Legal Alert

Indiana Department of Transportation Expands “Progressive” Alternative Project Delivery Methods

by John P. Smolen, Steve T. Park, and John C. Wheatley
November 14, 2023

The Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) rolled out its new statutorily authorized pilot progressive design-build (PDB) and construction manager/general contractor (CMGC) transportation infrastructure project delivery platforms on November 9, 2023, to a full house in Indianapolis. INDOT’s newly unveiled PDB/CMGC platforms, which facilitate earlier owner-contractor collaboration, and result in lower overall costs, are an implementation of Indiana House Bill 1049 enacted on April 20, 2023. More information can be found within INDOT’s alternative delivery portal.

PDB and CMGC are “alternative project delivery methods,” with some similarities to design-build and public-private partnership delivery methods. Both of these new authorities, like the prior authorities, differ from the conventional design-bid-build (or DBB) model in that the new models engage the Project’s construction contractor early, thereby incorporating constructability and value-capture in the project design and pre-construction processes.

Under the PDB model, a public owner—here INDOT—procures a private contractor to both design and build a project, but coordinates closely as to design and construction “packaging” (and therefore pricing) during a historically internal pre-construction phase. The CMGC model is similar to PDB, except that the designer works directly for INDOT.

Under both the PDB and CMGC, the private contractor’s earlier (and increased) involvement in the project’s predevelopment and design work prior to final pricing better informs the contractor and aligns interests in investment in de-risking the project (and again, decreasing the price).

INDOT’s November 9, 2023, PDB/CMGC platform rollout included the release of a draft PDB and CMGC Request for Proposal and draft PDB/CMGC project contract forms.

Indiana joins a growing number of states across the United States in implementing (or reinvigorating) PDB and CMGC infrastructure project delivery platforms at a time when infrastructure investment is needed, but the borrowing and interest rate environment is more challenging than in recent past. Affording more delivery methods allows public agencies like INDOT more ways to deliver infrastructure in whatever economic environment may exist.

Attorneys in Ballard Spahr’s P3/Infrastructure Group routinely assist clients in navigating the development, implementation, and ongoing management of innovative project delivery methods.

The authors appreciate the assistance of Samay Kindra in the drafting of this article.

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