2019 CSCE Annual Conference - Laval (Greater Montreal)

2019 CSCE Annual Conference - Laval (Greater Montreal) Conference

Examining Risk-based Inspection Approaches to Highway Construction Projects

Return to Session

Mr. Mamdouh Mohamed, University of Kansas
Dr. Dan Tran , University of Kansas (Presenter)

State highway agencies traditionally rely on a quality control/quality assurance (QC/QA) to inspect the construction activities. Under this method, the contractor’s QC test results are used as a basis of acceptance. However, this approach does not offset the shortage in resources such as the available number of inspectors, funding, and time restrictions. During the last decade, the emerging state-of-the-practice approach, risk-based inspection, has been adopted in the acceptance of the Q/A construction and testing activities. Several highway agencies have implemented risk-based inspection in their highway construction projects. The risk-based inspection approach typically focuses on a core list of inspection items. This list is prioritized based on criticality of the QA test or inspection activity. This study aims to examine the current practices of the risk-based inspection approaches based on the case-study methodology. Six  departments of transportation (DOTs) of California, Florida, Texas, Washington, New York, and Indiana were selected and examined. The results show that acceptance protocols lay in one of two categories, material-based or test-based protocols. The core list of inspection activities varies from agency to agency. The typical criteria affecting the type and number of the core list activities include location, weather condition, and organizational structure. Based on these findings, this study provides a generic approach for the other highway agencies interested in developing risk-based acceptance protocols. This generic approach involves four basic stages, comprehensive list development, core list development, risk assessment, and final protocol. This study enriches the construction body of knowledge and practices by shedding the light on the risk-based inspection in highway construction projects, providing a standard approach to develop a risk-based inspection protocol to offset the shortage in the inspection resources of highway agencies.