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Current Design-Build Practices for Transportation Projects

12. Warranties/Maintenance

The following is an overview of each agency's use of warranties and post-completion maintenance by design-builders. This information is based on responses to the questions in Section 11 of Appendix 3.

Design-build contracts often include general warranties as well as product-specific warranties. A general warranty covers all materials and workmanship provided during the construction of the project and provides the owner with a backstop for the eventuality that it failed to spot defective work when it inspected the project for acceptance purposes. The FHWA regulation limits the use of general project warranties on Federal-aid design-build projects to a maximum time period of two years (See 23 CFR 635.413). Such warranties must not include routine maintenance (which is ineligible for Federal-aid participation) and may not be the sole means of project acceptance. On Federal-aid design-build projects off the National Highway System, a State DOT may follow its own procedures for warranties. State DOTs may use product-specific warranties such as for Hot Mix Asphalt Pavements or Portland Cement Concrete Pavements on Federal-aid NHS design-build projects without duration restrictions (typically 5-10 years) provided that the RFP document includes the details of the warranty program. If the contractor is the entity responsible for quality assurance and quality control, use of a warranty and/or long-term maintenance is a critical element in satisfying the owner that it will obtain a quality product. The RFP should include the following basic warranty elements during the development of warranty specifications:

  1. Contract Administrative requirements
  2. Distress identifiers and applicable thresholds
  3. Distress remediation
  4. Quality programs for binders, aggregate, production and laydown (HMA) or aggregate, production and placement (PCCP)
  5. Restrictions, traffic monitoring and evaluation of the pavement/project
  6. Bonding/guarantees.

Only one of the entities originally surveyed had entered into a design-build-maintain contract (UT DOT) - the I-15 contract included maintenance options for up to ten years. However, UT DOT did not exercise the maintenance option.

LADOTD (May 2009)

Louisiana has a statutory warranty period of three years for highway construction projects.

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Updated: 06/27/2017
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