The U.S Department of Transportation (USDOT) in July opened the Project Delivery Center of Excellence to help recipients of federal infrastructure funds deliver projects “more efficiently and effectively” from concept to completion.
The Project Delivery Center of Excellence at the USDOT Volpe Center will serve as a central resource for “innovative and effective practices” and bring together project managers to enable knowledge sharing and peer-to-peer learning, according to the USDOT. The Biden-Harris Administration announced the Center’s establishment as part of its October 2022 Action Plan for Accelerating Infrastructure, which outlined specific steps for keeping projects “on time, on task and on budget.”
Among the initial plans for the Project Delivery Center of Excellence are:
- “Simplifying the contracting process by providing newer, less experienced grant recipients with an off-the-shelf, high-quality model that they can use to ensure consistency and quality in design and construction contracts.”
- “Centralizing project delivery methods best practices and convening information exchanges.”
- “Providing a central repository and disseminate national best practices and case studies in successful, innovative project development, project delivery, and cost containment efforts.”
- “Working in partnership with the American Society of Civil Engineers and Association of Consulting Engineering Companies to develop and distribute templates and model language for transportation construction contracts.”
- “Addressing the causes of and preventing construction change orders.”
- “Convening a group of stakeholders to identify root causes of change orders, report back on best practices to minimize their use, and disseminate best practices with project sponsors. The Center of Excellence will lead this study in partnership with stakeholders including the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, the American Society of Civil Engineers, the American Road and Transportation Builders Association, and the American Public Transportation Association.”
Cynthia Maloney is Director of the Project Delivery Center of Excellence. She was formerly Chief of the Systems Safety and Engineering Division in the Infrastructure Systems and Technology Technical Center at the Volpe Center. In this role, Maloney supervised 28 engineers and transportation analysts who provide technical expertise on highway/rail grade crossings, as well as Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and Federal Railroad Administration project delivery support. She served previously as Deputy Chief of the Transportation Planning Division, one of the Volpe Center’s largest divisions.
Maloney is the grants portfolio lead at the Volpe Center and has led its technical review team for TIGER/BUILD/RAISE infrastructure grants since 2018. Additionally, she has served as the transportation performance management (TPM) technical lead, coordinating Volpe Center team support to FHWA and the Federal Transit Administration since 2014.
“President Biden’s Investing in America agenda is delivering tens of thousands of new transportation projects across the country, and this [launch] announcement will help us deliver on time, on task and on budget,” Senior Advisor to President Biden and White House Infrastructure Coordinator Mitch Landrieu said. “The Department of Transportation’s Project Delivery Center of Excellence will be a key nexus for exchanging ideas, knowledge and best practices to continue to improve and make our transportation system better for all.”