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Criterion Details

PD-28 Construction Quality Control Plan

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Project Development Scorecard

  • Paving
  • Rural Basic
  • Urban Basic
  • Rural Extended
  • Urban Extended
  • Custom Core


Improve quality by requiring the contractor to have a formal Quality Control Plan (QCP).

Sustainability Linkage

Triple Bottom Line

Implementation of a Construction Quality Control Plan promotes higher quality construction and supports the environmental and economic principles of the triple bottom line by minimizing life-cycle costs and raw material usage.

Background & Scoring Requirements

Scoring Requirements

Requirement PD-28.1

3 points. Quality Control Plan

Require the Contractor to plan and implement quality control measures throughout construction with care and for materials above and beyond what is typically required by specifications and regulations. The Owner shall require the Contractor to establish, implement, and maintain a formal QCP during roadway construction. The Contract Documents should include a requirement for a QCP that includes, at a minimum, the following information:

  • Key quality control personnel, their responsibilities, and qualifications (resumes, certifications with expiration dates, etc.). 
  • Project location and locations of major pavement and earthwork sources. 
  • Procedures used to control quality during construction including (as a minimum):
    • Items to be monitored (including pavement mix designs)
    • Submittals required, approximate dates, responsible person, and submittal process
    • Testing to be done (including testing standards and frequency)
    • When corrective action is required (action limits)
    • Procedures to implement corrective action
    • Procedures to modify QCP if ineffective or when modifications are necessary
    • Critical inspection point notification plan. As an example, 48 hours before concrete delivery, 48 hours before asphalt paving operations begin, etc. 
  • The QCP should cover all project construction; not just the pavement.
  • Subcontractors need to be included in this plan, which typically means identifying a responsible party and obtaining a quality control procedure from the subcontractor. The Prime contractor shall maintain authority to enforce the QCP for work performed by all subcontractors. Expected beginning and ending dates for the subcontractors should be included. 
  • The QCP should be approved by the owner before construction begins. 

Some state and local owner agencies already have requirements for such plans written in to their standard specifications. Such existing requirements should be able to meet the requirements above; however, some only address construction quality for hot mix asphalt (HMA) or Portland cement concrete (PCC) paving and not construction of the overall project. While paving needs to be covered in the QCP, all other major components of construction (e.g., structures, earthwork, drainage, traffic control items, etc.) must also be covered.

Some state highway agencies use contractor testing in their acceptance process. In these cases, the independent assurance tests must be performed on samples that are taken independently of quality control samples. QCPs are required in these cases, as defined in CFR 637, Title 23.

A large document that repeats language from the contract specifications need not be generated for this scoring requirement. Rather, the document should clearly identify the major aspects of the prime contractor’s plan to control project construction quality and who is responsible for quality control for a particular item or process, when key inspections are made, when corrective actions are to be taken, and how they are to be taken.

Requirement PD-28.2

2 Points. Quality Price Adjustment Clauses

Leverage the use of Quality Price Adjustment Clauses to link payment and performance of the constructed products. Quality Assurance specifications generally include statistically based acceptance plans, require contractor process control testing, and have provisions for pay adjustments based on the degree of compliance with specified requirements. Quality assurance specifications and programs may lead to better contractor control of the quality of the specified product; however, they do not diminish the need for effective construction inspection. For more information, see FHWA’s Technical Guidance on Price Adjustment Clauses for Quality1.


The following resources are referenced in this criterion and consolidated here:

  1. FHWA, Technical Guidance on Price Adjustment Clauses for Quality, (January 24, 1992),

Case Studies & Criterion Examples

Western Federal Lands - Going-to-the-Sun-Road Rehabilitation Project: The Going-to-the-Sun Road (Sun Road) is the first American roadway designated both a National Historic Landmark and a National Civil Engineering Landmark. Going-to-the-Sun Road is the only road through the heart of Glacier National Park in Montana. It was completed in 1932, and it is the only road that crosses the park, going over the Continental Divide at Logan Pass. Sun Road has more than 475,000 vehicles traveling it during peak visitor season from June to October, or about 3,500 vehicles per day. The Western Federal Lands Highway Division (WFL) within the Federal Highway Administration used the INVEST Project Development (PD) module to evaluate the Sun Road Rehabilitation Project. Stand out criteria included PD-03: Context Sensitive Project Development, PD-07: Habitat Restoration, PD-18: Site Vegetation, PD-19: Reduce and Reuse Materials, and PD-28: Construction Quality Control Plan.

Arizona DOT - Using INVEST to Integrate Sustainability: The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) decided to use all three modules of INVEST – System Planning, Project Development, and Operations and Maintenance – to help the agency meet its sustainability goals across the transportation life cycle.  ADOT used INVEST to integrate and advance existing sustainability efforts and to push forward new efforts.  INVEST’s comprehensive sustainability framework and criteria helped ADOT institutionalize sustainability across the agency and with local partners through inclusion in manuals, trainings, and awards.  This case study focuses on ADOT’s use of the Project Development module.

Arizona DOT - State Route 30 Sustainable Project Development: This case study describes the use of the INVEST PD module to analyze and score the ADOT State Route (SR) 30 project—an approximately 13-mile section of new freeway in the Phoenix metropolitan area. The new freeway would be built five (5) miles south of Interstate 10 and would run from Sarival Road in Goodyear east to Loop 202 (South Mountain Freeway) in the western section of Phoenix in Maricopa County, Arizona. SR 30 is a proposed new freeway managed by the ADOT that would eventually link with the proposed ADOT Interstate 11 project in western Maricopa County near Tonopah at its western terminus and with the existing Interstate 17 at the Durango Curve in Phoenix at its eastern terminus. The section of SR 30 analyzed and scored using INVEST is currently in the preliminary design and environmental assessment evaluation phase pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act.

Scoring Sources

The project is considered to have met this criterion if the requirements above can be reasonably substantiated through the existence of one or more of the following documentation sources (or equal where not available):

  1. Contract Document Specifications requiring contractor to establish and implement a project-specific QCP.
  2. Contract Document Specifications requiring quality price adjustment clauses.