Development of Risk-Based Protocol for KDOT Construction InspectionAuthor/Presenter: Tran, Dan; Mohamed, Mamdouh
State Departments of Transportation (DOTs) have been facing a challenge of shrinking budgets and substantial reductions in both the numbers and experience levels of inspectors over the last decade. Many state DOTs, including the Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT), have lost experienced construction inspection staff while the numbers of projects and required levels of inspection have increased. To address these challenges, DOTs often rely on contractors’ quality control and outsource to a third party for testing and inspection. This strategy, however, is not always a cost- effective approach.
The objective of this project was to develop a risk-based protocol for KDOT to optimize resource allocation for inspection of transportation construction projects. A comprehensive list of 302 testing and inspection activities were retrieved from KDOT’s Construction Manual, construction checklists, Standard Specifications, quality assurance guides, and Bridge Construction Manual. Based on the survey responses and interviews with subject matter experts from KDOT and the Kansas Division of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), this list was narrowed down to a core list of 108 activities. The risk associated with each core inspection activity was assessed based on the probability of failure and the consequences of failure, measuring in three main dimensions: safety reduction, service interruption, and the effect on long-term performance, expressed as cost of repair. A composite risk index was developed to assess the overall risk impact and prioritization of the 108 core inspection activities. Based on the risk index, a KDOT risk-based inspection protocol was proposed. The risk-based inspection protocol could assist KDOT in efficient allocation of inspection resources.