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  1. This template is to be used as a standard format template guide for Construction Manual content. Please keep in mind that a particular section of work might not use every bullet in the template. Conversely a particular section might have topics that are unique and/or supplementary to the template.
  2. If one of the 7 major chapters does not contain any information at this time please use the reserved coding:


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The general description section should relate those components of the work to the particular section of the Construction Manual. The description section of each Construction Manual section should include the process used to construct or install the work described in the section. There should be a general overview of the work including how it is used and built. If applicable this section should also describe why the work is done or what purpose the item or work serves in general. (IE Paint marking helps drivers delineate traffic lanes and improves safety, etc.) The techniques that are applicable to the placement of the pay items should be clearly referenced and outlined. The order of how the work is to be accomplished should also be described.

Definitions and Terms

Any new, unusual, or uncommon terms/acronyms should be hyper-linked to a definition. This allows those unfamiliar to obtain the information and experienced readers to quickly move on. This section may also describe engineering processes or methods not typically encountered. Define these items clearly and be consistent with the general specifications and any special provisions.

General Overview

This section should provide a general overview of the work along with relevant background information on how/why it is used to better help the reader understand the process and any technical jargon.

Contractor Prequalification

Use this sub-section if there are any specific contractor prequalification requirements for performing this work.

Code of Federal Regulation (CFR) / FHWA Regulations

If applicable cite the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) section or FHWA regulation that applies to the work or process. Citing the governing rule is often helpful to understand why we have to perform a certain procedure or make a report. It is also helpful to know why we can not skip a step that is required for federal funding. (Example: CFR23 635 Buy America) It should be noted that all projects that are recipients of federal dollars shall comply with these federal regulations. Local agency projects with oversight requirements will need to meet federal regulation for federal eligibility.

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This section is used to describe the materials required to perform the work.

Description of Materials Used

This section is used to describe the materials used to perform the work. The items shall be specifically identified in this section including physical attributes and characteristics. Tolerable thresholds should be addressed, and the consequences of material that is out of specification. Rejection, replacement, remediation or cost discounts should be addressed as applicable to the work.

Pictures of Materials

Where possible always try to include relevant pictures of the materials used.


This section should discuss the machinery, tools and techniques that are necessary to accomplish work and or installation of material that are pertinent to the section.

Description of Equipment Used

This portion of the section should discuss any typical or unique equipment that would be used to accomplish the work. This may include delivery equipment for materials, operated equipment used to transform raw materials into finished work products and any specific tools that would be necessary for completing the work.

Equipment Specifications

If the specifications require specific equipment to be used, this section should detail the equipment variations and how inspectors can check to insure the correct equipment is used.

Pictures of Equipment

Whenever possible this section should also include relevant pictures of the equipment used.

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This section should be used to describe any pre-construction activities related to this work. Examples might include required shop drawings, submittals, work plans or plant inspections.

Submittals and Shop Drawings

Note any possible contractor supplied submittals or shop drawings in this section. There may be instances when the contractor will provide construction specific plans for installation during the construction phase of the project. Some examples of such would include pre-constructed bridge beams., cofferdams, sidewalk placement, false work associated with bridge construction, and other items of highway work.


Note any relevant required permits in this section and who is responsible for obtaining them. Using the same example of the cofferdams, the work will also require permits that must be acquired by the contractor prior to starting work

Qualified Products List (QPL)

The Qualified Production List QPL is not just a list of manufacturers but is also a list of materials. The listing includes certain products that that have been laboratory tested. It also includes items that require field testing. The testing may involve MDOT staff or a third- party testing laboratory. The product on the QPL needs to meet specification requirements and performance criteria. Each QPL will have its own evaluation procedure and its requirements for remaining on the list. The QPL information can be found in MDOT’s Material Quality Assurance Procedures Manual.

Plant Inspections

Any work items or materials that require plant inspections should be noted here. The responsibility of each party involved should be clearly outlined and inspection timelines/schedules might also be relevant.

Contractor Submitted Plans/Procedures

Any items that require the contractor to submit a plan or procedure (IE HMA production plan, Safety Plan, Critical Path schedule, Automated Machine Guidance (AMG) workplan, Traffic Plan, etc) should be discussed in this sub section.

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This section shall relay information related to the assembly, construction, installation and/or completion of the work. This shall include details of the installation/construction process, methods employed, and other relevant information field staff may find helpful. This section shall also discuss corrections and/or adjustments that might needed to be addressed to meet specifications or rejection of the work.

Construction Requirements/Procedures/Installation Methods

For the construction and installation section there is definitely a need for further clarification and direction. This is where the author of this particular subsection of the Construction Manual can use precise instruction to better direct MDOT construction staff or their agents in their administration of construction activities in the field. Pictures or videos can be used to convey installation procedures, good practices and placement.


This sections should discuss any safety issues or concerns related to the work. Especially any unusual or dangerous activities that may be unusual. Trenching depths, slope stability, fall protection, explosive chemicals, etc.

Productivity information/charts

Use this section to include any relevant information on production rates, typical productivity output, or any other guidance document information charts which may be relevant to the work.

Items of Note

Use this subsection to include any specific items to look out for during construction, potential problem areas or other guidance to engineers/inspectors that might be helpful. This is one of the most important aspects of the Construction Manual and the most helpful for new construction staff in the field. Capture items to look out for, poor installations, etc. Pictures are encouraged.

Layout / Survey

This subsection should depict the planning and arrangement of the work. Construction staking or Automated Machine Guidance topics should be covered. Specialty techniques or technology should also be mentioned here. Any geometry aspects that would be unique to the installation should also be mentioned.

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This section shall relay information related to the inspection and testing procedures used by inspectors to insure the work is completed per specifications.

Inspection Procedures

Note any specific inspection procedures required in this sub-section. Note any inspector certifications or specific training required. Explain any sequential or related processes that require inspector approval before proceeding further with the work.

Special Attention Areas

This subsection should note any areas of the work that the inspector should pay more attention to for any reason. Such as consequences to quality of later work or quality issues. For example if pipe installation was improperly performed, FHWA will not participate in the funding of any work in the layers above the pipe (Earth exc, pavement, agg base, etc)

QA/QC Tests

Discuss the required QA and QC testing procedures for the work here. Cite relevant AASHTO testing specifications and other relevant information.

Lab Testing / Field Testing

This area should detail any Laboratory Testing required as well as any Field Testing of the work. This section should discuss the sampling and testing procedures described in the Material Quality Assurance Procedures Manual. Quality Control QC and Quality Assurance QA shall be required of the project. This will include Independent Assurances Testing IAT of material testers to verify competency. It will validate calibration and test worthiness of equipment. Where applicable it will incorporate project material certification. The MDOT material staff shall maintain sampling and test records. Verification test procedures will be done to show that required testing is done per contract requirements.

Rejection/Remedial Actions

This sub-section should detail any potential issues or circumstances related to rejection or remediation of the work.

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The method of measurement will include the means, manner, and procedure that will be the way in which pay items and items that are included in the price of a pay item are quantified. Pay Items and items included in the pay items of work will be systematically accounted for in the accomplishing of the work within the construction of the project. The measurement will be a systematic approach as to how we quantify items used the construction of MDOT projects. Construction forces will quantify units in length, area, volume, and weight (mass), as well as time and temperature for testing purposes.

Documentation Requirements

Discuss any required documentation for the work, including when such documentation should be collected/provided by the contractor along with any specific criteria (Buy America). The documentation section of the file should contain all of the supporting information that confirms that MDOT has met its Federal requirements for compliance with the FHWA. This sub-section should include a listing of any pertinent MDOT Form numbers for documentation of the work.

  • Minimum Documentation Guide
Note any minimum documentation guide content here
  • Certifications
Note any required certifications
  • Example Documentation
Provide an example of the documentation for the work in question.

Basis of Payment

The method of payment will include the means and manner and procedure that will be the way in which pay items and items that are included in the price of a pay items are systematically accounted for in the accomplishing of the work within the construction of the project. The payments should be tied to the Inspectors Daily Repot IDR. Payment to be disbursed daily, weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, or by percent completion, or by some other pre-established arrangement interval. FHWA considers payment to be acceptance, so in order to be paid, the work must meet all requirements in full.

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Local Agencies are required to perform material quality assurance per MDOT procedures if the project is located on the National Highway System (NHS). For non-NHS routes, which constitute most Local Agency Projects, the local agency has the option to utilize unique special provisions and may deviate from MDOT MQAP procedures, provided an industry acceptable alternative is proposed and approved by MDOT and FHWA.

If there are no unique Local Agency considerations then this section should be deleted.

This Local Agency Projects section shall be used in the Construction Manual for any sections in which there are deviations from the standard MDOT construction engineering processes or procedures. When this section is used the ‘Local Agency Project" category should be added to the page and cross-referenced to the index located in the Local Agency index.

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If there are any special considerations for the work when used on a rail project or near a railroad this section should be used to relay that information.

If there are no unique Rail project considerations then this section should be deleted.

If the Rail Project section is used on a page, the "" category should be added to the page for indexing.

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