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Construction Program Guide

Contract Time

The FHWA's policies for construction time and time extensions provide for their use and for the review and approval of time related contract modifications for Federal-aid participation.

Authority/Legal Basis

  1. Laws
    • Title 23 U.S.C. 315 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).
  2. Regulations

    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).

  3. Orders
    • None
  4. Policy
    • The FHWA Contract Administration Core Curriculum Manual summarizes policy and provides general guidance concerning contract modifications. Please refer to the following sections of the manual for more specific guidance:
    • Policy Memoranda
      • Headquarters memorandum dated February 16, 1970, Subject: Expediting completion of highway construction in urban areas provides guidance for division staff to critically review contract time allowances and any change orders that affect contract time on projects in urban areas.
      • Headquarters memorandum dated June 14, 1984, Subject: Use of Incentive/Disincentive Provisions for Early Contract Completion provides a general discussion of the use of incentive/disincentive provisions subsequent o rescission of the regulations which had precluded their use.
      • Headquarters memorandum dated January 22, 1988, Subject: Florida - Consultant Service Contracts Incentive-Disincentive (I/D) clauses provides guidance on the use of I/D clauses in consultant service contracts.
      • Headquarters memorandum dated September 18, 1990 provides general guidance concerning the eligibility of acceleration costs when the original contract does not have an incentive / disincentive provision.
      • Headquarters memorandum dated November 29, 1990, Subject: Use of Incentive/Disincentive (I/D) Provisions in Alabama provides guidance on the differences between liquidated damages and I/Ds; procedural requirements for setting I/D amounts and ensuring the enforceability of an I/D provision.


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Updated: 02/17/2016
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