Construction Program Guide
Construction and Materials Quality Assurance
TRB Circular E-C037 (April 2002) defines Quality Assurance as "All those planned and systematic actions necessary to provide confidence that a product or facility will perform satisfactorily in service." More simply stated, Quality Assurance can be defined as "Making sure the Quality of a product is what it should be."
Various documents such as the National Quality Improvement Task Force Report on QA Procedures for Highway Construction (FHWA DP-89, June 1994) and the AASHTO Implementation Manual for Quality Assurance (February 1996) have outlined six critical elements of a Quality Assurance program. These elements include Quality Control (QC) by the Contractor, Acceptance by the Agency, Independent Assurance (IA), Dispute Resolution, and the use of Qualified Laboratories and Qualified Personnel by both parties.
- 23 USC 109 Standards (2020) Subsection (a) of 23 U.S.C. 109 requires that: "...the Secretary shall ensure that the plans and specifications for each proposed highway project under this chapter provide for a facility that will (1) adequately serve the existing and planned future traffic of the highway in a manner that is conducive to safety, durability, and economy of maintenance; and (2) be designed and constructed in accordance with criteria best suited to accomplish the objectives described in paragraph (1)..." Implementation of this requirement includes (but is not limited to) the promulgation of policies, procedures, and guidelines necessary to assure the quality of materials and construction on Federal-aid highway projects, and providing appropriate oversight of STD quality assurance practices and procedures
- 23 USC 114 Construction (2020) Subsection (a) Construction Work in General -provides the statutory requirements for State Departments of Transportation to undertake and supervise the construction of highways located on a Federal-aid system, and also provides broad authority for the Secretary of Transportation to inspect and approve the construction work. This would include any quality assurance procedures used during construction.
- 23 USC 315 Rules, regulations, and recommendations (2012) Provides the authority for the Secretary of Transportation to prescribe and promulgate rules and regulations for carrying out Federal-aid highway statutory requirements.
- 23 CFR 637 Subpart B Construction Inspections and Approval: Quality Assurance Procedures for Construction (September, 2007)
- National Review Program Report: Quality Assurance in Materials and Construction (07/03/2007)
- Questions and Answers on the Quality Assurance Regulation (23 CFR 637) (July, 2006)
- Use of Contractor Test Results in the Acceptance Decision, Recommended Quality Measures, and the Identification of Contractor/Department Risks (T 6120.3) (08/09/2004)
- Construction Program Management Inspection Guide (August, 2004)
- Certification Programs (04/19/1990)
- Specification Conformity Analysis (T 5080.12) (06/23/1989)
- Engineering Inspection of Highway and Street Construction on Federal-aid Projects (T 5080.1) (05/18/1979)
- Optimal Acceptance Procedures for Quality Assurance Specifications (2003)
- TRB Circular E-C037 - Glossary of Highway Quality Assurance Terms (April, 2002)
- Quality Assurance Stewardship Reviews
- Alternative Contracting Methods (ACMs) Library
- FHWA Pavement Notebook
- TRB Circular E-C037 (.pdf) - Glossary of Highway Quality Assurance Terms
- NHI Course 134042A - "Materials Control and Acceptance - Quality Assurance"
- NHI Course 131032 - "Hot Mix Asphalt Construction". This course includes quality assurance practices for hot mix asphalt construction.
- NHI Course 134055 - TCCC Construction Inspection, Workmanship, and Quality
- NHI Course 134064 - Transportation Construction Quality Assurance (1.5 day)
- NHI Course 134064A - Transportation Construction Quality Assurance (3 day)
Other Quality Assurance Web sites
- AASHTO Highway Subcommittee on Construction Report - "Major Types of Transportation Specifications"
- FHWA Memorandum - "Stewardship and Oversight of FHWA Construction Programs", 2003
- FHWA Memorandum - "Technician Qualification", 1998
- FHWA Memorandum - "Laboratory Qualification", 1998
- Construction Program Management and Inspection Guide (FHWA-04-013)