Machine Learning is a proven technology for identifying hidden data relationships and patterns. To date, it has been underutilized in highway construction project bundles.

Each year, the Indiana DOT evaluates and plans over 1,000 highway construction projects.  How these projects are scoped, combined, and delivered has a huge impact on the bid price, traffic impacts, and Agency effort during procurement and delivery. While the cost benefits of project bundling were clear, practical application had proven complex, time-consuming, and subjective.  

Group Solutions was engaged to facilitate a pilot project to determine if machine learning could be practically utilized for identifying highway construction project bundles.

An in-depth process mapping process and brought together highway engineers and a team of machine learning developers to create a set of analytical tools that could replicate the results of subject matter experts and “learn” from successive data runs.

The result was an advanced set of analytical tools called FORO.  An iterative combination of FORO runs followed by expert review from INDOT engineers enabled:

  • Consideration of a wider and more diverse range of project bundling options
  • Evaluation of multi-year bundling scenarios
  • Faster and better decision-making

The study confirmed the bundling application dramatically improved the ability of planners to identify better project bundles and to generate an additional 20% in potential cost savings.  Additionally, INDOT was able to apply consistent state-wide decision criteria across all projects, save almost 1,000 hours of engineering time, and accelerate the start to finish time of the bundling process.


  • Comparing identical 2021-2024-year projects, the research project identified $107 million more in projected cost savings than the previous INDOT method
  • Staff time to identify these bundles was reduced by 60%
  • Improved corridor bundles will improve traffic flow and reduce construction delays
  • Machine Learning can produce high quality contract bundles from thousands of available projects in minutes, enabling the experts to focus on a more strategic project considerations
  • To learn more about FORO tools click here: (