NCHRP Project 20-05/Synthesis 52-19 Technological Capabilities of DOTs for Digital Project Management and Delivery

Grants and Contracts Details


Many believe the next sea change in efficiency and productivity for the highway industry will be the “digitalization” of project management and delivery, the ability to seamlessly use digital information across all project phases for visualization, automation, decision making, and management. FHWA has invested over $35 million to support this, in the form of components of the larger concept of Building Information Modeling (BIM) for Infrastructure. Examples of this investment include 3D modeling, e-Construction, automated Machine Guidance (AMG), sUAS (small drones), and BIM research. An FHWA 2019 Global Benchmarking study, which focused on BIM, revealed that digitalization within the highway industry is an international priority. For many years, digital design, construction, and management methods as components of BIM have been improving delivery in the “vertical” building industry by creating efficiencies that lower costs, generate fewer field “clashes,” and increase the speed of construction. Recently, some of those technologies have made their way into civil infrastructure and transportation projects and have been steadily gaining traction with both departments of transportation (DOTs) and industry. For example, 3D models and e-Construction have gained significant momentum as the design and construction components of BIM, in which traditional paper and pdf documentation is replaced with digital information and tools to improve workflows and save time and money. Some DOTs have taken further steps to incorporate such digital technologies into their whole-enterprise business processes, moving toward the vision of BIM for life-cycle data management. Other DOTs have not strayed far from traditional techniques, waiting to see where digitalization makes sense and provides real benefits. The objective of this synthesis is to document the use of advanced digital construction management (ADC) systems by DOTs in the delivery of highway projects, from planning to design to construction to maintenance and asset management. ADC includes components of BIM such as e-Construction, 3D models, digital documentation, and geospatial tools that are working to leverage digital efficiencies.
Effective start/end date12/16/205/31/22


  • Transportation Research Board of National Academy of Sciences: $45,000.00


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