The federal government spends billions of dollars every year on infrastructure through funding issued to state and local governments by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). These funds are distributed in accordance to updated federal financial guidance that requires state and local transportation agencies to perform a complete project closeout through detailed documentation that proves the project meets all engineering, financial and other requirements that are tied to the use of federal funding no later than one year after project completion.
A large part of a construction manager’s project oversight and contract administration responsibilities is to maintain project records that support the responsible use of taxpayer dollars. The closeout process for all of this documentation is often one of the most arduous steps in an infrastructure project which is not only an issue for project audits but also because having projects remain open longer than necessary exposes them to the risk that something may be charged against the project that would be an improper payment.
Historically closeouts and audits were conducted through a massive paper process of file boxes and spreadsheets. But in recent years through the FHWA Every Day Counts initiative federal aid recipients are encouraged to consider innovative new approaches to their projects including exploring the many transformative technologies now available to help make infrastructure construction less expensive and more efficient. One example is the HeadLight Project Intelligence Platform™ that today’s most innovative agencies use to capture, track and report on project details from one central location. Use of the platform dramatically reduces the time it takes to perform a project closeout and prepare to successfully participate in an audit.
The Washington State Department of Transportation is an excellent example of stewardship of taxpayer funds through the use of technology innovation. They have deployed HeadLight on projects statewide including the SR 520 Bridge replacement project, a $4.5B investment. Given the critical nature and significant cost of the asset, WSDOT was determined to ensure that the construction process leveraged the most advanced technology available to capture and track project progress.
“By using HeadLight the essential source records, such as project inspector diaries, inspection reports, materials testing results and project management paperwork developed throughout the life of the project are collected and stored in one central system. This will simplify the closeout process significantly and I can give auditors virtual access to review every associated detail of a bid item from inception to close.” -Project Engineer, WSDOT
Inspector observations, materials test results and construction reports captured in HeadLight to date for the SR 520 Bridge project.
The best agencies know that when good supporting documentation is created and maintained throughout the life of the project it will help to ensure a smooth project closeout process and the successful continuation of future federal funds being secured for critical agency projects.
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TxDOT, WSDOT, and MnDOT worked together to quantify the benefits of using the HeadLight Fieldbook technology for project delivery and published a research report that provides the results of using a Project Intelligence platform like HeadLight. You can review the summary of those results here.