MDOT Construction Manual Content Revision Procedures
Construction Manual Change Process
Suggested revisions to the MDOT Construction Manual are welcome from all users. The more users help improve the content, the more it improves the guidance for all other users.
To make a revison suggestion to the Construction Manual please email the appropriate division Content Manager found at this link to the Help page.
Content Managers Review Team
The Content Manager will typically set up a review team, consisting of subject matter experts to review the validity of suggested changes. The team can be made up of direct reports, industry partners, FHWA, etc. Essentially the team can be made up of anyone who the Content Manager feels will be able to provide the best review and input for the suggested change.
The Wiki format allows for the Construction Manual to be continuously updated to remain current with changing practice. CFS has been communicating information on new and/or updated procedures and processes through Construction Manual Updates (CMU). The process for revising the Construction Manual is based on the impact that the change will have and is defined below:
Tier 1: Spelling/Grammatical/Clarification Change
- These changes do not require additional approval processes.
Tier 2: Minor Process Changes
- This may require assembly of a team of subject matter experts to review the wording and create any supporting information for the change.
- An independent review by another content manager or other unit within the department should be conducted as a check for understandability of the revision and to verify that the revision is not a major change.
- Approval by the Engineer of CFS is required prior to publishing a type 2 change to the Wiki Construction Manual. The Engineer of CFS will determine if the change should be coordinated with the FHWA and discuss with an FHWA representative before approval if necessary.
Tier 3: Major changes that have a statewide impact to the delivery of the program.
- Once a suggested major change is submitted to the content manager, a team of subject matter experts is assembled to review the suggested change for technical merit, economic impact, staffing impact, industry impacts, etc. This same team will provide comments on the content of the update.
- If it is deemed that the change is beneficial or required of the department then the content manager will format the revision following a style that is similar for that section of the Construction Manual.
- The CFS Construction Administration Section will then submit the update for a two week region review period.
- Once all comments are received they will be addressed by the author and provided to the Region Engineer Liaisons to the Bureau of Field Services (BFS), BFS leadership (Bureau Director, Deputy Bureau Director, Engineer of Operations Field Services and Engineer of Construction Field Services), and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) for review and approval. The addressed comment document and the revised construction manual update will also be sent to the Statewide Alignment Construction Team for region knowledge. After approval is received from the Region Engineer Liaisons to BFS, BFS leadership and the FHWA the change is published in the Wiki Construction Manual.
- Definitions / Terms
- General overview (how used, why used, how built, etc.)
- MDOT contractor / sub prequalification req
- Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) references
- Description of materials used
- Pictures of materials
- Description of equipment used in process
- Equipment specifications
- Pictures of equipment used
- Submittals, shop drawings
- QPL list
- Plant inspections
- Contractor Submitted Plans / Procedures / Automated Machine Guidance Plans
- Construction requirements / procedures / installation methods
- Safety (Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), Public)
- Productivity rates / information/charts (typical output per hour, etc.)
- Items of Note
- Things to watch out for
- Construction layout / survey information
- Pictures of construction
Inspection & Testing
- Inspection procedures
- Inspector equipment / tools required
- Inspection checklists
- Special attention areas
- QA/QC Tests
- Lab testing / field testing
- Rejection / remedial actions
Measurement, Documentation & Payment
- Measurement (including significant figures / rounding)
- Field measurement procedures
- Documentation requirements
- Minimum acceptable documentation (Min doc guide content)
- Example documentation
- Forms (links)
- Certifications / warranty information
- Example Inspector’s Daily Report (IDR) comments
- Basis of payment
Local Agency Project Considerations
Rail Project Considerations
- Only use categories if there is information in that category for that item, otherwise delete.
- Note: Any page with information under local agency specific should also be tagged with the category “LAP Construction” to allow all pages with these tags to be grouped in a table of contents for local agency work.
- Note: Old work element system had specific info for each item of work, min documentation, measurements, inspection, etc. to earn the work element. Good guide to use to help populate information.
Section Outline Descriptions
- Note: A particular section and/or subsection might not have every segment outlined in this overview. Conversely, a section may have a unique subsection and/or supplemental segment which needs to be included.
The General Description section relates those components of the work to the corresponding section of the Construction Manual. The description section includes the process used to construct or install the work described in the section. There is a general overview of the work including how it is used and built. If applicable, this section should also describe why the work is done or what purpose the item or work serves (i.e., paint marking helps drivers delineate traffic lanes and improves safety, etc.). The techniques applicable to the placement of the pay items will be clearly referenced and outlined. The order of how the work is to be accomplished will also be described.
- Definitions and Terms
- Any new, unusual, or uncommon terms and acronyms should be hyperlinked to a definition. This allows those unfamiliar to obtain the information and experienced readers to quickly move on. This section may also describe engineering processes or methods not typically encountered. Define these items clearly and be consistent with the general specifications and any special provisions.
- General Overview (how used, why used, how built, etc.)
- This section should provide a general overview of the work along with relevant background information on how/why it is used to better help the reader understand the process and any technical language.
- Contractor Prequalification
- Use this sub-section if there are any specific contractor prequalification requirements for performing this work.
- Code of Federal Regulation (i.e., Buy America Act)
- If applicable, cite the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) section which applies to the work or process (e.g., CFR23 635 Buy America). It should be noted, all projects receiving federal dollars shall comply with these federal regulations. Local agency projects with oversight requirements will need to meet federal regulation for federal eligibility.
This section is used to describe the materials required to perform the work.
- Description of Materials Used
- This section describes the materials used to perform the work. The items shall be specifically identified in this section, including physical attributes and characteristics. Tolerable thresholds are to be addressed, as well as any ramifications of going out of range. Performance of material used could be discussed here. Compositions affecting physical strengths can also be mentioned here.
- Pictures of Materials
- Where possible, include relevant pictures of the materials used.
This section discusses the machinery, tools, and techniques necessary to accomplish work and/or installation of material pertinent to the section.
- Description of Equipment Used in Process
- This section discusses any equipment used to accomplish the work. This may include delivery equipment for materials, operated equipment used to transform raw materials into finished work products, and any specific tools necessary for completing the work.
- Equipment Specifications
- If specifications require specific equipment be used, this section details the equipment variations and how inspectors can check to ensure the correct equipment is used.
- Pictures of Equipment Used
- Whenever possible, include relevant pictures of the equipment used.
This section is used to describe any pre-construction activities related to work. Examples might include required shop drawings, submittals, work plans, or plant inspections.
- Submittals and Shop drawing
- Note any possible contractor supplied submittals or shop drawings in this section. There may be instances when the contractor will provide construction specific plans for installation during the construction phase. Examples of this would include pre-constructed bridge beams, cofferdams, sidewalk placement, false work associated with bridge construction, and other items of highway work. The contractor is responsible for accuracy of placement of a particular material as well as quantities for this work to be accomplished. In the case of cofferdams, the work must comply with all permits acquired to complete the work. If the contract required shop drawings, the drawings will be completed at no additional cost to the Department. These shop drawings and estimated quantities must be submitted to the engineer for Department review. Or, if the shop drawings were not part of the original contract, the Department will compensate the contractor for the development and design work done. Also, shop drawings should be submitted to the project engineer for Department approval. Shop drawings must be sealed by the engineer operating as the agent for the contractor.
- Note any relevant required permits in this section and who is responsible for obtaining them.
- Qualified Products List QPL
- The Qualified Products List (QPL) is a list of manufacturers and products that have been laboratory or field tested by MDOT or by a third party and have been found to meet specifications and performance criteria. Each QPL has its own evaluation procedure and requirements for remaining on the list. These requirements are found in the Materials Quality Assurance Procedures (MQAP) Manual. The Qualified Products Lists are found in the Materials Source Guide (MSG).
- Plant Inspections
- Any work items or materials requiring plant inspections should be noted here. The responsibility of each party involved should be clearly outlined and include relevant inspection timelines/schedules.
- Contractor Submitted Plans/Procedures
- Any items requiring the contractor to submit a plan or procedure (i.e., Hot Mix Asphalt (HMA) production plan, critical path schedule, automated machine guidance workplan, etc.) should be discussed in this section.
This section relays information related to the assembly, construction, installation, and/or completion of the work. This includes details of the installation/construction process, methods employed, and other relevant information field staff may find helpful. This section also discusses corrections and/or adjustments needed to be addressed to meet specifications or rejection of the work.
- Construction Requirements/Procedures/Installation Methods
- For the construction and installation section there is a need for further clarification and direction. This is where the author can use precise instruction to better direct MDOT construction staff or their agents in their administration of construction activities in the field. Pictures can be used to convey installation procedures. Videos can be helpful in showing good, expected practices for preparing site prior to installation of material, as well as good practice during actual placement.
- This section discusses any safety issues or concerns related to the work. Especially any unusual or dangerous activities such as trenching depths, slope stability, fall protection, explosive chemicals, etc.
- Productivity Information/Charts
- Use this section to include any relevant information on production rates, typical productivity output, or any other guidance document information charts which may be relevant to the work.
- Items of Note
- Use this subsection to include any specific items to look out for during construction, potential problem areas or other guidance to engineers/inspectors which might be helpful.
- This subsection depicts the planning and arrangement of the materials relevant to this section. The overall scope of how the material is to be placed in conjunction with other items in the project should be included in the layout portion of the Construction Manual. The layout should be established for the specific purpose of clearly letting the contractor know exact positioning.
- Surveying should be done to examine the site. It should be done in a comprehensive manner to determine boundaries and elevations. The site should be inspected carefully. Specialty techniques should be mentioned here. Site specifics need to be verified. The geometry aspects unique to installation should also be mentioned. Conveyance of angles and distances should be taken into consideration per material. Also note if any critical concerns or issues do/do not exist.
Inspection & Testing
This section shall relay information related to the inspection and testing procedures used by inspectors to ensure the work is completed per specifications.
- Inspection Procedures
- Note any specific inspection procedures required in this subsection. Note any inspector certifications or specific training required. Explain any sequential or related processes requiring inspector approval before proceeding further with the work.
- Special Attention Areas
- This subsection should note any areas of the work the inspector should pay more attention to for any reason, such as consequences to quality of later work or quality issues.
- Quality Assurance / Quality Control Tests
- Discuss the required Quality Assurance (QA)/Quality Control (QC) testing procedures for the work here. Cite relevant AASHTO testing specifications and other information.
- Lab Testing / Field Testing
- This area should detail any laboratory testing required as well as any field testing of the work. This section should discuss the sampling and testing procedures described in the MQAP Manual. QA/QC is required of the project. This will include independent assurances testing (IAT) of material testers to verify competency. It will validate calibration and test worthiness of equipment. Where applicable, it will incorporate project material certification. MDOT material staff shall maintain sampling and test records. Verification test procedures will be done to show required testing is done per contract requirements.
- Rejection / Remedial Actions
- This sub-section should detail any potential issues or circumstances related to rejection or remediation of the work.
Measurement, Documentation, & Payment
- The method of measurement will include the means, manner, and procedure that will be the way in which pay items and items included in the price of a pay item are quantified. Pay Items and items included in the pay items of work will be systematically accounted for in accomplishing the work within the construction of the project. The measurement will be a systematic approach as to how we quantify items used in the construction of MDOT projects. Construction forces will quantify units in length, area, volume, and weight (mass), as well as time and temperature for testing purposes.
- Documentation requirements
- Discuss any required documentation for the work, including when such documentation should be collected/provided by the contractor along with any specific criteria (i.e., Buy America). The documentation section of the file should contain all the supporting information to confirm MDOT has met its Federal requirements for compliance with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). This subsection should include a listing of any pertinent MDOT form numbers for documentation of the work.
- Min doc guide content
- Note any minimum documentation guide content here.
- Note any required certifications here.
- Example documentation
- Provide an example of the documentation for the work in question.
- Basis of Payment
- Basis of payment will be per specifications. Please note anything unusual or different in this section.
- Payments should be tied to the IDR. Payment to be disbursed weekly, bi weekly, monthly, by percent completion, or by some other pre-established arrangement interval. FHWA considers payment to be acceptance, so in order to be paid, the work must meet all requirements in full.
Local Agency Project Considerations
Local Agencies are required to perform material quality assurance per MDOT procedures if the project is located on the National Highway System (NHS). For non-NHS routes, which constitute most Local Agency Projects, the local agency has the option to utilize unique special provisions and may deviate from MDOT MQAP procedures, provided an industry acceptable alternative is proposed and approved by MDOT and FHWA.
The ‘Local Agency Project Considerations’ section shall be used in Construction Manual sections in which there are deviations from the standard MDOT construction engineering processes or procedures. If these cases, a ‘Local Agency Project Considerations’ section should be added to the appropriate location in the division and cross-referenced to the index located in the Local Agency index.
For ease of locating, all ‘Local Agency Project Considerations’ sections will be indexed in the Local Agency Section of the Construction Manual.
Rail Project Considerations
If there are any special considerations for the work when used on a rail project or near a railroad this section should be used to relay that information.