Applying Lean Techniques in Delivery of Transportation Infrastructure Projects

Quarterly Reports Other Documents Final Report
March 2010
June 2010
December 2010
June 2011
Research Brief Final Report

Primary Investigator

Awad S. Hanna
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
University of Wisconsin – Madison
1415 Engineering Drive, 2314 EH
Madison, WI 53706


Use of Lean Techniques for delivery of large complex capital projects is quickly growing throughout the country. Lean Techniques are a production management-based approach to project delivery that can deliver projects in less time, at lower costs, and with improved quality, but Lean Techniques are currently not being used by State Highway Agencies (SHA). This project looks at the benefits of Lean Techniques in delivery of transportation projects, potential impediments to adoption, and develops implementation strategies and a management plan for use by SHA’s to implement Lean Techniques.


1) Identify and document specific strategies used in Lean Techniques for delivery of non- transportation projects; 2) catalog these techniques and describe the potential benefits and productivity gains by implementing them in the design and construction of transportation facilities; 3) identify and characterize technological, institutional, cultural, and legal impediments to adoption of these techniques by State Highway Agencies (SHA’s); 4) suggest strategies to be used by SHA’s to overcome the identified impediments; and 5) develop a management plan for use by SHA’s to adopt and implement Lean Techniques in delivery of their projects


  1. Conduct Literature Search
  2. Interview companies and conduct case study
  3. Identify promising Lean Techniques for use on transportation projects
  4. Determine barriers and impediments to implementation
  5. Develop management plan for adoption of Lean Techniques
  6. Produce final report

Project Information

  • Duration: 12 months
  • Dates: September 1, 2009 – August 31, 2010
  • Budget:
  • Student Involvement: One graduate student
  • Modal Orientation: Highway
  • Project ID: CFIRE 03-11
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