Development and application of a production rate resource for contract time determination
Production rates are significantly important for contract time determination procedures as these are essential for estimating the duration of every activity needed to complete a highway construction project. For this reason, many estimation systems, including Texas Department of Transportation’s Contract Time Determination System (TXCTDS), explicitly depict production rate data of work items considered important in highway construction projects. Though many systems and databases available in the public domain provide an abundance of production rate data, they provide different rates for comparable work items. This research focusses on the development of the Production Rate Resource, a single, easy to use reference of production rate data gathered from publicly available sources intended to be used by TXDOT contract time estimators. The resource was developed by gathering production rate information through conducting a literature review and organizing the found data into a well assembled Excel workbook. This arrangement contains Excel sheet tabs depicting the resource’s introduction, details of the included production rate sources, a summary of the included work items and their respective production rate data, and item worksheet tabs portraying the gathered production rate data for each work item. These item worksheets also contain production rate averages, graphs that allow comparison and analysis of the data through visual aid, and specific scope information provided by the original sources. A recommended process based on the critical path method (CPM) was also developed for conducting a contract time determination using the Production Rate Resource. The gathered production rate data was then tested by conducting two contract time estimations of actual TXDOT highway construction projects using the recommended process. The results were compared with TXDOT’s contract estimations for an in-depth analysis, and the findings led to significant improvements to the resource. The final assembly of the Production Rate Resource provides production rate data for 59 highway construction work items provided by six publicly available sources.