The procurement of quality materials for the maintenance of the highway system in Arizona is a challenge. This challenge is directly related to the procurement, or purchase, processes that exist in state government. Arizona's experience with these processes has been the purchase of materials that may or may not meet the quality requirements needed to perform the work. In contrast there is an extensive quality control and quality assurance program that is used during the construction of highway facilities. Once maintenance assumes responsibility for these facilities the purchasing of materials is governed by different rules and laws which impact the quality and type of materials that can be obtained for maintenance operations. The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) is developing a maintenance materials quality control program that will blend with the procurement process. Steps taken to date include initiation of research projects investigating pavement maintenance techniques, developing a pre-approval process for specific products, and organizing a maintenance new product evaluation committee populated by maintenance operations personnel. At the local level the Holbrook District has committed to improving the quality of the materials that are purchased for maintenance operations through a testing and evaluation program. Implementation is by a team made up of District maintenance and construction personnel, which includes not only supervisory personnel, but maintenance technicians and laboratory testing technicians as well. The team has developed a materials sampling and testing training program for maintenance technicians; the District Materials Laboratory is testing purchased and produced materials; and the team is evaluating the materials test results against material performance. Results at this point are mixed because of continuing conflicts with the procurement process and the way procurement contracts are administered in Arizona. The team has identified that there is a lack of information concerning materials specification writing and evaluation; and there is an inconsistency in the materials sampling and testing processes used in enforcing the specifications. District maintenance personnel have begun to demand purchased material meet the procurement specifications and are now requesting information regarding the writing and interpretation of specifications. What is being learned is that there needs to be an effort to educate both procurement and maintenance personnel in specification writing, quality control and quality assurance testing, and identifying specific material needs. It is also evident that there needs to be a less centralized contract management than is being followed through the procurement process. Future research is required in determining the level and amount of education of maintenance and procurement personnel in specification writing, quality control, quality assurance testing, and identifying specific material needs.


  • English

Media Info

  • Features: Appendices; Tables;
  • Pagination: 29p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00795321
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: Session C
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Jul 18 2000 12:00AM