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Section 2: Project Schedules

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General

Do not allow the contractor to begin work until the Construction Division (CST) sends the “Authorization to Begin Work.” In accordance with Article 3.8, "Beginning of Work," the contractor is not to begin work until authorized in writing by the Engineer.

Unless otherwise specified in the contract, the contractor is required to begin work within 30 calendar days of the work authorization or the Notice to Proceed (NTP) in accordance with Article 8.1, "Prosecution of Work." Verify in the contract whether a special provision allows for a later start.

In contracts with callout work and work orders, the contractor is required to begin work in accordance with the contract or as specified in each work order.

Use project schedules obtained from the contractor to:

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  • understand the contractor's plan to deliver the project within the time allowed,
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  • plan for TxDOT's work force and other resource requirements (such as materials to be supplied or installed by TxDOT),
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  • administer contract sequencing requirements,
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  • monitor coordination of all entities involved in the project,
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  • monitor milestone completion in accordance with the contract, if applicable,
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  • monitor the progress of the work and evaluate proposed changes to the contract,
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  • advise the public and any others of major milestone accomplishments, the status of the project and/or the anticipated project completion date, and
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  • actively manage impacts to the project and administer contract time in accordance with the contract.

Submitted contract schedules should:

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  • include an indication of the contractor's planned completion date within the number of working days specified in the contract,
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  • include all planned work activities necessary for the successful completion of the project based on the sequence of work and traffic control plan shown in the contract,
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  • include a beginning date, ending date, and duration in working days for each activity,
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  • include any major materials procurements and known utility relocations,
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  • include other activities that may affect the completion date of the contract, such as activities performed by the Department or third parties such as ROW or utilities,
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  • include interim milestones or specific scheduled activities in the contract where completion of specific portions of the work may be required at specific times and may include incetive and disincentives, and
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  • not include activities exceeding 20 working days unless agreed upon with the Engineer.
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Schedule Types

In accordance with Article 8.5 “Project Schedules,” project schedules will be designated in the plans as:

The Bar Chart schedule type is the default for all construction contracts. If a CPM schedule is required by the contract using a specified project management software program, be familiar with the appropriate software program. The General Notes to Item 8 must include the District's scheduling software preference, when applicable.

Unless otherwise shown in the contract, obtain monthly updated progress schedules from the contractor and document the received date for each. Review the schedule to ensure conformance with the contract. If the progress schedule indicates that the contract will not be completed within the number of working days specified, obtain written clarification that states whether the contractor will revise the progress schedule to meet the number of working days specified or will exceed the number of working days specified and why.

Review major changes to the progress schedule that may affect compliance with the contract requirements or changes the critical path or controlling item of work. These proposed major changes may be rejected. If changes are shown, a narrative explanation must also be provided.

For multiple work order contracts, ensure that the contractor submits a progress schedule for each work order.

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Acceptance of Baseline Schedules

The Engineer's review and acceptance of the project schedule is for conformance to the requirements of the contract documents only and does not relieve the contractor of any responsibility for meeting the interim milestone dates (if specified). Review and acceptance does not expressly or by implication warrant, acknowldedge, or admit the reasonableness of the logic or durations of the project schedule.

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Contract Time vs. Planned Finish Date

Contract time will be determined by the contract as bid or the work orders as provided. If a contractor provides a baseline schedule proposing completion of the work prior to the end of contract time, do not reduce the contract time. Do not begin liquidated damages until contract time has expired, regardless of the contractor's planned completion date per the baseline schedule.

A contractor has the right to finish early. If a contractor plans to finish early per the baseline schedule, and the schedule appears to be reasonable, yet finishes later than they had planned, the contractor can still claim delays and/or overhead costs even if contract time has not yet expired. Such a claim will require a Time Impact Analysis to determine the cause of the delays and which party (TxDOT or the contractor) is responsible for the delay. Only then, if it is determined that TxDOT is responsible for a delay to the contractor's progress, TxDOT may owe time and compensation. A contractor's planned completion date and the end of contract time are not synonymous and should not be treated as such.

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Failure to Complete Work on Time

As stipulated under Article 8.6 “Failure to Complete Work on Time”, the time established for completion of the work is an essential element of the contract. If a Contractor does not complete the work within the contractual number of working days, continue charging working days. For each day over the contracted time, damages will need to be assessed in accordance with the contract.

Liquidated damages are calculated costs based upon the Department’s contract administration expenses for managing a contract beyond the calculated contract time. Liquidated damages are not a penalty, but a method for recovering TxDOT’s costs and damages due to the additional time needed to complete the project. These costs are re-evaluated periodically to stay current. The rate of liquidated damages has typically been included in 2014 contracts by Special Provision 000-001. As stated in this Special Provision, the rate of liquidated damages to be used in a given contract is based upon the original bid value of the contract; if the value of the contract changes, the value of the liquidated damages does not.

Additional project-specific liquidated damages, when applicable, are typically identified within a contract’s General Notes and may be associated with the timely completion of project milestones, or may be applied at the end of a project determined to have a significant impact on the traveling public as an additional disincentive to help ensure timely completion. Each year, TxDOT issues updated road user costs for use in A+B bid contracts, incentives/disincentives for milestones and project substantial completion, and projects with lane rental provisions.

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