Section 3: Inspections

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Inspection by the Department

Inspect the work to determine if performance is according to the contract. Article 5.10 “Inspections,” does not justify inadequate, unsuitable, or negligent inspection.

Defective and Unauthorized Work

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.

It is strongly recommended that Department inspectors not allow full completion or corrections of pay items to be postponed until the end of the project, to be added to a punch list, so there is no chance it will be overlooked.

Final Acceptance

In accordance with Article 5.12, “Final Acceptance,” work completed includes work for vegetative establishment and maintenance, test and performance periods, and work to meet the requirements of Article 5.11, “Final Cleanup.” After all work is complete, the Engineer in charge of the work will request a final inspection.

State Oversight of Federal-Aid Projects

In accordance with the Stewardship and Oversight Agreement between Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) dated May 21, 2015, the Department assumed FHWA responsibilities for the program, design, and inspection of certain federal-aid projects. Refer to Chapter 16 for FHWA requirements. Ensure projects reviews are conducted in compliance with the local, state and federal requirements.

In addition to construction projects, state oversight duty is required on any project that includes federal funds, such as those falling under these categories:

Determine FHWA participation for change orders (COs), time suspensions, and time extensions (TE) for exempt federal-aid contracts. Refer to Chapter 16, “FHWA Oversight Requirements,” 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

TxDOT projects must be constructed in compliance with various accessibility requirements. These requirements are contained in:

For TxDOT projects with at least $50,000 worth of pedestrian elements, TDLR requires submittal of building, roadway, and bridge plans and performance of final inspections to verify compliance with the accessibility requirements.

The Construction Division (CST) has contracted with a Registered Accessibility Specialist (RAS) to perform the plan reviews and the final inspections. This contract covers all fees associated with these requirements. Detailed procedures for plan reviews and project inspections are available on CST’s intranet site: TDLR Construction Accessibility Requirements.

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 RAS. Directions for submittal may be found under the TDLR Construction Accessibility Requirements.

Federal Oversight Projects

FHWA periodically inspects projects financed with federal funds in accordance with federal laws, rules, policy, and guidance. 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. Alternatively, FHWA may coordinate a virtual observation of the testing, if needed.

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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