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Construction Program Management and Inspection Guide

Appendix D (continued)


Verify that the quality control/quality acceptance procedures maintain effective inspection at all points of work.

Conventional Seals


  • Contractor's equipment and procedures.
  • Condition (properly cleaned, patched, and graded) of the surface to receive the prime or surface treatment asphalt.
  • Control of heating and means for the verification of the quantity and temperatures of the asphalt.
  • Quality and quantity of aggregate.
  • Weather conditions at the time of application.
  • Technique for application of cover stone and the attention given to the obtainment of uniformity and completeness of coverage.
  • Rolling and subsequent maintenance of the cover stone during the curing or setting period.
  • Requirements for opening to traffic.
Hot-Mix Asphalt Pavements

Prior to observing work, examine the prepave meeting minutes. Use these notes to become familiar with work processes to be observed. Discuss procedures established to maintain continuous and effective inspection at all points of work and proper liaison between quarry, plant, and paving operations. Verify that plant production has been designed to meet delivery, laydown, and compaction rates (i.e., continuous production with minimal stops and starts).


  • Equipment, to determine whether its type, size, and operation comply with the contract requirements, if applicable.
  • Backup equipment in case of breakdowns.
  • Procedures for checking and maintaining payment records for asphalt and the asphalt mix, and for documenting that all items paid for are actually incorporated into the pavement; pay particular attention to criteria established to define acceptance.
  • Diaries, plant and road reports, and other day-to-day records of the operations.
  • Use of control charts to control operations.
  • Operation of cold-feed proportioning, the dryer, screening, and batching equipment.
  • Mixing time.
  • Substrata condition ahead of the placement of the hot-mix asphalt (i.e., tack or prime coat, cleaning, patching, absence of raveling, etc.).
  • Adequacy and effectiveness of the contractor's operations and the STA's inspection of the laying operations.
  • Continuity in the delivery, laydown, and compaction (minimal stops and starts).
  • Temperature of the mix versus required range (plant and laydown).
  • Thickness and calculated spread rate.
  • Slope pavement (eliminate edge dropoffs for errant vehicles).
  • Density results.
  • Finished section smoothness, cross-section, and transitions.
  • Grade match into manholes, curb and gutter, and water valves.
  • Work zone safety and control.
  • Uniformity of gradation, asphalt content, and other mix properties.
  • Applicable contract warranties.

Observe field inspector and laboratory personnel as they perform their normal duties. Comment on inspections of the batching operations, weighing of trucks (both empty and full), collection of samples at all points and where they are taken, performance of the various tests, adequacy of the facilities and equipment, etc. Comment on how soon test results are available and necessary adjustments or corrections are made based on this information.

Portland Cement Concrete Pavement

Verify that the QA procedures maintain effective inspection at all points of work. Prior to observing the work:

  • Examine the prepave meeting minutes.
  • Become familiar with work processes to be observed.
  • Discuss procedures established to maintain continuous and effective inspection at all points of work and proper liaison between quarry, plant, and paving operations.
  • Verify that the mix design and material sources have been approved.

Examine completed forms in advance of concrete placing operations:

  • Take sufficient measurements to ensure compliance with applicable specifications; identify the location of measurements by station.
  • Quality of foundations material under forms.
  • Line and grade.
  • Method of securing forms to substrata.


  • Alignment of the dowel bars meets contract requirements (generally bars should be parallel to the centerline of the slab-not necessarily at right angles with joint, i.e., skewed joints-and parallel to surface pavement). Document the frequency and results of checks made after paving operations have been completed; this is particularly important when dowel bar inserters are used in the paving train.
  • Dowel baskets are securely fastened to the substrata.
  • Dowel bars are lubricated, free of deformities, and properly capped.
  • Preformed expansion joints are properly secured; comment if they are tilted or displaced by strike-off or finishing equipment.
Paving Operations

Allow sufficient time to become reasonably familiar with all the operations involved; this should include the beginning and ending of the day's operations.


  • Type of equipment used and if in compliance with contract requirements.
  • Mixing and delivery time is in compliance with contract requirements.
  • Adequacy of batch design and batch control.
  • Tests for slump, or consistency, and air content.
  • Methods of making, transporting, and curing concrete test specimens; when possible, witness flexural or compressive tests.
  • Frequency and adequacy of control tests.
  • Theoretical yield against actual yield to ensure conformity with the specified mix proportions.
  • Method of placing concrete.
  • Finishing operations including micro and macro texture.
  • Curing operations.
  • Joint forming, sawing, depth of cut, uncontrolled cracking before or during sawing operations, cleaning, and sealing operations.
  • Surface smoothness.
  • Pavement thickness as determined from core measurements.
  • Applicable contract warranties.

Environmental Commitments


  • Environmentally sensitive areas fenced off as appropriate.
  • Certified biologist and archeologist available as needed.
  • Mitigation features (temporary and permanent) constructed as defined within environmental (NEPA) clearance documents such as noise, erosion, dust, and sediment control, etc.



  • Procedures for shop inspection; verify compliance on current project requirements.
  • Shop drawings or plans; ensure they are signed by a registered professional engineer if applicable.
  • Material certifications.
  • Sign placement relative to field conditions and safety requirements.
  • Tightening procedures for bolts.
  • Structural members for cracking or defects in coatings.
  • Proper retroreflectiveness.
  • Proper coverage of signs when not in use.
  • Proper breakaway features.

Guardrail and End Treatments

Strong Post W-Beam Guardrail


  • Roadside installations: 706 mm (27-28 in) to top of w-beam rail.
  • Median installations: 550 mm (22 in) to center of rail with no rubrail, or 610 mm (24 in) to center of rail and 300 mm (12 in) to center of rubrail.
  • Wood blockouts with wood posts toenailed to prevent rotation of blockout.
  • Wood blockouts with steel posts routed and fit around edge of steel post.
  • Steel blockouts only if speeds are 72 km (45 mph) or less.
  • Recycled or composite blockouts connected in a manner that prevents rotation.
  • Splices lapped to prevent snagging for the direction of traffic nearest the rail.
  • Slope in front of w-beam guardrail no steeper than 1:10.
  • Preferred minimum offset from shoulder is 0.6 m (2 ft).
  • No rigid objects within 0.9 m (3 ft) of the back of the line of posts unless measures have been taken to further stiffen the system.
  • Strut on ground or partially buried.
  • Wood post holes near ground (see manufacturer's drawing for height and number of drilled posts as well as need for soil tubes).
  • Steel posts hinged for breakaway design.
  • Slope approaching and around terminal no steeper than 1:10.
Concrete Barrier


  • Basic: 810 mm (32 in) minimum to top of w-beam barrier.
  • Heavy truck traffic: 1070 mm (42 in) to top of barrier.
  • Ensure that all concrete barriers are terminated in a backslope with an approved crash cushion or with an approved transition to guardrail design. NOTE: Substantiate the above dimensions with the approved plans and details or manufacturers recommendations prior to the review. For further information on these issues or other types of roadside hardware, see the AASHTO Roadside Design Guide (see Appendix E).


Landscaping and Planting

Ensure the contract-specified landscaping and planting items meet design concepts of aesthetics and erosion control.

Fertilizing, seeding, and mulching
  • Evaluate both quality and rate of application of the materials used.
  • Record information from tags on seed bags and compare to contract requirements.
  • Examine project test reports on the materials used and the rates of application.
  • Verify that the time or season of planting is appropriate.
  • Where sufficient time has elapsed since planting, examine and document apparent growth as a percentage of the surrounding undisturbed area (70 percent growth is generally required by the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System [NPDES] permit).
Shrubs, trees, and other plantings
  • Check to assure that the quantity, size, and quality meet specifications.
  • Visit the source nursery or other source of supply if possible.
  • Document methods and procedures used in planting, watering, and caring for trees and shrubs.
  • Discuss applicable warranty provisions and procedures for administering.
Other Items

There are many items that may be included in projects that are not specifically mentioned in this Guide. Some are incidental to other bid items, and some are bid separately. Become familiar with the specific contract requirements and inspect in a similar manner.

There are other items of work that consist principally of the assembly and erection of components of manufactured products that are delivered to the project site. Examples of these items are signs, signals, lighting, and pump station equipment. Confirm the method of acceptance of these types of work. Generally, a manufacturer's certification that verifies the material characteristics of the product is required for acceptance. Ensure that these certifications are on file in the project records.

Project Cleanup

Evaluate the overall effectiveness of the contractor's operations in successfully completing all items of work. Field review the entire project and note:

  • Surplus materials including stumps and brush have been disposed of in accordance with the contract.
  • The project presents a pleasing appearance.
  • Encroachments exist upon the right-of-way; pay particular attention to signs that overhang the right-of-way in urban areas.
  • Borrow pits and ditches drainage are as required.
  • Borrow areas, both on the right-of-way and on private property, have been regraded and seeded, and pit releases have been obtained from the owners.
  • Haul roads have been restored and abandoned roadbeds obliterated.
Labor Compliance

Become familiar with the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) labor compliance provisions contained in Form FHWA 1273. Evaluate the effectiveness of the contractor and the contracting agency in administering these requirements:

  • Weekly payrolls are submitted from the prime contractor and all subcontractors.
  • Statements of compliance are signed and attached to payrolls.
  • Seven-day pay periods are established and constant.
  • Wages and fringe benefits are at rates not less than those predetermined by the Secretary of Labor as contained in the contract provisions.
  • Work performed by any specific class of employees, including helpers and apprentices, conforms to the classifications set forth in the contract provisions.
  • Employee classifications are correct for the work performed.
  • Payroll forms reflect number of hours worked per day and per week.
  • Gross and net wages are shown.
  • When hours worked exceeds 40 in any work week, 1.5 base rate is paid.
  • All weeks to date are accounted for.
  • There is no evidence of any disproportionate employment of laborers, helpers, or apprentices that would indicate avoidance of the appropriate journeyman wage rate provisions.
  • Trainee/apprentice documentation on file.
  • Spot check interviews with employees of the contractor and subcontractors; comment on how these interviews are documented in project records. Make several spot interviews with employees and document findings.
  • The contract wage rates are posted and available to the contractor's and subcontractor's employees.
  • Unresolved violations are properly dealt with in accordance with STA, FHWA, and USDOL procedures.
  • FHWA representatives are kept aware of labor discrepancies.
  • The STA is preparing and submitting the Semi-Annual Labor Compliance Enforcement Report, Form FHWA 1494.
Bulletin Board

Verify that the prime contractor maintains a bulletin board in a prominent location where employees congregate. Refer to the appendix of FHWA's Contract Administration Core Curriculum Manual for a listing of job site posters and Federal forms to be displayed (https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/programadmin/contracts/poster.cfm).

Construction Safety

Become familiar with the USDOL Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) provisions contained in 29 CFR 1926 (see the OSHA Web site: http://www.osha.gov/).

  • Evaluate the effectiveness of the contractor and the contracting agency in administering safety and health requirements.
  • Document STA guidance provided to field engineers and inspectors on their role and responsibility.
  • Inspect the project to identify potential safety and health hazards; photograph concerns for discussion with the STA and the contractor.
  • Document how many contractor personnel workdays have been lost to project injury.
  • Obtain a copy of OSHA Document 2202 for a quick reference.
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Updated: 06/27/2017
Federal Highway Administration | 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE | Washington, DC 20590 | 202-366-4000