Project closeout is the period between the end of construction and when a contract is finalized. During closeout, resources are held in encumbered funds intended for the project and in the contractor’s bonding capacity. Although the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet’s (KYTC) stated goal is to close out projects within 240 days of their ending, in 2016 the average duration of project closeout was 366 days. This report analyzes the Cabinet’s project closeout procedures, summarizes project closeout best practices adopted by other state transportation agencies, and recommends ways to improve KYTC’s practices. Streamlining project closeouts would free up sufficient funds to resurface approximately 2,000 to 7,000 total lane miles that would otherwise not be rehabilitated. To begin reforming project closeout, the Cabinet may benefit from 1) investigating ways to improve the preparation of final documentation and 2) reducing the amount of time allocated for development and completion of the materials check. Other recommendations for revamping project closeout include establishing a KYTC task force to conduct high-level analysis of the project closeout process; thoroughly implementing e-Construction methodologies, which can reduce paperwork and centralize record-keeping within tightly controlled and monitored databases; revising project closeout checklists to standardize the process and eliminate all steps that are unneeded or outdated; and optimizing project closeout processes at the district level to help personnel adopt best practices. More efficient project closeouts will benefit the public because of their potential to increase the amount of funding that can be dedicated to critical transportation projects that would otherwise remain unaddressed. As the Cabinet investigates ways to begin this process, it is important to keep in mind that strategies or methods for streamlining project closeout should be implemented by KYTC personnel, as this increases the likelihood that staff buy-in across the agency.

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© 2017 University of Kentucky, Kentucky Transportation Center

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The contents of this report reflect the views of the authors, who are responsible for the facts and accuracy of the data presented herein. The contents do not necessarily reflect the official views or policies of the University of Kentucky, the Kentucky Transportation Center, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, the United States Department of Transportation, or the Federal Highway Administration. This report does not constitute a standard, specification, or regulation. The inclusion of manufacturer names or trade names is for identification purposes and should not be considered an endorsement.