TRS: Performance-Based Specifications for Temporary Erosion and Sediment Control During Construction: A Survey of State Practice

Status:  Complete
Report Date:  03/29/2013


During construction projects, surrounding soils can be disrupted, causing ecological damage through topsoil erosion and pollution of waterways with sediment. MnDOT currently has requirements and inspection procedures to ensure that contractors take measures, typically referred to as best management practices (BMPs), to control this erosion and sediment. Compliance is financially assured via a lump sum payment: Contractors who follow the requirements get paid upon completion of work according to specifications. MnDOT is looking into the prospect of applying more innovative modes of contracting to manage this process. Performance-based specifications would provide rewards for outcomes instead of for simply following MnDOT-required procedures. Contractors could apply new techniques and technologies to address this problem at their own initiative, encouraging faster applications of innovation and making management simpler for MnDOT while granting contractors more discretion. We surveyed other state departments of transportation to assess their experience with performance-based specifications in this area. As part of the survey, we requested guidance for configuring specifications and contract mechanisms, communicating with contractors about erosion and sediment control, and determining whether requirements have been met.

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