible notice-to-proceed (NTP), which is a contract provision that allows a contractor some discretion, within some criteria, to establish a project’s start date. Despite the benefits of flexible NTP provision have already been extensively described in various sources, no actual study has been conducted to validate the benefits of this alternative contracting technique and its impact on key project performance. This study intends to fill this literature gap by supporting or disproving the benefits of flexible NTP provision with empirical, quantitative evidence. North Carolina DOT (NCDOT) has been chosen to be the subject of this study. Fifteen projects with flexible NTP provisions were respectively paired with another project that was similar in terms of project length, type of work, and location but did not have the flexible NTP provision. Results showed that projects with flexible NTP provisions were able to attract a significantly higher number of bidders. Despite the findings showing that the mean values of award growth, award price, engineer’s estimate, and contract time of projects with flexible NTP provision were lower than those without this provision, the difference was found to be not statistically significant at the 1% significance level. This study also investigated the effect of the length of the NTP window on project performance based on a sample of 25 bridge projects with flexible NTP provision. Findings indicated projects with longer NTP windows did not necessarily attract a greater number of bidders. A positive correlation was also found between the length of the NTP window and the award growth. This study adds to the current body of knowledge by being the first study to prove that flexible NTP provision is effective in improving bidding competition. The findings of this study are expected to shed some light on the capabilities of flexible NTP provision, and thus providing more confidence to DOTs in adopting this alternative contracting technique for more efficient delivery of transportation infrastructure projects.
Yaw, Meng Wai (2020). Flexible Notice-to-Proceed Provision on the Performance of Transportation Infrastructure Projects. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from