The National Academies

NCHRP 10-79 [Completed]

Guidelines for Quality-Related Pay Adjustment Factors for Pavements

  Project Data
Funds: 249,793
Research Agency: Fugro Consultants, Inc.
Principal Investigator: Charles S. Hughes
Effective Date: 5/8/2009
Completion Date: 12/16/2011

BACKGROUND: Quality measures are generally used by highway agencies for the acceptance of pavement construction. Material properties, smoothness, and other characteristics of the constructed pavement will generally vary somewhat from those specified because construction operations are influenced by many factors. Such variance will affect pavement quality and performance and, therefore, will affect the highway agency and road users. For these reasons, many highway agencies incorporate quality-related pay adjustments, in the form of incentives/disincentives, in the construction contracts of flexible and rigid pavements to account for the value lost or gained by the variance from the specified values.  
Many of the approaches used by highway agencies for dealing with construction variance and assigning pay adjustment factors have been developed empirically without understanding completely the actual relationship to performance. In addition, these approaches use different procedures for determining the amount and method of pay adjustment that do not consider some relevant issues, such as highway functional classification, constructibility, combining multiple pay factors, impacts on the highway users, contractor/agency risk sharing, contractor motivation, and legal ramifications. Further improvement is needed to develop rational guidelines for determining quality-related pay adjustment factors for flexible and rigid pavements. Such guidelines will help highway agencies incorporate in construction contracts pay adjustment factors that are commensurate with the expected gain or loss in pavement performance.
OBJECTIVE: The objective of this research is to develop guidelines for determining quality-related pay adjustment factors for flexible and rigid pavements.


Status: Project is complete. The contractor's research report is available at https://onlinepubs.trb.org/onlinepubs/nchrp/docs/NCHRP10-79_FR.pdf

The research has been summarized in NCHRP Research Results Digest 371 available at:


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