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The National Academies

NCHRP Synthesis 20-05/Topic 23-07 [Final (Synthesis)]

Use of Warranties in Road Construction
[ NCHRP 20-05 (Synthesis of Information Related to Highway Practices) ]

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This synthesis on the use of warranties in road construction will be of interest to administrators, engineers, designers, and contractors involved with highway design and construction and the procurement process for these services. Experiences with use of warranties in Europe and the United States are cited and the potential impacts, benefits, and concerns of using warranties in the United States are identified. Actions needed to facilitate the use of warranties for highway projects in the United States are also discussed. The use of warranties in road construction is relatively widespread in the European highway industry compared to practice in the United States, where use has been limited. This report of the Transportation Research Board describes the various methods used in Europe for highway industry warranties and identifies the issues that need to be addressed before construction warranties can be translated to U.S. practice. Recent congressional proposals call for the use of warranties to be allowed on federal-aid highway projects. This has caused varied reactions from the parties involved in the design and construction of highways, resulting in a General Accounting Office study on methods for improving the quality of federal-aid highways, including the use of warranties. Ultimately, the owner will have to decide whether to use warranties in highway construction projects. Some of the potential benefits and concerns of using warranties, plus needed actions for successful implementation are presented in this synthesis, which is considered a snapshot of the issues at the time of publication.  The report for this topic can be purchased at http://www.trb.org/news/blurb_detail.asp?id=3362

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