Campus Units

Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering

Document Type


Publication Version

Submitted Manuscript

Publication Date


Journal or Book Title

Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board






Transportation agencies increasingly allow design–build teams and construction contractors to incorporate alternative technical concepts (ATCs) into proposals for highway projects. The ATC approach allows proposers to suggest modifications to a contract requirement that would result in the project being equal to or better than the design in the solicitation. This paper investigates current procurement policies and presubmittal procedures followed by state transportation agencies in the implementation of ATCs in transportation projects. The paper reports survey results of state departments of transportation (DOTs) that generated responses from 42 state DOTs. These results were compared with a content analysis of solicitation documents of 65 ATC projects from 24 DOTs. The results showed that although ATC usage was most common in design–build projects, ATCs have been successfully implemented in nearly all project delivery methods. The study showed that incorporation of ATCs into the procurement process allowed for clarification of solicitation documents in a confidential manner. The most important factors for the success of the ATC procurement process are the ability to safeguard ATCs that contain proprietary content and the guarantee of ATC confidentiality. During proposal presubmittal, the agency will need to determine procedural issues involved in confidential meetings and the confidentiality of preproposal communications.


This is a manuscript of an article from Transportation Research Record 2504 (2015): doi:10.3141/2504-10. Posted with permission.

Copyright Owner

National Academy of Sciences



File Format


Published Version