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Construction Monitoring

Formerly Federal-aid Policy Guide Non-Regulatory Supplement NS G 6042.8,
December 9, 1991, Transmittal 1
See Order 1321.1C FHWA Directives Management


  1. Purpose
  2. Definitions
  3. Policy
  4. Annual Construction Monitoring Program
  5. Construction Inspections
  6. Frequency of Inspections
  7. Construction Inspection Reports
  8. Annual Reports

Attachment 1 - Construction Inspection Report (Form FHWA 1446 A)
Attachment 2 - Final Acceptance Report (Form FHWA 1446 B)
Attachment 3 - Final Acceptance Report for CA and SRP projects (Form FHWA 1446 C)

  1. Purpose. To establish policies, procedures, and guidelines relating to the inspection, acceptance, and quality of Federal-aid highway construction.
  2. Definitions
    1. Construction Monitoring Program (CMP) - those Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) activities which assess State highway agency (SHA) procedures and controls for assuring that projects are completed in reasonably close conformance with the plans and specifications, evaluate the quality of construction and promote improvements as appropriate.
    2. Major Phase - the activity, or group of activities, which comprise a significant portion of the cost or work effort of a project.
    3. Significant Findings - those findings from construction inspections or reviews which impact Federal-aid participation, adversely affect the performance of the completed project, or are of statewide importance.
  3. Policy. It is the policy of the FHWA that a balanced program of inspections or reviews of Federal-aid highway construction activities be conducted to:
    1. assess SHA procedures and controls for assuring that projects are completed in reasonably close conformance with the approved plans, specifications, and authorized changes, and if necessary, identify needed improvements to SHA activities,
    2. monitor the quality of construction and if appropriate, encourage and assist the SHA to implement improvements to enhance the quality of the constructed product, and
    3. assure consistency with the terms of the approved Certification Acceptance (CA) and Secondary Road Plan (SRP) agreements or other agreements which modify routine Federal-aid procedures.
  4. Annual Construction Monitoring Program
    1. Each division office shall annually develop a CMP consisting of the activities planned for the current year and a concise evaluation and brief summary report of the previous year's accomplishments. The following items should be considered in the development of the annual program.
      1. Current Year Activities:
        1. These activities should maximize the efficient use of resources to accomplish the objectives of FHWA's construction monitoring policy through the use of a program of construction inspections and/or reviews. The type and frequency of these inspections and/or reviews should be balanced so as to include both program and project level activities.
        2. The item or items which will be the focus of thedivision's construction monitoring program should be identified. These items should be based on national or regional emphasis areas, findings from prior year's programs, and/or cyclical requirements of other programs.
      2. Previous Year's Accomplishments:
        1. A summary of the significant findings noted and a brief discussion of the resolution of those findings.
        2. A summary of the actions taken to resolve recommendations and issues from joint reviews with other FHWA offices if these actions have not been previously reported.
    2. Each region office should review and provide comments to the division offices on the annual CMP. In addition, each region office should have internal procedures for oversight of the implementation of the division office programs. Whenever possible, the region office should actively participate with the division offices in the development of the programs.
  5. Construction Inspections. The following descriptions of construction inspection classifications have been developed to provide guidance for FHWA offices on construction monitoring activities.
    1. Process Review/Product Evaluation (PR/PE) - comprehensive reviews to evaluate the SHA's procedures and controls. The purpose of a PR/PE is to provide oversight of the SHA construction and materials management activities and to determine compliance with Federal-aid requirements on a statewide or areawide basis. All process reviews should include a review of the process at key decision points and sufficient on-site project level inspections to verify that the process is being implemented as intended and is producing the desired product. As appropriate, CA and SRP projects should be included in the sample of projects inspected as part of a PR/PE.
    1. Inspection-In-Depth - a thorough on-site review to evaluate a specific contract item, combination of items,or major phase of a project. Inspections-in-depth may be accomplished on an individual project basis or on several projects with the findings summarized as an areawide or statewide review.
    2. Project Inspection - an on-site review to evaluate the SHA's activities, the quality and progress of the work, and if appropriate, to follow up on findings from previous inspections.
    3. Final Inspection
      1. A review to determine the extent to which the SHA has exercised its control to assure that the project has been completed in reasonably close conformance with the plans, specifications, and authorized changes.
        1. For all Federal-aid construction projects, except CA and/or SRP projects, a final inspection may be accomplished by any of the following methods:
          1. an on-site review conducted at or near the completion of work,
          2. a review of project records which are provided by the State at the completion of work, or
          3. if previous PR/PE or inspection-in-depth reviews of the SHA's internal control programs for inspection of completed projects have indicated the SHA has satisfactory procedures, the final inspection may be based on the finding that the SHA is properly exercising its internal controls and no additional review will be required.
        2. When similar types of work are included in an areawide project, an inspection of a sample of contract work locations may fulfill the requirement for a final inspection.
        3. Projects approved under CA and/or SRP procedures require an on-site review conducted at or near the completion of the work.
      2. (2) The Division Administrator should develop and include as a part of the annual CMP a process to determine the final inspection requirements for construction projects. This determination should consider the type, size and complexity of the project, the degree to which the project has been previously inspected by FHWA personnel, the adequacy of the SHA's internal controls, and the degree of independent inspections and evaluations which have been provided by the State.
  6. Frequency of Inspections. Sufficient construction inspections shall be conducted to assure compliance with the policy set forth in paragraph 3. The makeup of the construction monitoring program, the mix of inspection types, and the overall frequency of inspections shall be determined by the Division Administrator after considering such items as Federal-aid regulations, the efficient use of division resources, effectiveness of the SHA control, and other items unique to the SHA or FHWA division office. The CMP may include provisions to allow deviations from the division's overall construction monitoring guidelines on a project-by-project basis to accommodate the complexity and type of construction, degree of controversy, or other project specific factors. As appropriate, the CMP may also address the following in the determination of inspection frequency:
    1. In addition to the final inspection, review of CA and SRP projects may be warranted at other times as determined appropriate by the Division Administrator.
    2. To the extent feasible, major projects should be inspected during each major phase.
    3. Controversial projects and projects that incorporate innovative or new technology may warrant additional inspections.
  7. Construction Inspection Reports
    1. Inspection reports numbered in sequence for each project shall be prepared in a timely manner for all inspections.
    2. For all Federal-aid projects, other than CA or SRP projects:
      1. Form FHWA 1446 A (or facsimile) (RCS-HHO-30-28), "Construction Inspection Report" (Attachment 1), shall be used to report all construction inspections, including final inspections, and
      2. Form FHWA 1446 B (or facsimile) (RCS-HHO-30-28), "Final Acceptance Report" (Attachment 2), may be used to report final acceptance or the division office may include an alternate method of documenting final acceptance in the annual CMP.
    3. Final inspections of CA and SRP projects shall be reported on Form FHWA 1446 C (or facsimile) (Attachment 3). Any other inspections of CA or SRP projects should be reported using Form FHWA 1446 A.
    4. Field offices are encouraged to prepare special reports on innovative or new construction materials, methods, or equipment.
    5. Regional offices should establish guidelines for receipt of copies of reports prepared in the division offices and for transmitting reports of region office construction oversight reviews, special reports, and reports which may be of national significance to the Washington Headquarters (HNG-20).
  8. Annual Reports
    1. A copy of each division office's annual CMP should be submitted to the region office for review and comment. No specific format or content for these submissions will be required by the Washington Headquarters. However, it is recommended that the submissions be as brief and concise as possible and include only the key item or items which will be the focus of the division's current year's activities and a summary of accomplishments.
    2. A copy of each division office's annual CMP should be submitted to Washington Headquarters (HNG-20) for information purposes.
Updated: 10/27/2015
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