105 Control of the Work

Overview of Construction Contracts – General ODOT Organization


Central Office

District Construction needs to communicate with the Central Office on many issues.  The primary contacts are within the Division of Construction and Division of Contracts. The Table of Organization for ODOT is shown below. 


Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: ODOT_TO

The Central Office Division of Contracts responsibilities include policy and standard procedure development, support services, and quality assurance. More specifically, its role is to:

·         Work with other offices to develop specifications and policies that apply to the day-to-day operations at the project level.

·         Act as a liaison with other offices, the various trade organizations, and FHWA on matters concerning ODOT's specifications, policies, and procedures.

·         Act as a consultant to the Districts in matters concerning contract administration.

·         Provide training to the Districts in contract administration.

·         Review and report the effectiveness of various construction methods and materials and provide advice on their use.

·         Conduct Quality Assurance Reviews (QAR) to ensure that ODOT's policies, procedures, and specifications are being followed uniformly.

·         Develop the performance measures by which the Districts are judged.

·         Conduct the administrative closing of contracts.

·         Provide support to the Districts, Testing, and Estimating Offices.

The responsibilities described above are of a general nature. The Division of Construction also has some specific approval functions that relate directly to the District.  They are as follows:

·         Answer legal questions and provide dispositions regarding claims.

·         Answer pre-bid questions through the Office of Estimating.

·         Testify and report extra work to the State Controlling Board.

·         Create and publish the Construction and Material Specifications along with the quarterly publication of all other specifications.

·         Track and report on change orders and provide feedback to Production Offices.

·         Test materials and develop specification, including new product review.

·         Estimate analysis of trends, bid review, and change order support.

As mentioned above, the Division of Construction is responsible for the Office of Construction Administration, the Central Laboratory and the Office of Estimating.  The Office of Construction Administration has experts in the areas of concrete, asphalt, traffic, bridges, contracts, and scheduling who can provide advice to the Districts and initiate specification or policy changes.

The Division of Construction Management Policies and Standard Procedures can be found online at the following website:




All District responsibilities begin with the District Deputy Director (DDD). The DDD, through the Highway Management Administrator (HMA) and the District Construction Administrator, is responsible for the administration of all contracts sold for the construction, reconstruction, and maintenance of the highway system within the District.

While Central Office's responsibilities are primarily general in nature, the District's responsibilities are administration of all contracts. The following is a summary of various District responsibilities required by state policies and procedures as they relate to contract administration:

·         Ensure that all work done on each project is performed in accordance with the project's requirements (plans, proposal, specifications, supplemental specifications, special provisions, etc.)

·         Approve all change orders that do not require approval by the Director as defined in Section 109 of this Manual.

·         Approve all time extensions and waivers.

·         Review the contractor/subcontractor certified payrolls for compliance with the contract requirements.

·         Review the Contractor's performance and compliance with the contracts Equal Employment Opportunity requirements.

·         Approve all estimates for work completed on the projects.

·         Perform the final inspection and approve the final inspection report.

·         Review the project records to ensure that all requirements have been met.

·         Monitor Local Participating Agency (LPA) projects to ensure compliance with FHWA requirements.

·         Prepare and approve the Final Package on the project.

·         Issue the final acceptance letter and submit the finalized project to the Auditor.

In addition, the District is responsible for the following general project requirements and responsibilities:

·         Provide a description of the work through the plans, proposal, specifications, supplemental specifications, and special provisions.

·         Provide a method to pay for completed work.

·         Provide a project site with full access for the Contractor to begin work. This includes right-of-way purchases and utility relocations.

·         Furnish an adequate and trained inspection/engineering force at the project level.

·         Secure good workmanship by the Contractor. This involves the monitoring, by the project staff, of all operations for compliance with the documents described above.

·         Arrive at decisions in a thoughtful manner with due consideration of all facts involved.

·         Make decisions in a timely manner to avoid undue delay.

·         Promptly pay the Contractor for completed work.

·         Monitor the Contractor's compliance with the legal aspects of the contract, such as prevailing wage and equal employment opportunity requirements.

·         Review the Contractor's work zone traffic control to ensure the public can pass through the work zone with the least amount of interference.

·         Respond to any complaints or questions in a timely manner.

Almost everything done at the project level affects another party. Because of this, the project personnel are constantly subject to pressures from outside sources. Always be mindful of the needs of these parties, the effects of the project on them, their relationship to the project and their affect on the project.

District Construction Administrator

The general responsibilities and requirements assigned to each District rest in the hands of the District Construction Office and specifically the District Construction Administrator (DCA). This person, with the approval of the District Deputy Director and Highway Management Administrator, is responsible for the administration of the contracts involving the construction, reconstruction, and maintenance of the District's highway system as well as local projects involving state and federal aid on the state's system. The DCA is responsible for assigning personnel to projects for contract administration. In addition, the DCA will work to resolve any issues that arise on these projects at the lowest possible level.

County Manager

Each county is under the supervision of a County Manager. The County Manager will be involved with all work within the county and will ultimately be the owner of the construction end product.


Other Agencies

Although the primary parties to any contract administered by ODOT are the Contractor and ODOT, other political subdivisions may also be involved either directly or indirectly. During the administration of each project, these relationships should be recognized and addressed.

Federal Highway Administration

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is involved in many projects administered by ODOT. Federal funds are available for many programs and are utilized by both ODOT and local political subdivisions for improvement to their roadway systems. Their involvement varies with the type of project and its location on the National Highway System (NHS). FHWA's philosophy for review of federal aid projects has evolved over the years and now is as follows:

Local Participating Agency

Many contracts involve direct local participation. The Local Participating Agency (LPA) will provide funds for their portion of the contract and the remainder of the funds may be provided by either FHWA or ODOT or both. These projects may be administered by the Local or the Department.  If the Local administers the project, the Department will monitor the project through the District Construction Monitor.  See the Locally Administered Transportation Project Manual of Procedures for guidelines. 

If ODOT administers the project, the LPA will still have to live with the project after completion. Therefore, with this in mind, ODOT should invite the LPA to the preconstruction meeting and all progress meetings.  In addition, ODOT should keep the LPA informed about all changes to the contract.  This is especially true when dealing with changes requiring large increases in the local participation.

The LPA must be involved in the final inspection.  Additionally, the LPA must give their final approval and acceptance to the project.

Administration of Construction Contracts at the Project Level

In order to implement both the letter and spirit of any contract, it is necessary to have clearly defined lines of authority and communication between ODOT and the Contractor. This section will present a framework to establish these lines.

The purpose of this section is to give guidance to the project personnel on how to administer the physical work of the contract.


Authority / Responsibilities of the Engineer (105.01)

The Engineer is in charge of all details on the assigned project. The Engineer is the direct representative of the Department and has immediate charge of engineering details of each construction project.  The Engineer is responsible for the administration and satisfactory completion of the project.  The Engineer has the authority to reject defective work, suspend work being improperly performed, and order the replacement of defective material.

It is important to note that the Engineer’s acceptance does not constitute a waiver of the Department’s right to pursue any and all legal remedies for defective work or work performed by the Contractor in an unworkmanlike manner.

The Engineer is responsible for the following:

·         Assignment of the inspection duties at the project level.

·         Instruction of the inspection force in the requirements of the project and the items being constructed including:

o   Addenda, proposal and supplemental specifications, and equipment (e.g., concrete testing kit).

·         Review of materials to be incorporated in the work. This may involve rejection of materials.

·         Timely payment for work performed by performing the following activities:

o   Input daily diaries on SiteManager, review estimates, verify payrolls, and obtain approval of sampled materials.

·         Determining the need for change orders within the scope of the contract.

·         Monitoring the project and discussing progress schedule with Contractor's Superintendent.

·         Maintaining project records:

o   Construction daily diary, CA-D-3 or 4.

o   Work performed. Contractor's equipment, materials, and significant events of the day.

o   Job correspondence.

o   Letters from contractors, utility companies, and other public agencies, as well as any correspondence from District or internal agencies.

o   Minutes from project progress meetings, including who attended, items discussed, and resolutions to problems.

o   Other pertinent documents.

o   Shop drawings, working drawings, and erection procedures.

·         Addressing and resolving job site problems in a timely manner.

·         Providing the Contractor with specific information regarding the usage of contingency quantities or "as directed" items.

·         Reporting to District Construction Administrator any major change in conditions, traffic accidents, or status of project.

·         Determining final quantities, ensuring the Contractor completes the Punch List items, completing project files, and scheduling final inspection.


Authority / Responsibilities of the Inspector (105.09)

The Inspector is the front line ODOT representative at the project level.  The Inspector has authority to inspect all work performed and materials used. The Inspector also has authority to reject non-conforming materials and to suspend operations until problem is resolved by Engineer. The Inspector can neither alter the contract nor issue orders contrary to the contract.

The Inspector is responsible for the following:

·         Inspection of all work performed. This inspection will be done in accordance with ODOT policies and this manual and includes daily record keeping.

·         Reporting quantities of work satisfactorily completed in the units established by the contract.

·         Data entry into SiteManager, Inspector's daily diary, CA-D-3 or 4, AP-1, drawings of work performed

·         Inspecting and sampling the materials incorporated into the work.

·         Rejecting unsuitable materials and suspending operations until an issue is resolved by the Engineer or DCA.

·         Inspection of the material incorporated into the project.

·         Being familiar with manuals and specifications of items of work being inspected.

·         Communicating daily issues to the Engineer.

·         Communicating with Contractor to ensure proper installation of work.

The Inspector cannot waive the Department’s right to pursue any and all legal remedies for defective work or work performed by the Contractor in an unworkmanlike manner.


Authority / Responsibilities of the Contractor

The Contractor's Superintendent is responsible for the work.  He/she must be capable of reading and thoroughly understanding the plans and specifications and be experienced in the work. There will be only one superintendent who shall have full authority to execute instructions of the Engineer and shall be in charge of all construction operations regardless of who performs the work.

The Engineer should know if the Superintendent can agree to extra work, get the equipment needed to get the job done, and know if they can follow through with final quantities agreed on.

The Contractor must provide a superintendent on the project at all times.  The Superintendent is responsible for all aspects of the work, irrespective of the amount of work subcontracted.

The Contractor bears sole responsibility for the quality of work and compliance with the contract regardless of the Department’s level of inspection.

The Contractor is responsible for the following:

·         In order to submit a bid that adequately reflects the conditions of the contract, the Contractor must research all aspects of the contract, such as visiting the project site, understanding the plan notes, and reviewing all plan requirements.

·         The Contractor must notify ODOT of the project's starting date and keep ODOT informed of the proposed schedule of operations. This allows ODOT to anticipate engineering and inspection needs and therefore, efficiently manage staff.

·         The Contractor must provide a list of material suppliers. ODOT will review the proposed list and obtain required samples. The list should be submitted early to avoid delays associated with sampling and testing.

·         The Contractor must carry out the work on the project in a diligent manner utilizing adequate labor.

·         In order to manage the project efficiently and to avoid project related problems, the Contractor must be aware of all federal, state, and local laws that apply. Many of the legal requirements of the contract are addressed in the proposal, but the Contractor must also be aware of other regulations, such as safety, which is not thoroughly detailed in ODOT's specifications, but is extremely important. ODOT requires the Contractor to protect and indemnify ODOT from all claims and liability resulting from negligence or willful violations.

·         When open to traffic, the Contractor must maintain the project in order to permit the public to move safely through. This includes using clean, readable signs, traffic control devices, and maintaining the project free of debris.

·         Once notified of problems, the Contractor must respond quickly to correct the problem. This is extremely important when public safety is involved.

Coordination of the Contract Documents (105.04)

Contract documents are prepared to promote agreement between the various parts of the plans and specifications that control the work. In case of disagreement between the plans and specifications, the following will govern in descending order:

·         Addenda

·         Special provisions/proposal

·         Plans

·         Calculated Dimensions

·         Scaled Dimensions

·         Supplemental Specifications

·         Standard Specifications

The Contractor shall take no advantage of any apparent error or emission in the plans or specifications. In the event the Contractor discovers such an error or emission, the Contractor shall immediately notify the Engineer.



The proposal details numerous bidding, EEO, regulatory, special issues, and general requirements of the contract.  The proposal may include details for incentives and schedule requirements.  It also includes a list of bid items and the wage rates that are in effect for the project.  The proposal language overrules all plan and specification items.



The plans show details of structures, the line, grades, typical cross-sections of the roadway, and the location and design of structures. The Contractor shall, at all times, keep one set of project plans available at the project site. No changes shall be made to the plans except as approved by the Engineer.


Working Drawings

The plans shall be supplemented by working drawings when required to control the work adequately. Working drawings shall be furnished by the Contractor. Working drawings shall not be prepared until the applicable field and plan elevations, dimensions, and geometries have been verified by the Contractor. Specific items of work shall require working drawings. These requirements are stated in the specification section that is applicable to the item of work. See table below for typical examples of number of copies and where to submit the different types of working drawings.







Structural steel and other metal items, prestressed concrete members, precast concrete structural elements joint sealing devices and other similar items requiring either shop or field fabrication


Central Office


Overhead sign support




Roadside sign support




Signal poles




Traffic signal heads



*          Certified Working Drawings Section 625.06, 630.03


Construction and Material Specifications

Sections 200 thru 600 of the Construction and Material Specifications are used to obtain the workmanship compliance required for each item. These specifications are typically arranged in the following manner:

·         Description

·         Materials

·         Construction Requirements

·         Method of Measurement

·         Basis of Payment

Section 700 of the Construction and Material Specifications describes the material requirements. 

Supplemental Specifications (SS) are stand-alone specifications that usually have their own pay items. 

The SS800 is a specification called out on every project that provides corrections, revisions, and updates to the Construction and Material Specifications.


Cooperation with Utilities (105.07)

Utilities will be encountered on most construction projects. The proposal will include a utility note that designates the utility names and times that they will be relocated.  The plans should include the detailed locations of the utility changes. If the utility owners fail to relocate or adjust utilities as provided for in the contract documents and the Contractor sustains losses that could not have been avoided by the judicious handling of forces, equipment, and plant, or by reasonable revisions to the schedule of operations, then the Engineer will adjust the contract by change orders.  Change orders associated with utilities should properly denote one of the following reasons codes:






Haul Roads (105.13)

Prior to hauling equipment or materials, the Contractor will provide written notification to the Engineer of the specific roads or streets on the haul route.  The following procedure should be followed:

·         The Contractor requests, through ODOT, that certain local roadways be used for hauling material and equipment to and from the project.

·         ODOT reviews the request and contacts the LPA.

·         If there is no objection by ODOT or the LPA, the roadway is designated as a haul road.

·         The roadway's condition is reviewed prior to hauling.

·         If, during the course of the project, the roadway becomes dangerous, ODOT will have the Contractor repair it.

·         Once the project is completed, the condition is reviewed again.

·         The roadway will be restored to its original condition either through the contract or by other means.


Borrow and Waste Areas (105.16)

The purpose of this section is to establish uniform practices for administering borrow and waste areas on or off the right-of–way.  It is the Department’s policy to approve requests to locate borrow and waste areas providing that:

·         The location would not adversely affect the highway.

·         The material is disposed of legally.

·         The disposal minimizes the Department’s future liability.

·         All environmental laws are observed.

·         The offsite locations are serving the public and land owners best interest.

·         The areas are restored according to the contract.

Material from outside the right-of-way used in embankment construction is considered to be borrow even though it is not paid for as borrow.  Therefore, this section applies to all borrow and waste areas, including areas from which material is furnished and paid for under “203 Embankment,” as well as areas from which material is furnished and paid for under “203 Borrow.”

Requests from the Contractor to locate borrow and waste areas shall be directed to the Engineer, who shall either approve or disapprove the request.  Action on each request shall be based on the information contained in the plan submitted by the Contractor, approvals from other ODOT Offices, certifications from environmental consultants, and other supplemental information available to the Engineer.

See Section 107.10 for criteria for evaluating borrow and waste environmental and other significant issues.

General Approval

Specific considerations, which are made a part of the general conditions for approval include, but are not limited to the following:

1.      All of the general information listed in A through G of 105.16 is addressed in the Contractor’s submittal.

2.      For borrow and waste areas which will not become ponds when the work is completed:

a.       The area shall be graded to ensure positive drainage.

b.      Restoration of all borrow and waste areas shall include cleanup, shaping replacement of topsoil, and establishment of vegetative cover by seeding, and mulching according to 659.

3.      For pits which will become ponds when the work is completed:

a.       In general, ponds are not considered objectionable, and often are considered highly desirable by property owners and persons engauged in conservation of natural resources and wildlife.  The creation of additional ponds from borrow pits can provide enhanced environmental benefits providing that they are constructed properly to avoid shallow stagnant water and are left in a condition to present an aesthetically pleasing appearance.  If the pond is on the right-of-way, then approval should be sought from the County Manager and District Production since the District may not want to take the long-term responsibility for the pond.

4.      Borrow Pit Final Grading:

a.       The tops of the pit slope shall be at least 25 feet (8m) from the highway right-of-way.  This distance may be increased if there are slope stability or erosion problems.  Twenty-five feet (8m) has worked well in the past.

b.      Borrow pit slopes adjacent to the highway shall not be steeper than 3 to 1, and all other borrow pit slopes shall not be steeper than 2 to 1.

c.       The borrow pit must be left in a condition satisfactory to the Engineer to blend with adjacent topography when the work is completed.

Stability and Settlement Concerns

Slope stability problems resulting from borrow and waste area construction is the sole responsibility of the Contractor.  The Department is keenly interested in the Contractor’s filling and cutting operations.  The Department must assess the potential for settlement and future slides. The proper design and construction of the borrow and waste areas are provided in 105.16 and references in the Location and Design Manual.

Most of the stability and settlement issues can be evaluated by using the following general guidance:

1.      If the material is placed according to C&MS, use a maximum slope of 2:1.  Use a 3:1 slope if the embankment is higher than 30 feet (9 m).

2.      Only end dump in nonstructural locations.  Use a 4:1 slope if the material is end dumped.  These areas may need to be re-graded at some future time.  Large settlements should be anticipated if the material is end dumped in lifts greater than 3 feet (1 m).

3.      Areas with soft foundations should be closely evaluated when the fill height is greater than 20 feet (6.1 m).

4.      If the off-site location exceeds the above criteria, or when constructing a non-structural fill, then the property owner should be explicitly told in the agreement with the Contractor.  The borrow or waste agreement must explicitly state that the property owners know that these location may settle and potentially slide.  If this is not explicitly stated, then the public may be misled in believing that the final fill will be stable.  The Department has a stake in making sure that the property owner is not misled.

5.      For proposed locations in the right-of-way that exceeds the above criteria or looks suspicious, contact the District Geotechnical Engineer or the Office of Geotechnical Engineering.


Construction and Demolition Debris (105.17)

The EPA regulates materials that come from structure removal, pipe removal, clearing or grubbing, and tree and brush removal operations. The EPA encourages the reuse of construction materials. 

The OAC 3745-37, OAC-3745-400, and ORC Chapter 3714 regulate the use and disposal of this material.  The law is governed by the OEPA or the Local Boards of Health, whichever has jurisdiction.  The law governs the debris from construction sites that are not covered under solid or hazardous waste or other regulations.  Use the following links:



By the EPA definition, construction and demolition debris is the material resulting from the alteration, construction, destruction, rehabilitation, or repair of any manmade physical structure.  Those materials are those structural and functional materials comprising the structure and surrounding site improvements (e.g., fences, sidewalks).  The definition identifies structures that are included and materials that comprise the structure, which are considered debris.  Any materials that are removed prior to demolition or are not part of the structure and surrounding site will not be considered debris.

The contract documents may require TCLP (Toxicity Characteristic Leaching Procedure) testing of the debris prior to transport and disposal.

Debris does not include materials identified or listed as solid wastes, infectious wastes, or hazardous waste. 

The rule identifies other process materials (e.g., mining operations, non-toxic fly ash, etc.) that are not debris. 

The legal removal and disposal of all of the following materials are the responsibility of the Contractor.  The specifications have been radically changed to address these issues. All parties to the project should monitor the Contractor’s work to minimize the Department’s future liability.

Clean Hard Fill

Clean hard fill material (asphalt millings) or Portland cement concrete material (or mixtures of these materials with soil, aggregate etc.) coming from pavement or structural removal operations.  Clean hard fill may be used as:

·         Fill, recycled, or taken to an approved Construction and Demolition Debris Site.

·         Fill on or off the project provided the material is acceptable under Item 203.  If the material is being used as fill off the site, the OEPA or local board of health in the area of the filling operations needs written notification seven days prior to the filling operation.  See the definition of “on-site.”

·         These materials cannot be indiscriminately piled up and left.  These materials must be placed in fill areas not in disposal piles.

·         May be taken to a recycling operation for recycling and storage.  Storage must be less than two years.

Construction Debris

Construction Debris such as wood, plaster, etc. in whole or mixed with clean hard fill. 

These materials are:

·         Usually associated with building debris.

·         Do not meet the 203 embankment specifications and cannot be used in fill operations.

·         Must be taken to an approved construction demolition debris site or licensed solid waste disposal facility.

Landscape Wastes

This law also regulates the disposal of landscape waste that result from roadway clearing and grubbing operations.  Landscape wastes include brush, trees, stumps, tree trimmings, branches, weeds, leaves, grass, shrubbery, yard trimmings, crop residue, and other plant matter, excluding soil and garbage.  The Department of Agriculture and the local authorities regulate the transportation of this waste to prevent the spread of the Emerald Ash Borer and the Asian Longhorned Beetle.

These wastes may be re-used by:

·         Constructing a wildlife habitat according to published guidelines from the Ohio Division of Wildlife, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services, or Natural Resources Conservation Services.  This is subject to local board of health or local OEPA approval.

·         Chipping waste into mulch and using or donating it for use on- or off-site.

·         Selling or donating the waste for non-burial beneficial purposes.

·         Using the waste for any beneficial use or re-use approved by the local OEPA Offices or the local board of health.

·         Using the waste as fill material on-site from which the waste was generated. Item 203, Embankment, does not allow these wastes in embankments or structural areas.  On-site placement is permitted in non-structural areas. See 105.16, Borrow and Waste, “Stability and Settlement Concerns,” in this manual. OEPA guidance for on-site means any location on the right-of-way.  This can be outside the construction limits or even on other state owned properties.  If large amounts of these wastes are to be generated, then the Designer may provide specific right-of way locations to dispose of these wastes. See the Borrow and Waste Areas (105.16) section, “Approval of Wasting on the Right-of-Way,” in this manual.

All landscape wastes associated with ODOT projects are required to be disposed of at an appropriate landfill. 

These wastes may be disposed of by:

·         Open burning (requires special permitting of OEPA, local authorities, special equipment, and site management).

·         Composting at an OEPA registered composting facility.

·         Sending material less than 4 inches (10.6 cm) in size to a sanitary landfill and materials greater than 4 inches (10.6 cm) in size to a construction and demolition debris landfill.  Leaves cannot be taken to a construction and demolition debris landfill.

Portland Cement Concrete Waste

In recent years, we have increased the amount of Portland cement concrete waste that is wasted on and off the right-of-way. 

Large accumulation of Portland cement concrete waste can cause high pH runoff in the range of 11 to 12.  Runoff with a pH of 12.5 is considered a hazardous waste.  Uncontrolled disposal of Portland cement concrete waste can cause significant environmental degradation in the ground water and surrounding water bodies. 

The potential for environmental problems are a function of the availability of water, geometry of the flow net, permeability of the material, and the distance to a water body or ground water.

To minimize these potential future environmental problems, the specifications have been changed.  In 105.17, the following is required (see Figure 105.17.A):

·         Mixing of the inner core of the Portland cement concrete waste with at least 30 percent soil. 

·         Covering the mixed Portland cement concrete waste with 3 feet (1 m) of soil on the top and 8 feet (2.4 m) on the sides.

·         Placing and compacting the Portland cement concrete waste according to 203.06.D.

Figure 105.17.A Typical Drawing of the Wasting of Portland Cement Concrete Waste