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Section 2: New Special Specification and Special Provision Submission Requirements

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Overview

In the early stages of design, the basic nature and character of work should be established, so that bid items may be selected. Also, this allows the designer to establish if any special circumstances may require Special Specifications or provisions. Special Provisions and Special Specifications should be submitted only when it has been determined that construction under the Standard Specifications will not achieve the desired results or will not prove to be economical. If new Special Provisions or specifications are needed, the early identification will allow time for them to be reviewed and approved by the Construction Division Specifications section prior to the submission of the PS&E.

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General Guidelines

Special Provisions should modify the Standard Specification only to the extent necessary to accomplish the desired results. When voiding portions of an article, void only the sentences requiring removal/replacement and the remainder of the Article is exactly as it appears in the Standard Specification. While condensation and simplification may result in a more concise Special Provision, this practice has too often resulted in misinterpretation and important Standard Specification requirements being unintentionally omitted.

The same general format and wording used in the Standard Specifications should be followed in preparing Special Specifications. This can most readily be accomplished by using a similar standard item as a guide and substituting the desired wording where appropriate. The measurement and payment paragraphs in particular should be essentially the same as similar standard items. This is necessary since conflicts or vagueness in these paragraphs are often the basis for claims against the department.

During the preparation of both Special Provisions and Special Specifications, considerable thought should be given toward requirements and wording which will permit the use of the Special Provisions or Special Specifications on other projects having slightly different conditions. By relegating certain features such as density and gradation requirements to the plans and exercising foresight in preparing the measurement and payment paragraphs this end can be achieved. The repeated use of desirable Special Provisions and Special Specifications is most beneficial in that it results in progress in construction methods and materials, and uniform interpretation of specification requirements.

This section covers

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Form 1814 and Specification Templates

The next subsections discuss these Form 1814 and Specification topics:

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When to Submit Completed Form

To submit a new Special Provision or Special Specification, the Form 1814 must be filled out completely by the district. The form may be downloaded from 1814.pdf. The District Engineer must submit the completed Form 1814 directly to the CST Construction Section to receive a new Special Provision or Special Specification number.

For all projects, districtwide use status of a Special Provision or Special Specification is encouraged when the item has been used three (3) or more times. When the district determines they want a proposed Special Provision or Special Specification for districtwide use, the district must submit Form 1814. These districtwide use Special Provisions or Special Specifications are submitted to the Specifications Committee for review and approval in their monthly meeting. Statewide use status for an item is usually submitted by a division.

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How to Complete Form

The Form 1814 Proposed Special Provision or Special Specification needs to be filled out completely (see Table 3-1, below). Use the latest version of Form 1814. The Form is located at http://www.dot.state.tx.us/business/specifications.htm. This form must accompany the Proposed Special Provision or Special Specification.

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Step

Action

1

List the Specification book year.

2

Indicate whether the submittal is for Statewide, Districtwide, or One Time Use.

3

For Statewide Use, indicate whether the submittal is construction and/or maintenance use and if its use is to be required or optional.

4

For Districwide Use, list the district.

5

For One Time Use, list the County, Project, District, CSJ, etc.

6

Provide the title of the submittal.

7

Indicate if the submittal is identical or similar to a previously approved specification or provision. If it is identical or similar, then list most recent number.

8

Give a through summary of the need for, and details of the submittal. If the submittal is similar to a previoulsy approved specification or provision, list the changes and provide and electronic copy with tracked changes.

9

For Districtwide or Statewide special provisions or special specifications, include guidance on when and how the special provision or special specfication will be used.

10

List any reference items.

11

Indicate who created the submittal, who e-mailed the submittal, phone numbers for both and the dates the submittal was created and e-mailed.

12

Indicate if bid codes will be needed for the item and list them.


When received at the CST Construction Section, the Form 1814 is logged in. Processing time varies depending on the content of the Special Provision or Special Specification and the information given on Form 1814. Preference is given to Specal Provisions or Special Specifications that let first. Many one-time use proposed Special Provisions or Special Specifications are forwarded to other divisions for review and comments (usually a two week turn around time).

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Accessing Specification Templates

In order to post Specifications and Provisions to the updated website, templates have been developed and must be used. The templates are found at the Specifications web page at http://www.dot.state.tx.us/business/templates.htm. The templates open with a .doc extension and must be saved with an .rtf extension prior to emailing the file to CST_RDWY_SPECS. Once the document is opened, the information has been typed in and it’s ready to be saved, click on File/Save As, then click on Save As Type, select Rich Text Format (*.rtf). No formatting is lost.

Specifications and Provisions cannot be accepted for submittal and review unless they are in the correct format.

Click here for an example of a Specification and an 1814.

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Centralized Libraries

The approved Special Provision or Special Specification is stored on the appropriate centralized library. The centralized libraries are used to build bid proposals. Contact the CST Construction Section for questions about these libraries.

(Refer to the Construction Division’s Internet site at http://www.dot.state.tx.us/business/specifications.htm for the proper formatting of triple zero Special Provisions.)

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Approval Procedure

Any Special Provision to Items 1 through 9 must receive approval from the Administration. All other proposed Special Provisions and Special Specifications (statewide and districtwide) must be submitted to the Specifications Committee composed of Division Heads from the Design Division, Bridge Division, Maintenance Division, Traffic Operations Division, and Construction Division; the section head of Materials and Pavements of the Construction Division; and three District Engineers. One-time-use Special Provisions or Special Specifications are approved through the Construction Division specifications section.

One purpose of the Specifications Committee is to carefully screen all Special Provisions and Special Specifications for conformance with departmental policies and construction practices and to approve only those deemed essential. The Committee also approves Special Provisions or Special Specifications affecting Departmental policy. The Committee also has liaison with legitimate highway industry associations and representatives for the purpose of discussing and/or clarifying specifications affecting those institutions.

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