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15-01 — Developing and Maintaining Construction Inspection Competence

State transportation agencies face the prospect of losing a tremendous amount of institutional knowledge due to retirements of long-term employees and reductions in overall staffing levels. An area of specific concern is the loss of experienced construction inspectors.

Increasing complexity of construction methods and use of more varied contracting methods have added challenges for agencies' efforts to develop and maintain their competence in construction inspection. For many agencies, these efforts include certification and training programs.

This scan investigates such programs, focusing particularly on leading states, counties, metropolitan areas, municipalities and other transportation agencies' adoption of teaching and learning methods.

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Scan Results and Report

Implementation and Impact

Following the scan workshop in October 2016, the scan team worked at the national level to advance scan findings. Highlights of these activities include:

Scan team presented findings from the scan at the TRB Committees on Construction Management (AFH10) and Construction of Bridges and Structures (AFH40) at the 2017 and 2018 TRB Annual Meetings. The scan team also got on the agenda of AASHTO’s Transportation Curriculum Coordinating Council in Annapolis, MD in 2017 and the Subcommittee on Construction in Cincinnati, OH later in 2017.

Additionally, the scan team presented to FHWA’s Construction Management team at the Turner Fairbank Highway Research Center in 2017 and to the Bridge Producers Committee meeting at the PCI National Convention in Denver, CO in 2018.

Scan team members continue to work closely within their own states and nationally to monitor needs and identify opportunities to communicate and implement advances in construction inspection competence.

Scan Members

  • Robert Wight, Utah DOT, scan chair
  • Andy Alvarado, California Department of Transportation
  • Mark Chaput, Michigan DOT
  • Darby Clayton, West Virginia DOT
  • Romeo Garcia, Federal Highway Administration
  • David Hoyne, Vermont DOT
  • Jeff Lewis, Federal Highway Administration
  • Robert Lutz, AASHTO Materials Reference Laboratory
  • Rick A. Smith, subject matter expert

Workshop Participants

  • Alabama DOT
  • Caltrans
  • Colorado DOT
  • Florida DOT
  • Georgia DOT
  • Michigan DOT
  • Nebraska DOR
  • Oregon DOT
  • Texas DOT
  • Utah DOT
  • Vermont DOT
  • Virginia DOT
  • APWA
  • FHWA

picture1Scan Team 15-01 (pictured left to right): Bob Lutz (AASHTO), David Hoyne (Vermont), Romeo Garcia (FHWA), Mark Chaput (Michigan), Rob Wight (Utah), Rick Smith (SME), Andy Alvarado (Caltrans), Jeff Lewis (FHWA).