(a) A VE analysis should be conducted as early as practicable in the planning or development of a project, preferably before the completion of the project's preliminary design. At a minimum, the VE analysis shall be conducted prior to completing the project's final design.
(b) The VE analysis should be closely coordinated with other project development activities to minimize the impact approved recommendations might have on previous agency, community, or environmental commitments; the project's scope; and the use of innovative technologies, materials, methods, plans or construction provisions.
(c) For projects utilizing design-build and other alternative project delivery methods that will be advertised prior to the completion of final design, the STA or local public agency shall conduct a VE analysis prior to the release of the final Request for Proposals or other applicable solicitation documents.
(d) STAs shall ensure the VE analysis meets the following requirements:
(1) Uses a multidisciplinary team not directly involved in the planning or design of the project, with at least one individual who has the training and experience with leading a VE analysis;
(2) Develops and implements the VE Job Plan;
(3) Produces a formal written report outlining, at a minimum:
(i) Project information;
(ii) Identification of the VE analysis team;
(iii) Background and supporting documentation, such as information obtained from other analyses conducted on the project (e.g., environmental, safety, traffic operations, constructability);
(iv) Documentation of the stages of the VE Job Plan which would include documentation of the life-cycle costs that were analyzed;
(v) Summarization of the analysis conducted;
(vi) Documentation of the proposed recommendations and approvals received at the time the report is finalized; and
(vii) The formal written report shall be retained for at least 3 years after the completion of the project (as specified in 49 CFR 18.42).
(e) For bridge projects, in addition to the requirements in paragraph (d) of this section, the VE analyses shall:
(1) Include bridge substructure and superstructure requirements that consider alternative construction materials; and
(2) Be conducted based on:
(i) An engineering and economic assessment, taking into consideration acceptable designs for bridges; and
(ii) An analysis of life-cycle costs and duration of project construction.
(f) STAs and local public agencies may employ qualified consultants (as defined in 23 CFR 172) to conduct a VE analysis. The consultant shall possess the training and experience required to lead the VE analysis. A consulting firm or individual shall not be used to conduct or support a VE analysis if they have a conflict of interest (as specified in 23 CFR 1.33).
(g) VECPs, STAs, and local public agencies are encouraged to use a VECP clause (or other such clauses under a different name) in an applicable project's contract, allowing the construction contractor to propose changes in the project's plans, specifications, or other contract documents. Whenever such clauses are used, the STA and local authority will consider changes that could improve the project's performance, value and quality, shorten the delivery time, or lower construction costs, while considering impacts on the project's overall life-cycle cost and other applicable factors. The basis for a STA or local authority to consider a VECP is the analysis and documentation supporting the proposed benefits that would result from implementing the proposed change in the project's contract or project plans.
(h) Proposals to accelerate construction after the award of the contract will not be considered a VECP and will not be eligible for Federal-aid highway program funding participation. Where it is necessary to accelerate construction, STAs and local public agencies are encouraged to use the appropriate incentive or disincentive clauses so that all proposers will take this into account when preparing their bids or price proposals.
Title 23 published on 2014-04-01
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