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ODOT Construction ADR Program


The ODOT Construction Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Program consists of three elements: Cooperative Arrangement (Partnering), dispute resolution, and claim resolution. This website provides guidance to pursuing these services through the ODOT Construction Section.

Contact information for Construction ADR:
 Current Contact
 Phone Number
 ADR Program Coordinator  Lori Butler  (503) 986-3007
 Contract Administration Engineer  Steve Cooley  (503) 986-3012
 Construction Claims Engineer  Gene Wilborn  (503) 986-3135
 Contract Administration Specialist  Holli Pick  (503) 986-3136

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ADR Services

Conference Room
The following summarizes each of the ADR services types as well as providing links to program insurance requirements and how to get on the ODOT Construction ADR Roster. Selecting the link will take you to more detailed process information: 
Partnered Project Workshop/Cooperative Arrangement – Information regarding Cooperative Arrangements is outlined in Specification 00150.05 as changed in the Boilerplate Special Provisions. An opportunity for a Cooperative Arrangement/Partnered Project Workshop is offered to the Construction Contractor through the award process. Partnering occurs at the beginning of a project to get involved parties together to discuss potential issues/risks on a project and how to deal with new issues when they occur. The resulting outcome of this is a Cooperative Agreement where the parties agree how issues/disputes will be worked throughout the project. ODOT has personal services contracts that identify key individuals to perform this service.
Third Party Neutrals (TPN) are neutral, credible advisors and facilitators for specific issues and/or project‑related issues. The TPN assists the parties by providing issue assessment services, process design advice, agreement-seeking facilitation services and other related tasks. The role of the TPN is to promote informal procedures and services that enhance problem identification, information exchange and the effective and efficient resolution of any contract or project related issues. Project participants are encouraged to seek assistance from the TPN at the earliest opportunity in order to efficiently and effectively resolve any project related issues. The TPN applies professional judgment and dispute resolution skills in assisting participants in the resolution of issues, but only provides recommendations. Utilizing TPN Services must be mutually agreed to by ODOT and the Construction Contractor. Individuals are selected from ODOT’s Construction ADR Roster, or by mutual agreement.
Dispute Review Boards are three member panels that are involved throughout the life of the project. When disputes occur, the DRB provides non-binding recommended resolution of the dispute. Usually used on large dollar or complex projects. Utilizing Dispute Review Boards must be mutually agreed upon by ODOT and the Contractor. If it is determined that a dispute review board might be beneficial, please contact the Contract Administration Engineer.
Arbitrators are individuals that provide binding arbitration for claims between ODOT and Construction Contractors that are less than $25,000 according to the Construction Industry Arbitration Rules of the American Arbitration Association or such other arbitration service and rules as agreed to by all parties. This process is documented in 2015 Specification 00199 and begins once a formal Step 3 request letter has been submitted to the Contract Administration Engineer.
Claim Review Boards are three member panels that review Construction Contractor claims that are usually between $25,000 and $250,000. The panel participates in a Claim Hearing,  reviews the claim, and provides a non-binding recommended resolution. Utilizing Claim Review Boards are Step 3 for the Claim Review process outlined in the Standard Specifications. This process is documented in 2015 Specification 00199 and begins once a formal Step 3 request letter has been submitted to the Contract Administration Engineer. 
INSURANCE REQUIREMENTS – discloses the insurance requirements for individuals who perform Dispute and Claim Resolution services.
ADR PROGRAM ROSTER – process information for individuals to use to get onto ODOT’s Construction ADR Roster.
ADR ROSTER INTEREST FORM – complete this form to get onto ODOT’s Construction ADR Roster. 

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Partnered Project Workshops
The intent of a Partnered Project Workshop is aimed at establishing a cooperative relationship between the owner of a construction project and the Construction Contractor. A Partnering Workshop should produce:
  1. A good working relationship between the parties to the construction contract and all entities associated with the specified construction project.
  2. A project atmosphere wherein issues are addressed and resolved, if possible, in a proactive and timely manner.
  3. A written, signed cooperative agreement between the parties detailing the parties’ understanding and expectations concerning their relationships, interactions, communications and activities throughout the term of the construction project.
  4. Written notes (actual or summary documents) from each work session.

Partnered Project Workshop Facilitators 
Currently, we use Ruth Johnson for Partnered Project Workshops. To review a copy of her resumé, please click on her name. Ruth will work with the ODOT PM and the Construction Contractor to determine the needs of the parties, the length of time and the agenda for the Partnered Project Workshop. The Construction Section will work with Ruth to complete the paperwork to pay for her services. The cost of her services will come out of the Project Manager's engineering budget.               

Partnered Project Workshops
There are several workshop timeframes available
  • Initial Partnered Project Workshop
    • ½  day session (4 hours)
    • ¾ day session (6 hours)
    • 1 day session (8 hours)
  • Follow-Up Partnered Project Workshops
    • Do-it-yourself (without partnering facilitator present)
    • ¼ day session (2 hours)
    • ½ day session (4 hours)
    • ¾ day session (6 hours)
    • 1 day session (8 hours)

As part of the award packet sent to the successful Construction Contractor, a Cooperative Arrangement form is included for the Contract or to complete and return to the Construction Section. If the Construction Contractor does want to enter into a cooperative arrangement, then a determination will be made on whether a formal or informal partnering session will occur. The form should be submitted for all construction projects, even if the Contractor decides that a Partnering session is not necessary. However, a Project Manager can also request that a partnering session be held even if a form has not been submitted. If there are any questions, please contact the ADR Program Coordinator at 503.986.3007.
This form is returned to the ADR Program Coordinator at the Construction Section. The ADR Program Coordinator will send a confirmation e-mail to the Project Manager, ODOT Liaison (if applicable), and the Contractor. 
The Project Manager and the ADR Program Coordinator will determine the level of effort that is necessary for the project.
Informal Partnering Session
If it is determined that an Informal Partnering Session is all that is needed, the Project Manager will coordinate the details (when, where, level of documentation). For examples of documentation prepared at previous information sessions open the following link: Informal Samples. Links to blank forms are included as well:
                                                Escalation Chart 
Formal Partnering Session
The ADR Program Coordinator will assist the PM and Contractor in selecting the appropriate individual to perform the Partnering session. 
The ADR Program Coordinator will make the initial call to the Partnering Facilitator to ascertain availability. Once the Partnering Facilitator has agreed to perform the session, the ADR Program Coordinator will send an e-mail to the Partnering Facilitator and the Construction PM with contact information.
The Partnering Facilitator will contact the Construction PM to begin negotiating process for the session. The Construction PM is responsible for making the location arrangements of the Partnering Session. The Partnering Facilitator will work with the Construction PM and the Construction Contractor to determine who will be attending the session and to obtain some preliminary information to assist with preparations for the partnering session. The details that the Construction PM and the Partnering Consultant need to agree to are the date, length, and location (city) of the session and the approximate travel requirements necessary (hours and/or per diem). After this agreement, the ADR Program Coordinator will prepare a Notice to Proceed and distribute to the Partnering Facilitator and Project Manager.
If it is determined that meals and/or refreshments will be served at the Partnering session, please follow ODOT’s policy regarding meals/refreshments. You can get this policy at the following website: click here and choose "Request to Provide Meals / Refreshments" from the list of forms. The ADR Program Coordinator can provide assistance with this, if necessary.
The ADR Program Coordinator will distribute copies of the NTP Construction PM, ODOT Liaison (if necessary) Partnering Facilitator, and Purchasing and Contract Management Section.
After the initial partnering session, the Partnering Facilitator will send all documents to be distributed to attendees to the ADR Program Coordinator who will e-mail document to attendees along with an evaluation form.
Attendees will submit evaluation form back to the ADR Program Coordinator who will summarize the results and send to Construction PM, ODOT Liaison (if necessary), Construction Contractor Superintendent, Partnering Facilitator, and Construction Contract Administration Engineer.
If additional follow-up partnering sessions or dispute resolution third party neutrals were decided upon during the partnering session, the Construction PM will contact the ADR Program Coordinator and coordinate the details.
Partnering Consultant will submit invoices directly to the ADR Program Coordinator who will compare the invoices against the NTP. The ADR Program Coordinator will coordinate discrepancies with the Partnering Facilitator.  Once finalized, the ADR Program Coordinator will forward the invoice to the Contract Administration Engineer for review and approval. The project’s construction expenditure account will be used for coding the invoice.

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Third Party Neutral

Section 00199 of the Standard Specifications for Highway Construction provides the formal process required for Disagreements, Protests and Claims. An informal level of dispute resolution called Third Party Neutrals is also being used to help resolve disputes before they become claims. The language for this service is not in the specifications, but will be added through Contract Change Order when the Contractor and Project Manager agree to add this informal process.
Third parties would serve two functions: 
  • Timely third-party recommendations for resolution of disagreements that have not been resolved by bilateral negotiations as specified in 00199.20(a-e).
ODOT and the Construction Contractor must mutually agree that a project warrants employing a Third Party Neutral(s) for the duration of the construction project or for a specific issue during the project. The following documents the process for obtaining a third party neutral. The links provided within the process below are links to document examples. 
  1. Construction Contractor and ODOT have agreed to use a Third Party Neutral (TPN).
  2. Construction Contractor and ODOT have agreed to how to pay for the TPN.
  3. Construction PM will contact the ADR Program Coordinator to begin the TPN selection process.
  4. The ADR Program Coordinator will provide guidance on possible selection processes and then ODOT and the Construction Contractor will agree to a selection process.
  5. Once the selection and payment processes have been decided and documented, the ADR Program Coordinator will provide TPN resumes to the Construction PM.  (Samples of any of the required documentation can be obtained by contacting the ADR Program Coordinator.)
  6. The Construction PM will document the individuals considered and will supply the list as well as the selected individual to the ADR Program Coordinator.
  7. The ADR Program Coordinator will discuss the selection with the Contract Administration Engineer. Upon his concurrence, the ADR Program Coordinator will contact the selected TPN to determine interest and discuss any potential conflict of interest.
  8. Confidentiality documentation will be completed that all parties will sign indicating agreement to the level of confidentiality and acceptance of the jointly selected individual(s).
  9. The following doucmentation is required to proceed with a TPN:
  10. No matter who prepares the documentation, copies of all final documentation should be submitted to the Construction PM, the Construction Contractor, and the ADR Program Coordinator.
  11. Any deviation from this process has to be agreed upon, in writing, by both ODOT’s Contract Administration Engineer, the Project Manager, and the Construction Contractor.


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ADR Roster

ODOT’s Construction ADR Roster consists of individuals who have expressed interest in assisting with resolving disputes and/or claims on ODOT construction projects. To be included on ODOT’s ADR Roster an individual must complete an ADR Interest Form. All individuals who express interest will be placed on the roster. Individuals with skill sets in transportation construction, transportation law, or dispute resolution are encouraged to complete an ADR Interest Form. The process for being placed on ODOT’s Construction ADR Roster is outlined below. 
  1. The Construction ADR Program Coordinator will send a letter or e-mail to interested individuals outlining the process and inviting them to complete the interest form.
  2. As forms are received, the individual’s information is verified by the Construction ADR Program Specialist.
  3. Once the information has been verified, the individual will be added to the ODOT Construction ADR Roster.
  4. The interest form will be valid for three years. Three months prior to the expiration date of the form, a letter will be sent to the individual inviting the individual to reapply by completing a new interest form.

For dispute resolution services (TPN, DRB), the selection process is determined by the Project Manager and the Contractor for mutual selection of individual(s).
For claim review services (Arbitration, CRB), the selection process is outlined in the Standard Specifications for Highway Construction.
Although the ADR Roster is the beginning point for selection, other individuals not on the list may be considered.

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