Section 4: Inspections

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Inspection by the Department

Inspect the work to determine if performance is according to the contract. The contractor is required to provide safe access to all parts of the work and provide information and assistance to the engineer to allow a complete and detailed inspection. The contractor is required to provide the engineer with sufficient notice in order to inspect the work. When practical, provide suitable inspection as the work is being done. Article 5.7, “Inspection,” provides that inspection or lack of inspection will not relieve the contractor from obligation to provide materials or perform the work in accordance with the contract. Article 5.7 does not justify inadequate, unsuitable, or negligent inspection.� Document the inspection of survey work in the project diary.

Defective and Unauthorized Work

Inform the contractor of failures to meet contract requirements. Do not alter, add, or waive contract provisions, issue instructions contrary to the contract, act as foreman for the contactor, or interfere with the management of the work. Inspectors may reject work or materials and may suspend work until any issues can be referred to and decided by the engineer.

Inspectors may direct the contractor to remove or uncover portions of finished work for inspection purposes. Once inspected, the contractor will restore the work to contract requirements. If the uncovered work is acceptable, reimburse the contractor for the cost to uncover, remove, and replace or make good the parts removed in accordance with Article 4.2, “Changes in the Work.” If the work is unacceptable, the contractor will assume all cost associated with repair or replacement, including the costs to uncover, remove, and replace or make good the parts removed.

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 5.8, “Final Acceptance,” of the Standard Specifications, work completed includes work for vegetative establishment and maintenance, test, and performance periods and work to meet the requirements of Article 4.6, “Final Cleanup.” After all work is complete, the engineer in charge of the work will request a final inspection. Conduct the final inspection as soon as possible but not later than ten calendar days following the engineer’s request. Do not charge working days between the date of the request and the final inspection.

If the work is satisfactory after the final inspection, notify the contractor in writing of the final acceptance of the work. Final acceptance relieves the contractor from further contract responsibilities. If the final inspection finds any work to be unsatisfactory, provide the contractor a written list of all deficiencies in the work requiring correction. Resume working day charges if these deficiencies are not corrected within seven calendar days, unless determined otherwise. Inspect the work to verify that all deficiencies were corrected satisfactorily. Provide the contractor written notice of the final acceptance.

Exempt Federal-aid Projects

In accordance with the Federal Oversight Agreement dated October 13, 2006, the department assumed FHWA responsibilities for the program, design, and inspection of certain federal-aid projects. Each district must develop a state oversight review program to ensure that all pertinent FHWA regulations and policies are followed in the construction of a federal-aid contract under state oversight. CST is responsible for the overall state oversight program and, in conjunction with FHWA, has developed a suggested state oversight project review plan. All district oversight review programs must be submitted to CST for review and approval.

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 one of the following categories:

  • emergency relief (ER)
  • congestion mitigation (CM or CMAQ*)
  • state force account work or
  • enhancement projects.

*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 (see Chapter 4, Project Records for additional instructions).

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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

The exas Architectural Barrier Act of 1991 (TABA) requires accessible construction in Texas. It is similar, but not identical, to the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). TABA empowers the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR) to develop the Texas Accessibility Standards (TAS), and to inspect for compliance with these standards. Again, the standards are similar, but not identical, to the federal ADA Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG). Ensure the construction of pedestrian facilities complies with both the TABA and ADA which are the state and federal laws that provide access to persons with disabilities.

PS&E review will have been coordinated with TDLR to ensure compliance with the guidelines established in the TAS during the time plans are reviewed by the appropriate TxDOT division office. Project inspection by TDLR is required when the construction cost of the pedestrian elements totals more than $50,000.00. Inspections are also required for all buildings and hike and bike paths. When a TDLR inspection is required, inform TDLR staff using the procedure below and coordinate an appropriate time for a site visit and inspection of pedestrian-related elements. TDLR inspection requirements will usually be noted on the title sheet. Schedule this inspection at least two weeks prior to completion of the work so the inspection can occur as soon as the pedestrian-related elements are complete. Submit all requests to TDLR in Austin. Do not contact a local registered accessibility specialist regarding the inspection.

NOTE: These inspections do not make TDLR a party to the contract.

Follow these steps to request a TDLR inspection:

  1. Complete a DLR Inspection Request form (TDLR project number, such as EABPRJ#, may be found on the TDLR review comments transmitted from the Design Division [DES]).
  2. Fax the form to TDLR.
  3. Contact CST, Field Engineering Branch (FE) for assistance if arrangements for the inspection have not been made, or the inspection itself has not been conducted, within two weeks.

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.

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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