Highway Construction Productivity Measurement with a Wireless Real-Time Productivity Measurement System

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Transportation Research Record

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DOI: 10.3141/2228-04


Improving the quality of construction schedules calls for development of an advanced productivity measurement system. Existing on-site construction productivity measurement methods have some common limitations, such as not providing data necessary for engineers and project managers to conduct real-time analyses and share data with other project participants. A wireless real-time productivity measurement (WRITE) system was developed to address those shortfalls. The field experiment was conducted at two different stages: asphalt paving projects, including hot-mix asphalt and hot-in-place recycling, and a bridge reconstruction project. Productivity data collected from the WRITE system were also compared with productivity data collected from construction documents, such as contractors' daily logs and pay estimate documents, to identify the feasibility of this system for measuring the performance of construction projects. For data analyses, statistical methods such as normality test, paired t-test, and Wilcoxon signed-rank test were used. The result of statistical analyses proved that the developed system generated identical productivity measurements compared with the stopwatch method and construction documents. The success of this research project made several major contributions to the advancement of the construction industry. First, the research advanced the application of wireless technology in highway construction operations. Second, it provided an advanced technology for engineers and project managers to determine productivity in real time. Third, productivity data can be shared between project participants via the Internet. With these advancements, communication and coordination will be improved at construction sites. Consequently, the WRITE system will enhance owners' and contractors' ability to manage construction projects.


Transportation Research Record, Vol. 2228, No. 1 (January 2011): 26-33. DOI.

Yong Bai was affiliated with the University of Kansas at the time of publication.