Section 3: Inspections

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Inspection by the Department

Inspect the work to determine if performance is according to the contract. Article 5.10 does not justify inadequate, unsuitable, or negligent inspection.

Defective and Unauthorized Work

It is strongly recommended that Department inspectors not allow full completion or corrections of pay items to be postponed until the end of the project, to be added to a punch list, so there is no chance it will be overlooked.

Department resources may be used for the correction of defective work, removal and replacement of defective work, or removal of unauthorized work if the contractor fails to perform the corrections in a timely manner. Deduct the cost of work performed by the Department from any money due to the contractor.

Approval may be provided to the contractor to work beyond the lines and grades given or shown on the plans, as deemed appropriate. Do not reimburse the contractor for extra work performed without written authority.

Final Acceptance

In accordance with Article 5.12, “Final Acceptance,” work completed includes work for vegetative establishment and maintenance, test and performance periods, and work to meet the requirements of Article 5.11, “Final Cleanup.” After all work is complete, the Engineer in charge of the work will request a final inspection.

Exempt Federal-Aid Projects

In accordance with the Stewardship and Oversight Agreement between FHWA and TxDOT dated May 21, 2015, the Department assumed FHWA responsibilities for the program, design, and inspection of certain federal-aid projects. Ensure projects reviews are conducted in compliance with the local, state and federal requirements.

In addition to construction projects let in Austin, state oversight duty is required on any project that includes federal funds and is exempt from FHWA oversight. These projects may fall under any of the following categories:

*CM or CMAQ – Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program.

Determine FHWA participation for change orders (COs), time suspensions, and time extensions (TE) for exempt federal-aid contracts. Complete Form 2235, “Final Inspection of Federal-Aid Project,” to accept the contract for federal participation. Refer to Chapter 4, “Project Records and Closeout,” for additional instructions.

Refer to Appendix A for policies on “Contractor-Supplied Field Offices on Projects” and “Department-Provided Cell Phones, Laptops, and Virtual Private Network (VPN) for Construction Contract Inspectors.”

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Inspection by Outside Organizations

When a government entity, utility, railroad company, or other entity accepts or pays a portion of the contract, that organization’s representatives may inspect the work but cannot direct the contractor. The right of inspection does not make that entity a party to the contract and does not interfere with the rights of the parties to the contract. The Engineer is responsible for inspection of a construction contract and for determining compliance with the contract provisions.

Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR) Inspections

TxDOT projects must be constructed in compliance with various accessibility requirements. These requirements are contained in:

For TxDOT projects with at least $50,000 worth of pedestrian elements, TDLR requires submittal of building, roadway, and bridge plans and performance of final inspections to verify compliance with the accessibility requirements.

The Construction Division (CST) has contracted with a Registered Accessibility Specialist (RAS) to perform the plan reviews and the final inspections. This contract covers all fees associated with these requirements. Detailed procedures for plan reviews and project inspections are available on CST's intranet site.

If a CO increases the value of pedestrian elements in a contract so the new total is over $50,000, submit the plans to the appropriate field section of DES. DES will coordinate with TDLR.

Refer to Appendix A for policy memoranda regarding TDLR Construction and Accessibility Requirements.

FHWA (Non-Exempt Federal-Aid Projects)

FHWA representatives periodically inspect projects financed with federal funds in accordance with the Federal-Aid Policy Guide. This inspection does not make the FHWA a party to the contract.

Arrangements may be made to observe project and independent assurance sampling and testing with the FHWA representatives upon their arrival at the district office. Securing these samples cannot delay the contractor’s normal operations. Maintain a complete file of the results of all tests performed and make them readily available for FHWA inspection.

When FHWA approval of a CO is required prior to performance of work, contact the appropriate FHWA representative as soon as possible. This will facilitate the CO approval process and serve to improve the Department’s relationship with FHWA.

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