Publications / 2021 Proceedings of the 38th ISARC, Dubai, UAE

Factors Affecting Inspection Staffing Needs for Highway Construction Projects

Makram Bou Hatoum, Hala Nassereddine, Timothy R.B. Taylor and Steve Waddle
Pages 513-520 (2021 Proceedings of the 38th ISARC, Dubai, UAE, ISBN 978-952-69524-1-3, ISSN 2413-5844)

Highway construction and maintenance projects have been witnessing a significant expansion across the United States. This expansion, coupled with the ongoing problem of labor shortages, adds pressure on state Departments of Transportation (DOTs) to complete more complex projects under more strict cost and schedule constraints. In recent years, construction inspection has been particularly impacted by DOT labor shortage, creating a major need to understand inspection staffing in highway projects. This paper fills the literature gap through evaluating the staffing needs for highway construction inspectors. Data for 266 highway construction projects from 15 different DOTs were collected to identify factors that affect highway inspection staffing for Junior, Intermediate, and Senior inspectors. The analysis showed that inspection staffing depends on project type, level of complexity, and project size. The results also suggested that projects that experience cost or schedule overrun tend to hire more inspectors than projects that are completed within budget or on time. The identification of such factors can assist DOTs in quantitatively modelling and predicting the full-time equivalents (FTE) needs of highway construction inspectors on future projects.

Keywords: Inspectors; Staffing; Resource Allocation; Highway Construction Projects; Department of Transportation