A.   Materials used in the work shall meet all quality requirements of the contract documents.  In order to expedite inspection and testing of materials, the Contractor shall notify the Engineer in writing of the proposed sources of those materials requested by the Engineer promptly after being awarded the contract.  Any material shall be produced with a reasonably uniform quality and within requirements specified; the producer shall perform quality control tests and evaluations the producer believes necessary to control the product adequately.  All materials for use in the project are subject to inspection and tests at any time prior to being incorporated into the work.


B.   For the convenience of the Contractor, and when convenient to the Engineer, materials may be inspected at the site of production.  Materials tested and found in compliance at the site of production may be later inspected for reasonably close conformity and normally will not be rejected except for obvious mistakes, contamination, quality change, or mishandling.  To avoid later rejection, materials that usually show an extreme change in character or quality prior to or during the process of incorporation into the work should be produced to more rigid limits than those required by the specifications.


C.   At the option of the Engineer, approval of the source, or approval of materials at the source prior to delivery, may be required.  If it is found after trial that sources of supply for previously approved materials do not produce specified products or when conditions are such that use of unfit materials can not be prevented except by extraordinary inspection methods, the Contractor shall furnish materials from other sources.  Before delivery, and at any time during the process of preparation and use, materials shall be subject to the approval of the Engineer.


D.   Materials not previously inspected will be inspected at the project site.  Acceptance at that time will be based on sampling and testing, producer's certifications, visual inspection, or any combination of these at the discretion of the Engineer.


E.   Use of materials on the basis of the producer's certification, quality control tests, and evaluations may be permitted or required.  The Engineer may require specific data obtained by qualified persons and procedures be provided with the material, when delivered.  Certified gradation testing by a certified aggregate technician will be required for all aggregates to be furnished by the Contractor, and shall be done according to the current Iowa DOT Materials I.M. 209.




A.   General:  In order to establish a basis of quality for the work, performance, or economy of operation, certain processes, types of machinery and equipment, or kind of material may be referenced in the contract documents by designating a manufacturer by name and referring to its brand or model numbers.  Such reference is not intended to foreclose other processes, equipment or materials that will in the sole discretion of the Engineer meet, or exceed, the designated standards.  There may be instances where the Engineer will not consider alternate processes, equipment, or materials.


B.   Consideration:


1.   The Jurisdiction may consider alternate processes, equipment, or materials for those specified in the contract documents; however, it is only an indication that the Jurisdiction will not foreclose consideration of the bidder’s/contractor’s request, and is not an approval.  Following are the steps for consideration of alternate processes, equipment, or materials:

a.   If a bidder/contractor desires to use alternate processes, equipment, or materials, the bidder/contractor shall contact the Engineer to confirm the Jurisdiction would consider alternate processes, equipment, or materials for those as specified in the contract documents.

b.   Support/requirements for submissions of alternatives:

1)   The Engineer will consider and evaluate other products, equipment, methods, and systems only when such items are accompanied by full and complete technical data, test data, code compliance, and other relevant information, including samples and finishes where appropriate.

2)   The bidder/contractor shall submit design information, material compatibility, performance, durability, laboratory tests, chemical analysis, color, manufacturer’s specifications, and other relevant information as proof of quality and integrity when presenting proposed alternatives to the Engineer for consideration.  The bidder/contractor must include the kind, quality, design, and performance of the proposed materials and equipment.

3)   If alternate methods are proposed, the contractor shall furnish complete engineering plans covering the proposed change.

4)   It is the sole responsibility of the proposer of any alternative product to have pre-qualified the product proposed for its intended use for compliance with all applicable codes within the Jurisdiction prior to submittal to the Engineer for consideration.

c.   In making an alternative request, the contractor shall be responsible for all costs including reimbursing the Engineer for services furnished and any time required to review the proposed change.

d.   If the bidder/contractor desires to use alternate processes, equipment, or materials for those as specified in the contract documents, the bidder/contractor shall secure the written approval of the Engineer before entering an order therefore.

e.   Proposed alternative processes, equipment, or materials that will in the sole discretion of the Engineer meet, or exceed, the designated standards will be given written approval to be used on the project as an “Approved Equal” or “Equivalent” to the specified item.

f.    If approval as an “Approved Equal” or “Equivalent” is given by the Engineer, such approval will be on the condition that the bidder/contractor shall be fully responsible for producing construction work in reasonably close conformity with contract requirements.

g.   In order to ensure fair competitive bidding, it is critical that all bidders base their bids on providing the material, equipment or process (including those trade named) fully complying with the contract documents.

h.   The contractor shall not be entitled to any additional compensation if the Engineer does not approve the contractor’s request for alternate processes, equipment, or materials after the contract is awarded.  The bidder/contractor is solely at risk until the Engineer issues written notification of “Approved Equal” or “Equivalent.”

i.    The Jurisdiction reserves the right to adjust the contract price when the cost of an “Approved Equal” or “Equivalent” is less than the cost of the specified item.  The contractor shall estimate the net savings of the proposed alternate and if the Engineer approves the proposal, a change order may be processed to reduce the contract amount by up to 50% of the estimated net savings of the “Approved Equal” or “Equivalent.”


2.   If the contract documents state that the Jurisdiction will not consider alternate processes, equipment, or materials, the bidder/contractor shall not propose any alternates to those specified in the contract documents.




A.   Each consignment of material shall be tested or inspected before being incorporated into the work and shall be approved by the Engineer in charge of the work before it is used.  The Contractor shall allow such facilities for collecting and forwarding samples and subsequent testing as the Engineer may require.


B.   Samples shall be supplied to allow ample time for testing without delaying the work.  No material for which samples are requested shall be used until the samples have been approved.  If necessary, work will be delayed or suspended, at no cost to the Jurisdiction, to permit the completion of all specified tests and examinations.  Tests made on the samples of materials utilized for improvements constructed under these specifications will be made by the Jurisdiction at no cost to the Contractor.


C.   All tests shall be made by the Jurisdiction testing laboratory, or at such independent testing laboratories as the Engineer shall approve.  Except as otherwise specified, the testing of materials furnished for use under these specifications shall be done according to the methods described in the specific ASTM, AASHTO, AWWA, or other authorized specifications for each material.  Results of all tests shall be submitted to the Engineer.




The Contractor shall be responsible for care and storage of materials delivered to the work site or purchased for use.  Material delivered to the work site and damaged before actual incorporation in the work may be rejected by the Engineer even though it may have been previously acceptable.  Stored materials shall be located to facilitate thorough inspections, to minimize environmental damage, and not interfere with operations.




All materials not conforming to the requirements of the specifications at the time they are to be used shall be considered unacceptable, and all such materials will be rejected and shall be removed immediately from the work site unless otherwise instructed by the Engineer.  No rejected material, the defects of which have been corrected, shall be used until approval has been given by the Engineer.




When any materials are to be furnished by the Jurisdiction, the designation of such materials and the time of availability will be included in the contract documents.




A.   Unless otherwise stated in the contract documents, all materials and equipment needed for, or to become a part of, the work shall be furnished by the Contractor.  The Contractor shall assume full responsibility for ordering materials and equipment of the quality specified and of the quantity necessary, and shall be responsible for payment of the purchase and/or delivery cost of such materials and equipment.


B.   All materials and equipment that become the property of the Jurisdiction as a part of the project shall be unused and newly produced or manufactured with original materials (as opposed to recycled or used materials), shall be state of the art for that material or equipment, and shall be properly stored to protect the integrity of the material and equipment.  The Engineer may waive this provision and accept used or recycled material or equipment prior to submission of the bid.  Such waiver must be in the form of an addendum.