Construction Management associate professor seeks to improve CDOT’s alternative dispute resolution methodology

Mohammed H Mehany, Ph.D.Mohammed Hashem Mehany, associate professor in Colorado State University’s Department of Construction Management, is working with the Colorado Department of Transportation to review and improve CDOT’s alternative dispute resolution (ADR) methods.

Mehany and the research team are studying all 50 states to review and understand their ADR methods for resolution of disputes and claims. This study reviews all the ADR techniques they employ, a subdivision of the various types of techniques employed, and the effectiveness of the various techniques utilized.

“A big part of construction management,” said Mehany, “is to start and finish the project with no disputes, since that can cause an adversarial relationship, inflated budgets, and unnecessary delays. That is not the best use of taxpayers’ money on public projects.”

Soliciting feedback from stakeholders

The research team is not only studying the different states’ departments of transportation and state highway agencies, but they also solicit opinions about the process effectiveness from contractors and consultants of varying size and specialty, as well as contractors with experience working in both single and multiple states.

The research study aims to evaluate the effectiveness of the ADR methods in an objective manner, weighing reduction in litigation or arbitration, settling of disputes early in the process, number and magnitude of the disputes that proceed through various levels of the processes, and the level of perceived fairness by all parties that have direct experience with the process, as well as others who have chosen not to participate.

This research will provide a very diverse national level view of the different dispute resolution processes along with their effectiveness across the different states. It will also provide the guidelines necessary to improve the effectiveness of CDOT’s dispute resolution procedures and the betterment of the overall process, whether it is dispute avoidance or dispute resolution.CM Ph.D. candidate, Shantanu Kumar

Ph.D. candidate and Mehany’s advisee, Shantanu Kumar, is also an important member of the research team, and he is providing essential contributions and research efforts to the project.

The Department of Construction Management is part of the College of Health and Human Sciences.