, Director, Outreach Services, Center for Transportation Studies
Construction inspection involves three important tasks: monitoring the work to make sure it is done according to plans and specifications, working with the contractor to clarify intent and help get the best product, and documenting the work so that a record of quantity and materials is secured in a way that meets agency and contract requirements. Construction inspectors and agency staff play a critical role in these tasks, as pay items are often concealed during the construction process, and once work is completed it may be difficult to verify or check the work.
In addition, specific inspection and documentation processes are mandated by law and have been put in place to ensure quality control and enhance the communication between contractor and agency staff. A lack of quality construction inspection leads to poor communication and coordination, non-compliance with project requirements, increased costs, a potential for poor quality workmanship, and inconsistencies.
Good documentation includes daily diaries and formal reports, photos, weekly and monthly summaries, bid item quantities, and supporting documentation (such as measurement tallies or load tickets). This documentation not only supports the monthly payments to the contractor, but is also required for the audit at project completion. MnDOT projects use AASHTO-ware and other proprietary software to track daily item tabulations and weekly reports, and local agencies often use One Office, another software product or standard forms. This class will focus on why correct documentation is important, how to measure and record completed work, and how to create a pay estimate for a given time period (such as week or month). The information will be presented in a way that allows for participants to use a variety of documentation tools.