Construction Program Guide
Warranties have been successfully used, in other countries and by some States on non-Federal projects, to protect investments from early failure. Prior to 1991, the FHWA had a longstanding policy that restricts the use of warranties on Federal-aid projects to electrical and mechanical equipment. The rationale for the restriction was that such contract requirements may indirectly result in Federal-aid funds participating in maintenance costs, and the use of Federal-aid funds for routine maintenance is prohibited by law. However, the Agency utilized the public notice / public comment process to develop and implement a rule making for warranties in 1995.
The regulation applies to projects on the National Highway System. Contracting agencies may use their own warranty procedures on non-National Highway System projects.
- Title 23 U.S.C. 116 indicates that that it is the State DOT's responsibility to provide for maintenance of a project built with Federal-aid funds.
- On this basis, FHWA's policy does not allow Federal-aid participation in routine maintenance (operations such as: snow removal, graffiti removal, grass cutting, etc.); however, paragraph (d) of Section 116 provides the authority for Federal-aid participation in preventive maintenance costs. Thus by statute, routine maintenance can be included in warranty provisions.
- Section III.B.8.c.iv.b) 5) of the FHWA Contract Administration Core Curriculum Manual summarizes the FHWA's policies and provides general guidance on the use of warranties.