You are here

Performance-Based Contractor Prequalification as an Alternative to Performance Bonds

Project Information

Project ID: 
Project Status: 
Start Date: 
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
End Date: 
Wednesday, November 27, 2013
FHWA Program: 
FHWA Subprogram: 
Construction and Project Management, Major Projects
FHWA Topics: 
Roads and Bridges--Construction and Project Management; Roads and Bridges--Major Projects
TRT Terms: 
Performance Based Specifications; Contractors; Prequalifications; Data Collection; Infrastructure; Research; Construction
FHWA Discipline: 
Construction and Project Management, Generalist
TRB Subject Area: 
Construction, Highways

Contact Information

First Name: 
Last Name: 
(202) 493-3365
Email Address: 
Infrastructure Analysis and Construction Team
Office of Infrastructure Research and Development
Office Code: 

Project Details

Project Description: 

is study investigates the costs and benefits of performance bonding versus replacing performance bonding, to various degrees, with performance-based contractor prequalification. The scope of the study covers all types of contracts for all types of work that are awarded by State highway agencies. The research involves the collection, organization, and analysis of data and information from State highway agencies, contractors, and sureties. The research product is a recommendation on the cost effectiveness of performance bonds, and if applicable, guidance for State highway agencies that wish to develop and transition to a performance-based contractor prequalification system and recommendations for how such systems can best be implemented.


Below are the key project objectives:

(1) Document the benefits and cost of the current system of performance bonding in highway construction.
(2) Quantify the benefits of replacing currently required performance bonds on some highway construction projects with a rigorous performance-based contractor prequalification system. 
(3) Provide State highway agencies with guidance on the development and implementation of the prequalification system.


Deliverable Name: 
Final report on guidance and recommendation for using replacing performance bonding with performance-based contractor prequalification
Deliverable Type: 
Research report or guidelines
Deliverable Description: 
Final report based on the annotated outline and detailing the work carried out in Tasks A through G, documenting the entire research and making a strong case, if applicable, for replacing performance bonding with performance-based contractor prequalification.
Deliverable Name: 
TechBrief - Brief summary of the findings for replacing performance bonding with performance-based contractor prequalification
Deliverable Type: 
Deliverable Description: 
The TechBrief shall include the recommended performance-based contractor prequalification model program and provide guidance for its implementation.
Deliverable Name: 
PowerPoint Presentation
Deliverable Type: 
Promotional materials
Deliverable Description: 
A PowerPoint slideshow will be prepared for presenting the results of this study to the highway agencies.