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Section 3: Pre-Construction Conference

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Purpose of Conference

At the conference, department personnel and contractor's staff become acquainted, establish lines of authority and communication, determine the responsibilities and duties of contractor's personnel, subcontractors, and department personnel, clarify potential sources of misunderstanding and work out the detailed arrangements necessary for the successful completion of the contract. Maintain a written record of the meeting (e.g., meeting minutes) in the contract file, together with any required documentation provided to resource agencies.

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Conference Responsibilities and Make-up

Conduct a pre-construction conference with the contractor after the Texas Transportation Commission has awarded the contract and a work order has been issued and prior to commencement of construction operations.

Ensure meeting attendees include:

  • appropriate representatives from the district and area offices
  • the contractor’s organization
  • subcontractors
  • news media (as required)
  • utility companies (as required)
  • emergency entities such as hospitals or fire departments (as required)
  • local governmental entities (as required)
  • local law officers (as required) and
  • resource agencies ([if an invitation is required] Some projects with conditional permits require resource agency notification.)
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Pre-construction Conference Agenda

Prepare a pre-construction conference agenda to discuss specific items. The following table is a sample agenda with discussion topics.

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Agenda Item

Topic/Comments

Introduction

  • staff introductions
  • purpose of meeting
  • review of contract — location, type, size, special problems or designs, right of way (ROW) and utilities
  • number of work days
  • material and source approval
  • identify any local entity agreements and local entity's role
  • other topics as appropriate.

Identity of Representatives

Identify the contractor’s representatives, subcontractors, engineer, law enforcement agencies, utility companies, and other relevant parties giving name, address and phone number.

Contractor’s Work Plan

  • start date
  • completion date
  • major phases of the contract
  • detailed progress schedule — 3/4 size chart in brief outlining the manner of prosecution of work intended to complete work in allotted time
  • revisions
  • work plans
  • criteria on working day charges and temporary suspension of work
    • notify the area engineer (AE) at least 24 hrs. before beginning work in any new operation
  • field office and/or lab
  • special traffic problems
  • present the subcontractors proposed for the project and the work they will perform (DBEs discussed below)
  • railroad insurance, if required in the contract.

Construction Requirements

Usual requirements:

  • water truck weight
  • roller qualifications
  • truck measurements
  • asphalt distributor calibration
  • truck weight limit
  • copies of papers accompanying material delivered to the project
  • stump dumping, etc.

Special requirements — discussion of pertinent items:

  • staking
  • earthwork
  • base
  • pavement
  • structures
  • miscellaneous.

Utility Adjustments

  • All utilities should be clear before the letting date; however, if plans include a date when the utilities are to be clear, adhere to that date. If utilities are not clear by the given date, it may be necessary to amend the contract to allow additional work days.
  • The contractor should not damage utilities located within the right of way.

Environmental

  • Inform contractor of securing proper environmental/archeological clearances pertaining to Project Specific Locations (PSL). Refer to Project Specific Location QuickGuide for contractor responsibilities
    • transmit to the contractor information about any environmental commitments that apply to the project
  • Review the contractor’s implementation of the Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWP3). Pay attention to areas of earth susceptible to erosion, haul road and material pits, contamination of streams and lakes, and damage to adjacent property, etc.
  • review mitigation requirements for the contract
  • determine if there are possible conflicts between the contractor’s work schedule and the SWP3
  • discuss environmentally sensitive areas (such as, wetlands, archeological finds, endangered species, etc.)

Traffic Control *

  • review plans, standards, and specifications
  • discuss signs, barricades and lights: inspection and reports, repair and compliance, special conditions and detours
  • discuss speed zones
  • discuss flagging procedures
  • explain the Traffic Control Plan (TCP) and its sequence during the course of the contract
  • determine the contractor’s plans for implementing the TCP
  • discuss any contractor proposed alternate TCP
  • stress to the contractor that deficiencies noted during construction must be corrected as soon as possible
  • ensure the contractor provides the scheduled sequence of work to the respective utility owners
  • request a letter designating contractor’s responsible person (CRP) and department responsible person (DRP).

*For more information on temporary traffic control for construction areas, go to Compliant Work Zone Traffic Control Device List. For more information on construction speed zones, refer to the Procedures for Establishing Speed Zones volume of the Traffic Operations manual collection.

Traffic Laws

The contractor and departmental personnel must be aware of the Texas Traffic Laws regarding the legal limit of axle load (legal weights) for trucks hauling materials to the site. Copies of the law can be obtained from the Texas Department of Public Safety.

Materials

  • request a letter designating sources of all materials proposed to be used on project
  • certification requirements
  • testing requirements
  • Quality Control/Quality Assurance (QC/QA)
  • storage of materials and
  • inspecting and testing.

Storage of Equipment and Materials

Review specifications especially the need to keep the travel way clear.

Law Enforcement

The responsibility of the area engineer (AE) is to guarantee that open lines of communication have been established between contractor and law enforcement. Discuss the use of law enforcement personnel on the project, if needed. The AE should ensure that specific needs for traffic supervision will be met. The interested parties must determine exactly how they will share traffic-related information (accidents, safety hazards, etc.).

News Media

Develop a plan for educating the public about construction activities through media announcements.

Safety Issues*

*For more information on construction safety, see Health and Safety Items, and Article 7.7, “Public Safety and Convenience,” of the Standard Specifications.

Ask the contractor to answer the following questions:

  • Does the contractor have a defined safety program? List the goals and people responsible, a letter designating a safety officer, minutes of the safety meeting, issue resolution, etc.
  • How does the contractor’s management support the safety program?
  • Does the contractor’s safety program include discussion with employees to promote safe conditions and practices in their work?
  • How are the job-related injuries and illnesses investigated, recorded and reported by the contractor?
  • OSHA compliance. What does the contractor do to keep informed on government safety regulations and standards?

Contractor Estimates

  • testing requirements
  • partial payments, monthly estimates, closing dates, etc. and
  • payment for material-on-hand (MOH)

Subcontracts

Letter notifying the department of proposed subcontractors to be used (refer to Article 8.8, “Subcontracting,” of the standard specifications).

Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE)/

Small Business Enterprise (SBE)

  • Contractors will be advised of requirements in the DBE/SBE special provision.
  • Contractors should also be directed to contact the area engineer's (AE) office concerning anticipated changes to their DBE/SBE commitment, any disputes, or inability to meet the goal
  • The district is responsible for approving any requests from the contractors, for DBE/SBE removals, substitutions, and Good Faith Efforts resulting from removal of a DBE/SBE.
  • Reports of all payments made to the DBE and SBE, regardless of commitment.

EEO, Training and Labor Compliance

Equal Employment Opportunities (EEO) Compliance Program requirements are contained in the following special provisions:

  • Required Contract Provisions Federal-Aid Construction Contracts (Form FHWA1273)
  • Standard Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Construction Contract Specifications ( Executive Order 11246)
    • including Form FHWA1391 – Certification of Nondiscrimination in Employment and Notice of Requirement for Affirmative Action to Ensure Equal Employment Opportunity (Executive Order 11246).

In addition, the applicable wage determination, the DBE or SBE special provision, and the prompt payment requirement must be included in subcontract agreements.

Form FHWA 1273 must be physically attached to all federally assisted contracts, subcontracts, and purchase orders of $10,000.00 or more.

On-the-Job Training:

Special Provision 000---807 - On-the-Job Training (OJT) Program, incorporated into all federal-aid highway improvement contract, was made effective with the January 2007 state letting. TxDOT’s Office of Civil Rights - Contract Compliance Section (OCR-CCS)will notify every contractor selected for participation in the program at the beginning of each calendar year and advise them of the number of trainees they are expected to supported. Participating contractors must enroll, train and graduate a number of trainees sufficient to meet their assigned annual trainee goal.

Prevailing wage rate requirements:

Contractors and subcontractors must pay employees, at a minimum, the classification wage rates specified in the contract. The minimum wage rates must also be conspicuously posted and accessible on the project site.

Payroll records:

  • Payroll records certifying compliance with the contract's minimum wage rates, overtime and payroll deduction requirements must be submitted within 7 calendar days on federal-aid construction projects. On 100% state funded construction contracts, the contractor or subcontractor must keep the payroll records and make them available for review by the department.

Bulletin Board Requirements:

The U.S. Department of Labor, Federal Highway Administration, and U.S. Department of Transportation require certain posters to be posted on bulletin boards in places accessible to the employees on a job site. The bulletin board requirements only apply to federal aid construction contracts.

EEO Meeting Requirements:

EEO meetings with supervisory and personnel office employees must be conducted before the start of work and then at least once every six months. EEO meetings with non-supervisory employees must be conducted at least annually.

Partnering

  • issue escalation and
  • rocks in the road (review of potential problems).

Other Matters

  • procedures
  • shop drawings
  • erection details
  • forming details.

Comments and Adjourn

summary and follow up, etc.



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