Inspection Workload Reduction Approaches to Highway Construction Projects

State departments of transportation (DOTs) have been struggled with performing construction inspections with reduced resources of funding and inspection staff. Migration to private sectors and retirement of experienced inspectors have eroded the ranks of qualified professionals. As a result, DOTs are facing an increased challenge to ensure that quality requirements such as safety and service level are met for construction projects. To overcome such challenge, DOTs have applied various workload reduction approaches to offset the shortage of quality assurance (QA) inspection resources in their construction projects. This study evaluates and synthesizes these approaches by conducting a comprehensive literature review and a national survey. The result revealed that most DOTs have a shortage of in-house staff. Six approaches were found to be used by DOTs to reduce inspection workload, including four conventional and two emerging approaches. The conventional approaches involve outsourcing to consultant, reducing the number of inspections and tests, using contractor’s test results for acceptance, and other techniques such as inspecting some work items after installation. The two emerging approaches include prioritizing QA inspections based on material criticality and using new technology and tools for inspection. The study found that emerging approaches potentially increase the value of inspection given the resource constraints. The findings from this study may provide guidance for DOTs to identify different inspection workload reduction approaches to meet their specific needs for construction inspection. DOTs also may benefit from this study by adopting one or more of these approaches when there is a shortage of inspection resources.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 17p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01763484
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: TRBAM-21-01900
  • Files: TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: Dec 23 2020 11:02AM