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Section 4: Use of the Consultant Pool

Consultant firms who are under contract with the Bridge Division to perform bridge inspections in Texas are available for use by the districts. New inspection contracts are executed every two years by the Bridge Inspection Branch of the Bridge Division. The necessary procedures that must be followed by the districts to utilize these consultants is described below.

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Request for Consultant Inspection

The district must initially provide the following three items to the Bridge Inspection Branch of the Bridge Division with a lead time of at least three months:

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Work Authorization Issuance

The Bridge Inspection Branch of the Bridge Division will send to the district a blank Work Authorization along with a fee schedule for the recommended consulting firm who has been contacted. The district then proceeds with the following:

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  • Complete the Work Authorization and fee schedule.
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  • Include description of where the bridge inspections will take place (multiple counties may be included in the same Work Authorization).
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  • Complete the fee schedule with the number of bridges to be inspected by type.
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  • Include the total dollar amount on the Work Authorization.
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  • Contact the consultant firm and agrees to a termination date for the completion of the inspections, which is entered on the Work Authorization.

The Bridge Division will execute the Work Authorization and notify the district and the consulting firm once the Work Authorization has been executed. The consultant may begin bridge inspections upon execution of the Work Authorization.

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Managing Consultant Bridge Inspections

To ensure that bridge inspections are performed in a competent and timely fashion, the district will perform oversight of the work by following these steps:

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  • Verify the bridge inspection firm's Project Manager and individual Team Leaders against the list provided by the Bridge Inspection Branch of the Bridge Division.
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  • Periodically visit the firm’s inspection teams in the field to verify team composition and to observe actual inspections during the field portion of the Work Authorization.
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  • Refer to Section 3 “Quality Control” of Chapter 9 of this manual for quality control requirements and procedures that must be followed by the District post-consultant inspection submittal.
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  • When invoices are submitted to the district by the consultant, they should be reviewed and submitted to the Finance Division as soon as possible (TxDOT has a maximum of 30 days to process an invoice from the date it is received to avoid payment of interest).
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  • The district should monitor the amount of completed consultant bridge inspections to ensure that additional structures that might be added as the work progresses will have sufficient funds in the Work Authorization.
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  • If additional funds or time is needed to complete the Work Authorization, a request for a Supplemental Agreement must be made to the Bridge Inspection Branch of the Bridge Division at least 2 weeks before the termination of the initial Work Authorization.
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Evaluation of Bridge Inspection Consultant Firm and Project Manager

When the bridge inspections covered by the Work Authorization are finished, the district work authorization manager (typically the District Bridge Inspection Coordinator) completes an evaluation of the consultant as required by the Professional Engineering Procurement Services Division.


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