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Construction Program Guide

Experimental Work Plans for Proprietary Products

FHWA policy allows for the use of experimental materials, processes, methods, equipment, traffic operational devices or other features that:

  1. have not been sufficiently tested under actual service conditions to merit acceptance without reservation in normal highway construction, or
  2. have been accepted but need to be compared with alternative acceptable features for determining their relative merits and cost effectiveness.

Specifically, 23 C.F.R. 635.411(a)(3) allows for the use of patented or proprietary items through experimental projects

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 experimental work plans.
  • 23 CFR 635.411(a)(3) (04/01/2013) provides the regulatory requirement for patented or proprietary material or products.


General Information
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Updated: 05/03/2016
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