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Subject: INFORMATION: Technical Advisory T 6120.3 Use of Contractor Test Results in the Acceptance Decision, Recommended Quality Measures, and the Identification of Contractor/Department Risks Date: August 9, 2004
From: /s/ original signed by
King W. Gee
Associate Administrator for Infrastructure
Reply to
Attn of:
To: Directors of Field Services
Resource Center Managers
Division Administrators
Federal Lands Highway Division Engineers

Quality construction is fundamental to meeting the FHWA's stewardship responsibilities. The achievement of the Agency's national objectives is dependent on highway improvements being constructed to a desired level of quality in order to ensure they perform as intended. Quality construction improves system performance, enhances safety by minimizing work zone frequency and duration, and improves the efficiency of our highway investments.

Title 23, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 637B "Quality Assurance Procedures for Construction" (23 CFR 637B) provides the regulatory requirements put in place to support the FHWA policy as it relates to quality assurance (QA). The overall intent of the QA program is to provide adequate assurance that the public is receiving the desired quality in the products produced by the contractor. The subject Technical Advisory (TA) was created to provide additional clarification of the requirements included in 23 CFR 637B and provide recommended guidance to field personnel.

The focus of this TA is to highlight the proper use and validation of contractor performed sampling and testing with agency verification sampling and testing. In addition, this TA provides useful information and recommendations on contractor/agency risks that need to be addressed when developing an acceptance program. The TA is intended to provide guidance for development of future QA plans and is a valuable tool for State DOT and FHWA field engineers to use in monitoring and ensuring construction quality.

The implementation of statistically sound acceptance plans, understanding of statistics, percent within limits, and contractor/agency risks associated with these plans is a long range goal and will require extensive training. In support of these efforts and to further the understanding of risks associated with QA specifications and increase the implementation of statistically sound acceptance procedures, FHWA is in the process of implementing initiatives to educate specification developers and users. Currently, a number of items are being developed to educate and provide training through workshops, courses and software development.

The FHWA is creating a one-day workshop to provide the participants valuable information on the TA and the upcoming revised AASHTO R-9 recommended practice. The workshop will provide participants an introduction to risk and overview steps on how to conduct a risk analysis of proposed acceptance sampling plans. The intent of the workshop is to expose participants to key fundamental steps and procedures in developing acceptance sampling plans. The one-day workshop is scheduled for delivery in the spring of 2005.

A one-week National Highway Institute (NHI) course is also currently being developed to provide more in depth training on statistically sound QA specifications and risk analysis through the use of concurrently developed software under separate contract. The software tool is being developed to help analyze risks, create and plot operating characteristic and expected payment curves, and simulate acceptance plans based on sample size and payment provision decisions. The NHI course and software are scheduled for delivery in early 2006.

I encourage you to share this TA with your staff and State DOT counterparts involved in quality assurance program applications. The TA will soon be available on the FHWA Directives and Policy Memorandums web page located at https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/legsregs/directives/.

Please contact Mr. Matthew Corrigan at 202-366-1549 for additional information about this TA and the workshop. Other members of the Office of Infrastructure's team that may be contacted for information on quality assurance products are Mr. Michael Rafalowski at 202-366-1571 or Mr. Ken Jacoby at 202-366-6503.

Updated: 06/27/2017
Federal Highway Administration | 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE | Washington, DC 20590 | 202-366-4000