Pavement Design

Fundamentals, design, construction, and maintenance training for preserving and restoring pavement

Pavement Construction Specifications & Quality Assurance

This course presents information regarding construction contract documents, quality assurance as applied to pavement construction, construction specifications for the components of pavement structural sections, and preparation of specifications, special provisions, and estimates.

This is the primary overview course on pavement construction in the training certificate program offered by the City & County Pavement Improvement Center (CCPIC) in partnership with TechTransfer.

Additional course detail is provided in the sections below.

  • Course Topics
    • Fundamentals of construction contract documents
    • Aspects of quality assurance & quality assurance programs
    • Materials testing for construction
    • Specifications for subgrade preparation, subbase, & base materials
    • Specifications & quality assurance for construction of concrete & asphalt pavement
    • Fundamentals of specification & special provision writing
    • Fundamentals of quantity and cost estimates
  • Course Outline
    SESSION 1 (2.5 hours)

    Introduction & Overview

    • What is Quality Management?
    • What isn’t Quality Management?
    • Goals
    • Sessions & Topics
    • Summary

    Specifications: Types, Formats, Relationship to Contract Documents

    • Definition/Intent
    • Formats/Usage: CSI, AASHTO
    • Standard Specifications
    • Supplemental Specifications
    • Special Provisions
    • Standard Specifications/Special Provisions Concept
    • Intent of the Contract Documents
    • Precedence of the Contract Documents

    Quality Assurance: Conception to Completion

    • Elements/Aspects
    • Perspective/Approach/Integration
    • Conception: Project Packaging
    • Prime Contractor Self-Performance
    • Incentive/Disincentive Provisions
    • Warranty Provisions
    • Plans, Specifications, & Estimates
    • Project Delivery Methods
    • Prequalification
    • Material Testing & Acceptance
    • Construction Management

    SESSION 2 (2.5 hours)

    Building Better Pavements: Subgrade Analysis & Preparation

    • References: Caltrans Highway Design Manual, Chapters 600, 610, 660
      • Specifications: SSPWC, Sections 300, 301; Caltrans, Sections 19, 22-24
      • Investigation/Characterization
      • Clearing and Grubbing
      • Removal of Existing Improvements
      • Mechanical Stabilization
      • Chemical Stabilization
      • Quality Assurance

    Building Better Pavements: Subbase & Base Materials

    • Caltrans Highway Design Manual, Chapter 660
      • Subbase
    • Untreated Base
    • Untreated Base, Recycled, Plant-Produced
    • Untreated Base, Reclaimed In-Place
    • Cement Treated Base
    • Concrete Base
    • Stabilized Bases
    • FDR-C (Caltrans)/CSPB (SSPWC)/FDR-FA (Caltrans)/CCPR
    • Quality Assurance

    SESSION 3 (2.5 hours)

    Building Better Pavements: Concrete Pavement Construction

    • Specifications: Caltrans, Section 40; SSPWC, Subsection 302-6.
      • Integration of PS&E: Traffic Control Plans, Final Pavement Delineation vs. Joint Locations
    • Jointing Plans: Preparation and Inclusion in the Contract Plans
    • Standard Specifications/Special Provisions
    • Placement: Spreading & finishing equipment descriptions/selection
    • Pre-Paving Meeting
    • Just-In-Time Training
    • Quality Assurance/Quality Control
    • Spreading, Consolidation, & Finishing
    • Smoothness
    • Measurement & Payment
    • Incentive/Disincentive Provisions
    • Management/Regulation of Pavement Cuts
    • Slab Replacement Best Practices

    SESSION 4 (2.5 hours)

    Building Better Pavements: AC/HMA Construction

    • Specification References
    • Surface Preparation: Maintenance & Rehabilitation
    • Surface Preparation: Pre-Paving
      • Cold Milling
      • Micro-Milling
      • Cleaning/Sweeping
      • Interlayers
    • Pre-Paving Meeting
    • Production Quality Assurance
    • Equipment
      • Delivery Trucks Windrow
      • Pickup/Material Transfer Vehicle
      • Paving Machine
      • Automatic Screed Controls
      • Rollers – Types
    • Prime Coat
    • Tack Coat
    • Placement Quality Assurance
      • Delivery
      • Mix Temperature
      • Longitudinal joints
      • Transverse joints
      • Edges of gutters
    • Rolling
      • Techniques/Sequence
      • Breakdown
      • Intermediate
      • Finish
      • AC/ARHM vs. AC/HMA
    • RHMA/ARHM/Modified Binders
    • Compaction
    • Smoothness
    • Incentive/Disincentive provisions
    • Measurement & Payment

    SESSION 5 (2.5 hours)

    The “Specifics” of “Specifying:” Fundamentals of Specification Writing

    • Issues/challenges
    • General
    • Avoidance
    • Guidance
    • Preparation of Special Provisions
    • Interpretation

    The “E” of “PS&E:” Fundamentals of Quantity & Cost Estimates

    • Itemization: Terminology and Units of Measure
    • Quantity take-off
    • Bid Quantity Transparency
    • Cost Estimation Considerations
    • Relationship to the Contract Documents
  • What you will learn
    • The relationship of the specifications to the other contract documents

    • The elements of a quality assurance program

    • Common material test methods

    • Greater familiarity with Caltrans and Greenbook specifications for pavement structural section materials and construction

    • What to include and what to avoid when preparing specifications and special provisions Itemization and other considerations in developing the engineer's estimate
  • Who should attend

    This course is designed for local agency engineers, inspectors, consultants, project managers, construction managers and others involved in the design and construction of projects which include construction, reconstruction, or rehabilitation of asphalt and concrete pavements.

  • Course Prerequisites

      [no prerequisites identified]

  • Course Instructors

      John Harvey, PhD, PE, Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of California Davis

      Prof. Harvey is Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at UC Davis, where he teaches pavement engineering and construction management, Director of the UC Pavement Research Center (UCPRC), and founding Director of the City and County Pavement Improvement Center (CCPIC). He has worked in the pavement field for 35 years. He has been Principal Investigator for 20 years for projects for research, development and implementation for pavement materials, structural design, asset management, construction, cost, and environmental topics for Caltrans, Federal Highway Administration, Federal Aviation Administration, other state and national agencies, and industry. 

      Erik Updyke, PE, Specialist, City and County Pavement Improvement Center (CCPIC), Institute of Transportation Studies, University of California, Davis, Senior Pavement Preservation Engineer, California Pavement Preservation Center (CP2), California State University, Chico

      Erik works with the Executive Director at the CCPIC and is responsible for both technical and administrative support tasks. For the CP2 Center, Erik prepares training materials, performs training, and assists in research projects. Erik retired from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works in 2018 after 36 years in the Road Maintenance, Design, and Construction Divisions. Erik was a voting member of the Greenbook Committee representing Los Angeles County from 2000 - 2018, and APWA Co-Chair from 2005 - 2019. 

      Nathan Forrest, PE, ENV SP, Technical Director California Nevada Cement Association

      Nathan Forrest joined the CNCA in 2015 and serves as the Technical Director. Nathan's function is to provide resources, recommendations, education, technical expertise, and other services to municipalities, engineers, project owners, developers, and contractors. His primary focus is on pavements for highways, streets & local roads, multi-modal facilities, and parking areas but no concrete application is outside of his area of experience. Prior to his work with the CNCA, Nathan worked as a consulting materials engineer on numerous large Caltrans projects in southern California, most recently on the Gerald Desmond Bridge replacement in Long Beach. 

      Clay Slocum, PE, Director of Engineering California Nevada Cement Association

      A licensed engineer in California and Nevada, Clay now serves as CNCA's Director of Engineering. Since joining CNCA in 2014, he has been providing technical expertise and education to municipalities, engineers, contractors, and developers to support the applications of cement in a variety of concrete pavement and geotechnical solutions. Clay is a well-recognized pavement designer who also provides engineering support for CNCA's geotechnical markets. He stands out in the region for his expertise in various pavement software, including AASHTO's Pavement-ME. 

  • Registration Information

      Registration for this course occurs at the TechTransfer training host site. Use the button to the right to directly access the course page and registration portal. You will be asked to create a user account as part of the registration process.

      A confirmation email will be sent to you within two business days of TechTransfer receiving your paid registration.

      If you have any questions or need assistance, please contact the TechTransfer Registrar at (510) 643-4393 or

  • For more information

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      Cancellation Policy:

      The cancellation fee for this course is $75. At TechTransfer, there are no refunds for classes with registration fees of $75 or less. For all other classes, you may cancel your enrollment and receive a refund of your registration fee less $75, provided they receive your written request to cancel at least 5 full working days before the class is scheduled to begin. In lieu of canceling your registration, you may (1) transfer your registration to another TechTransfer class, (2) receive a tuition credit for the full amount, useable toward a future class, or (3) send a substitute in your place.

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LTAP Subsidized

This class is offered at a reduced fee to employees of California's city, county, regional, and tribal public agencies

Course Fee

Standard Rate:

Public Agency Rate:



Course Credit

This course grants:

1.25 CEUs

Upcoming Sessions (0)

[not currently scheduled]


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