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Construction Program Guide

Contract Claims

The FHWA's policy for Federal-aid participation in construction contract claims requires a examination of the specific facts of the claim and the contract basis for payment. Federal-aid participation is not automatic in any claim.

Authority/Legal Basis

  • 23 USC 315 Rules, regulations, and recommendations (2012) provides very broad authority for the Secretary of Transportation to prescribe regulations to carry out the Federal-aid highway program. However, there are no specific statutes dealing with construction contract modifications other than the required use of standardized changed conditions clauses as required by 23 USC 112(e).

The above regulations provide the FHWA's regulatory policy regarding construction contract modifications. However, please note that these regulations were last updated on August 2, 1991 and do not include revised stewardship, oversight, and applicability requirements resulting from the 1991 ISTEA and the 1998 TEA-21. See the discussion in the FHWA Contract Administration Core Curriculum Manual for a summary of current FHWA policy).



General Information
  • NHI 134037A - Managing Highway Contract Claims: Analysis and Avoidance
  • NHI 134049 - Use of Critical Path Method (CPM) for Estimating, Scheduling, and Timely Completion
  • NHI 134060 - Partnering: A Key Tool for Improving Project Delivery in the Field
  • FHWA Contract Administration Core Curriculum (Course Description (.pdf))


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Updated: 08/23/2016
Federal Highway Administration | 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE | Washington, DC 20590 | 202-366-4000