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The Cruciality of Documenting Infrastructure Project Decisions and Field Visits

By documenting events that occur on infrastructure projects design teams can successfully manage claims that could potentially impact their practices, this can include events such as decisions and site visits.

According to the American Society of Civil Engineers, There are hundreds, if not thousands, of decisions made throughout the planning and design phase of a project. Decisions arrived at during the design phase are initiated by a number of project stakeholders from multiple organizations, starting with the client’s organization (project manager, operations and maintenance staff, etc.) and extending to other design team members, such as government agencies, permitting authorities, and utility providers, to name a few. Some of those decisions may include a selection of design alternatives, materials, and equipment to be incorporated into the project, affecting the timing of when materials and equipment are available.

As projects move into construction, more issues arise that require engineers to respond to new or previously made decisions. Those issues can be the result of conditions uncovered during construction, availability of materials, and work conditions.

To keep track of the decisions — particularly major ones — a recommended practice is to document those decisions accepted as well as those rejected.

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