The purpose of this paper is to show the way in which State Transportation Agencies throughout the USA are under increasing pressure to preserve and expand the nation's roadway infrastructure in the shortest possible time with only a finite pool of resources with which to meet a state's transportation needs. With this in mind, a rapid construction methods decision‐making system was developed, to be used during the preliminary and conceptual design stage of a roadway project.
The research completed an extensive literature review and examined case studies to identify rapid construction methods and summarize valuable lessons learned. Designed for use by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, the research developed a series of conceptual road user cost (RUC) tables that reflect different socioeconomic conditions by varying the value of time based on average hourly per capita income and wages for different counties in Kentucky.
The case studies identified that the most effective mean for State Transportation Agencies to accelerate construction is through their construction contracts. Furthermore, determining RUC as outlined in the research way simplifies the method of calculating RUC by using fewer variables than would typically be available during the preliminary and conceptual design stage.
The proposed decision‐making model is designed for State Transportation Agencies who are involved in the scenarios of determining the value of accelerating construction in both an urban and rural environments.
The project's intent in determining conceptual road user costs is to support a decision‐making process to identify the need and type of rapid construction methods for any given project.
A specific decision‐making process is proposed, and it uses the ratios of the Conceptual Road User Cost to the Maximum Allowable Road User Cost and a set of additional criteria based on project features to recommend a selection of rapid construction methods for a given highway project.