The new National Highway Specifications web site (www.specs.fhwa.dot.gov) is a collaborative effort of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), an agency of the U.S. Department of Transportation, and the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO). The web site serves as a clearinghouse and electronic library where users can search, review, cross-reference and download current specifications and other specification-related documents.
Previously, locating and retrieving current specifications was a time-consuming and often tedious process. Although more state highway agencies are putting their construction specifications online, finding and navigating the various web sites can still be difficult. Also, more than 20 national trade organizations and several federal agencies issue specifications and rules affecting highway construction.
"Consolidation of these multiple sources of documentation in one place will benefit highway agencies, contractors, construction engineers, and researchers," Peters said. "Electronic access, indexing, and search features will save time and money for all users while improving practices and promoting higher quality in construction end products."
Documents included on the site are:
- Approved standard construction specifications and supplements from departments of transportation in the 50 states, District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico;
- Current approved standard specifications and supplements from FHWA's Federal Lands Highway Program office;
- AASHTO Guide Specifications and American Society for Testing and Materials' summaries; and
- Innovative provisions such as quality assurance, warranty, and performance-related specifications.
The site also features discussion forums on such topics as performance-related specifications, design-build, warranty specifications, and quality assurance. And users can find links to specification-related web sites hosted by highway agencies and others.
By consolidating information nationwide on highway specifications, "the National Highway Specifications website is helping to advance the concepts of e-government by using the power of the Internet to remove federal and state government organizational barriers, improve the operational efficiency of the government, and expand the range and quality of government services available to the public," Peters said.
Source: DOT News, Sept. 11, 2003