Constructability Workshop Questions/Comments

No. Question/Comment
1Inspection requirements for the project are in excess of normal practice. The fabricators must plan and cost the job to include the interruption from the constant inspection. Fabricators state that under this type of specifications, once the QA become comfortable with the operations the inspection reduces to near normal levels. Then you have paid for disruption and inspection that does not occur.
2Is it the intent to have continuous inspection (QC) of every weld made on the project? This is the way the spec seems to read.
3Full pen welds that are not specified on the drawings. By note, these are required to be full pen. When no specific weld type is shown, the fabricator estimates using a type they feel is most economical for them. They find that in the shop, the QA is trying to require a certain type. Caltrans had a chance to specify on plans and on shop drawings. At this point, allow fabricator to use any AWS acceptable weld.
4Why does every corner weld (full pen) need a reinforcing fillet? How is this weld achieved? What does it look like?
5Shipping of components two years ago. The industry requested that the orthotropic deck sections be sized so that they could be shipped by road or rail (14 foot sections). They are still 5m. This severely restricts competition on the project. Size of other components is also an issue for shipping. This reduces the competitiveness of the bid.
6Why do we need a wood mockup if you require a steel mockup?
7Paint System Caltrans uses a unique paint system. Nearly (or every) other state uses the same system. Caltrans pays approx. a 30% premium for using this system? Why is it used (what are its properties that provide 30% additional value to CA)? Is it true that on a recent contract a Pacific Rim fabricator received an exemption from this paint spec?
8Welding Quality Control, Welding Quality Control Plan - pre - weld mtg. On a recent job this meeting to discuss welding occurred without the fabricators knowledge or attendance. This seems to defeat the purpose. Can we discuss if this is really a necessary requirement?
9Why does a shop drawing need an engineer's stamp?
10Caltrans testing requirements are more restrictive than D1.5. D1.5 is considered to be very conservative by many in the industry. On the Skyway the additional testing alone was estimated at 6 million dollars. Does the 6 million really improve the end project? Is this adding quality?
11Welds in the design often placed in tight closed box members. The access holes are small and welders will have to weld in difficult positions. Welds should be kept as simple as possible to develop the needed strength.
12Need to add reference to AASHTO guide spec for fabrication of HPS.
13Addition of bolted splices should be designed in accordance with AASHTO splice requirements not Caltrans' requirements of 100% of the base material. The Caltrans 100% rule has been researched and there is no consensus as to when, how or why it was created. No well known reason. Some stated to allow movement of the splices, some said for redundancy, some stated seismic, most did not know why it was different than every other state. Reducing this requirement will save significant money and reduce the aesthetic impact of additional splices.
14Machine Calibration @ 4 hrs. Big problem.
15Material spec. not available from mill?
16Painting problems. Past projects.
17Payments - Must be monthly progress.
18Tariffs on materials has raw steel pricing increases almost monthly.
19Enough material to be covered for (2) days (or 3?) of meetings. Some of the most useful interactions happen at the breaks, lunch etc. or at dinner, etc. Take a vote - Show of hands?
20Morning presentations a waste of time - we've heard it already/or should know it.

Constructability issues should have been the "sole" focus of the meeting. The companies here went to great expense to attend, and they wanted to talk about "new" issues - not a re-hash of the project.

21There will be an inspector certification CSSI (AWS/AISC Certified Steel Structure Inspector) that is an appropriate choice for inspector qualification for erection and acceptance at the shop before shipping.
22What exactly does "verify, inspect and document each welder's performance mean? Is it a requirement beyond the "normal" welder qualification record documentation and for example is joint documentation satisfied by the typical graphic found on the WPSs.

Additionally - please share some specifics about your expectations for the general WQCP that would be above what is already required - (save the specifics for mockups).

23Caltrans is to be complemented for specifying the AISC certification program for fabricators and erectors. Your stated purpose for the audit is, as a subset, identical to the AISC stated purpose. Can the steel audit checklist items that are duplicated be removed and the AISC requirement used instead? Potentially, the additional project specific items may be addressed during the regular AISC audit - witnessed by a Caltrans representative, if necessary - saving time, $ and business interruption.
24Regarding bonding requirements, Caltrans should consider "percentage" bonds, in lieu of 100% performance and payment bonds for a $1.2 - $1.6 billion project. For the lower tower, a 30% P&P bond for say $360 million for this project would likely cover all of Caltrans needs, and be obtainable for a construction joint venture in today's market. The SR-125 design-build project in San Diego (California Transportation Ventures - owner) Reg'd only 30% P&P bonds for this $270 million project.
25We all desire to build domestically but we have identified some items that may require a "Buy America" waiver. How long does it take to get a waiver? When do you need an inventory of those items that will require a waiver?
26: Testing during production every 4 hours? If you mandate tests are needed do we stop production to test? Material cannot be produced to current STD.? 345 to 380 ??PA
27Auditing of fabricators and suppliers. Why has a consultant been allowed to develop policy and programs for Caltrans that create work for its own company? This has led to a perception of a conflict of interest and an increase in steel cost that does not necessarily provide value to Caltrans.