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Modern quality assurance (QA) systems, including statistically based specifications, are being reviewed and adopted by many states throughout the nation. The U.S. Federal Highway Administration's (FHWA) initial involvement in quality assurance systems started 15 years ago, in 1963. At that time, the Office of Research and Development's efforts were directed toward arousing the highway industry's interest in quality assurance and developing guidelines in this area.
Currently, there are 21 states using quality-assurance-type specifications as their normal specifications for asphaltic concrete construction. In addition, there are seven states that are developing or using QA-type specifications for asphaltic concrete on selected trial projects.
Part of the reasoning for the shift toward the adoption of modern quality assurance systems by state highway and transportation agencies can be attributed to their efforts to apply sound management techniques to the highway industry. The adoption and application of sound management techniques has become essential in this age of increasing costs and reduced revenues and will lead to a better-performing highway system.
quality assurance, pavements, management, performance
Chief, Construction and Maintenance Division, Office of Highway Operations, Federal Highway Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation, Washington, D.C.,