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Materials and Tests Division - Field Operations

6601 Centennial Boulevard
Nashville, TN 37243 0360
phone (615) 350-4100
fax (615) 350-4128

The Field Operations section provides technical assistance and support on the manufacturing, construction, design, acceptance and testing of materials used in highway and bridge construction. The Field Operations Section works with other TDOT staff to develop statewide policies, procedures and specifications for materials acceptance and construction procedures. Pavement evaluations are conducted and are used during the pavement design process, and various other tests are conducted for project acceptance, research, system preservation, data collection and monitoring, and safety purposes.

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Field Ops staff work closely with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) who provide guidance on our procedures and practices. In the past, the FHWA has assisted the TDOT in the development of many of our SOPs and has participated in research projects.

The TDOT Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) were developed to further define and clarify specific TDOT procedures, practices, or policies. The SOP provides a more consistent application of procedures and practices statewide. There are several locations in the TDOT Standard Specifications for Road and Bridge Construction which state "... in accordance with TDOT Procedures..."--the SOP is one location where TDOT procedures are defined.

Field Ops staff meets periodically with both the Tennessee Concrete Association and the Tennessee Road Builders Association to discuss materials and construction policy issues. The TCA/TRBA/TDOT Liaison Groups have been very productive in tackling these issues and the meetings have fostered better relations between producers and the DOT.

Field Ops personnel regularly conduct plant visits to asphalt plants, ready-mix concrete plants, pre-stress and pre-cast concrete plants, cement plants, quarries and other aggregate facilities, and fly ash-producing facilities. We conduct process reviews and collect samples of materials for testing. We also conduct project site visits in order to observe construction practices, ensure that materials testing is being conducted properly, and to perform verification and independent assurance testing.

Asphalt and Concrete mix designs are verified by the Field Ops staff to ensure that the designs meet specifications, that the materials used meet quality standards, and that the proportioning of those materials is correct.

Field Ops coordinates statewide efforts for TDOT’s Ride Quality program, Friction Testing program, Pavement Coring program, Falling Weight Deflectometer Testing program, and Nuclear Density Gauge Program. These test results are used in the department's acceptance process, quality assurance plans, and to generate Pavement Evaluation Reports.