The duration of a highway construction project depends primarily on the quantity or magnitude of the construction work and the productivity of the construction crew. In addition, many other factors may also affect the construction duration, such as the type of construction, traffic features, location (urban or rural site), and weather conditions. When a state highway construction project contract is bid, a reasonable time must set and specified in the contract documents for completion of the contracted project. The time for contract completion (often called “contract time”) is estimated based on the average completion times of individual construction items within a specific project. Through this study, the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) highway construction production rates were calculated and two methods for contract time estimations were developed based on the recorded eight-year INDOT construction data. Various statistics of production rates were provided to capture the main features of the highway construction production. The statistics include means, standard deviations, confidence intervals, mean baseline production rates, and production rates for different probabilities. The major factors that affect highway construction production rates were examined and their effects were analyzed. It was found that the production rates were affected by weather conditions in terms of temperatures and seasons, contractors, locations of construction projects (urban and rural), types of highways, and traffic conditions. Therefore, production rates under different conditions, such as seasons, roadway types and locations, were obtained to reflect the differences in production rates. The models for estimating highway construction contract times were developed. One of the methods uses regression equations to estimate contract times of highway construction projects. The other method estimates contract times with mean production rates of critical construction activities.

Report Number



production rates, highway construction, contract time, construction cost, construction duration, SPR-2621

SPR Number


Performing Organization

Joint Transportation Research Program

Publisher Place

West Lafayette, IN

Date of this Version