Concern over infrastructure quality led the Massachusetts Highway Department (MassHighway) to develop the Massachusetts Quality Initiative (MQI), under which MassHighway affirmed that design quality influences constructed projects. To promote future design quality, MassHighway engaged The Engineering Center to identify specific design management practices that influence the quality of highway and bridge construction. This research does that. It not only provides a model for measuring highway design quality, but also some telling findings: we were able to quantify the potential cost of poor design quality and unequivocally show which management practices positively (and negatively) affect design quality. With these results, state agencies and their consultants have a sound basis for making management decisions to effect higher quality infrastructure projects. Consequently, the public – users of our nation’s roadways – will enjoy safer, more durable, and less costly highways and bridges. Moreover, we believe these findings also can be used to improve the design quality of all other types of constructed projects.
This is the first of two reports written by Melvin Jones, PE and others at The Engineering Center, under contract to MassHighway.
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