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!