Thursday, September 5, 2013

Caltrans' 2010 Construction Standards Webinar

Caltrans is hosting a FREE webinar on September 19 from 10am-noon to explain the 2010 Construction Standards (the big red book).  It will give an overview of why the specifications were changed, information on the new format, and tips on how to find key passages.  This webinar will focus on the entire book, not just the materials but may be useful to you.  Below is information from Caltrans in regards to the webinar: 

Target Audience: Caltrans, contractors, and local agency construction field staff using or going to be using the Caltrans 2010 Standards.

Many contractors and resident engineers are now starting to work on contracts under the Caltrans 2010 Standards and have discovered that the specifications are not in the format they are used to.  

This Webinar on the Caltrans 2010 Construction Contract Standards, followed by questions and answers, will provide an overview of the 2010 Standards.  Topics will include:

  • Why did Caltrans create the 2010 Construction Contract Standards?
  • Brief review on the specifications style and format.
  • Review of the 2010 Standard Specifications and associated Standard Special Provisions.
  • Frequently asked questions, such as, “What happened to the Order of Work?”

The webinar will be recorded and posted for viewing by those who cannot attend but if you'd like to attend in person you can register at  

I've noticed that it sometimes gives a busy error when you go to the website so be patient and refresh a couple of times.  There are likely many people trying to register right now.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Caltrans Construction Contract Standards

Just a short update... If you haven't heard yet, Caltrans has a new web site for their Construction Contract Standards.  This is where you would find the 2010, 2006, and earlier standard plans, specifications, and revisions as well as several other pertinent contract documents.

The new address is:

Update your bookmarks!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Dig This

So I know that this website is primarily dedicated to the boring everyday ins and outs of quality control but I could not help myself when I saw this and had to share it with you.

For those of you who have family members who don't appreciate what we do or, heck, if you just want to travel back in time to digging in the sand box, there is now an attraction in Las Vegas called "Dig This-Heavy Equipment Playground" where you can "play" with a a CAT D5G Bulldozer or CAT 315CL Hydraulic Excavator.

Dig This  takes you through a safety orientation, in-cab orientation, and warm up exercises before the real fun begins with activities like "Excavator Basketball" and "Bulldozer Teeter-Totter".  After that you even have free time to dink around with the equipment!  I'm not usually one for advertising businesses on the blog but with ConExpo on the horizon in March I thought this might be something that could make your trip just a little more fun between the exhibits and fancy dinners.

Check it out at!

Friday, August 9, 2013

Caltrans Allowing Changes Up to 25% RAP

Today Caltrans posted a Construction Procedure Directive on their website that allows contractors to use up to 25% RAP for any ongoing contracts under either the 2010 OR 2006 specifications.  If you are constructing any 2006 or 2010 specified Caltrans job, you now have the ability to file a change order to use a dense mix with up to 25% RAP.  (RAP is still not allowed in Rubber or Open-Graded mixes in any portion at this time)  This change order work will be at no additional cost to the state and contract time will not be extended.  It should be noted that with a change from 15% to up to 25% RAP, there are additional testing and documentation requirements so be sure that you are aware of these additional costs before you submit a change order to this effect. The contractor will be responsible for these costs, not the state.

I would also love to tell you that there will be no credit owed to the state for this change but the documentation on Caltran's website contradicts itself.  In the "Record of Blanket Prior Approval for Major Contract Change Order", the following paragraph appears:
"There will be no credit or cost to the state as a result of this change. The credit will be based on the differences in the costs of HMA with 15 percent RAP versus HMA with up to 25 percent. Force account analysis for credits shall be filed in the project’s records. The credits will vary on a project by project basis."

At this time, since it is unclear whether Caltrans will require a credit from you due to the reduction of virgin asphalt in the mix, I recommend that you verify with your RE before making the change.

The Construction Procedure Directive can be found here and includes:

  • Sample Change Order Memorandum
  • Sample Backup Calculations
  • Sample Change Order
  • Change Order Specification for 2010 Specifications
  • Change Order Specification for 2006 Specifications
  • FHWA-Record of Blanket Prior Approval for Major Contract Change Orde

Good luck & happy recycling!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

New Superpave Web Page

For those of you who are interested in following the Caltrans Superpave process, we've updated Quality in California's Superpave web page to be more informative and more interactive. The Rock Products Committee's Subtask Group for Superpave asked us to create a web page that will help Caltrans and Industry share information as we move through the specification writing process. You can access this new updated page at the link on the toolbar above that says "Superpave". On this page we'll keep the most updated versions of the Superpave Pilot Specifications & Superpave JMF forms. In addition, this page will serve as the information hot spot for following what is going on in the Subtask group and we will keep the most recent documents from the Subtask group meetings including meeting information, group memory documents, and the industry concerns working list.

Most importantly, this page will allow you to view all of the information that has been shared on the most pressing industry concerns and allows you to post any of your own data, information, and opinions to help Caltrans and Industry come to an agreement on each issue. The current issues that industry is collecting information and data on are:

1. The Hamburg testing temperature being changed from 122F to 140F.
2. Whether the 120psi requirement for RHMA will be problematic.
3. Whether the minimum binder content of 7.5% DWM for RHMA will be problematic.
4. The Dust Proportion requirements for 3/8" HMA set at 0.9-2.0 being too high.
5. The VMA requirements for dense mixes being too high.
6. Whether the RAP Maximum Specific Gravity Tolerance of +/- 0.060 is necessary.

Visit the Superpave webpage when you get a chance, share your information, and let us know if you have any issues with the page!

Friday, April 12, 2013

AMRL Accreditation

On April 2 I gave a presentation on AMRL Accreditation at the CalAPA Bay Area Technical Committee Meeting in San Leandro.  Special thanks to everyone that attended and participated in the discussion!

The presentation covered the steps you'll need to go through to become AMRL accredited for the upcoming Superpave specifications in addition to a breakdown of how much the whole process costs.  You can download the presentation from the CalAPA website here.  In addition, here are a few resources that may help you through the process:

AMRL Resources:
AMRL Website:
AMRL Assessment Preparation Lists:

Other Resources:
California Asphalt Pavement Association:

If you are curious about the CalAPA Technical Advisory Committee Meetings, they are free meetings held at various locations throughout the state on a regular basis (usually once every 2 months) where people from all parts of the industry as well as government agencies can get together and share technical information and network.  In my personal opinion this is one of the greatest features that CalAPA offers as it gives you an opportunity to learn about what's new in asphalt pavement as well as discuss any statewide issues that are occurring.  I'd highly recommend attending a couple meetings to see what they can do for you and your business.  You can learn more about these meetings from contacting CalAPA.  Their website is  In the meantime check out their technical committee page here where you can view various presentations and other information shared at some of these meetings.  

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

April 2013 RSP Samples Being Distributed

April's RSP samples will be shipped this week.  They will include a sample for CT 202-Coarse Aggregates.  If you do not receive your sample by the end of the week you should contact Caltrans at