Chapter 4: Construction Details, Section 78: Incidental Construction

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Published: July 2019

Section 78 Incidental Construction

4-7801 General

This section provides guidelines for inspecting incidental bid items that are not closely associated with other items of work.

Section 78-4, “Miscellaneous Coatings,” of the Standard Specifications includes requirements for applying miscellaneous coatings to new and existing installations. For coating structural steel, refer to Section 59, “Structural Steel Coatings,” of the Standard Specifications, and Section 4-59, “Structural Steel Coatings,” of this manual. Also refer to Section 59, "Structural Steel Coatings," and Bridge Construction Memo 78.4, "Incidental Construction—Miscellaneous Coatings," of Structure Construction’s Bridge Construction Records and Procedures Manual, Vol. 2, at:

4-7802 Before Work Begins

Before work begins, take the following steps:

4-7802A Survey Monuments

  • Obtain the contractor’s written request for Caltrans-furnished survey marker disks. Refer to Section 3-602, “Department-Furnished Materials,” of this manual. Check with the district unit responsible for ordering the disks to make sure they will be available when the contractor requests them. Obtain a signed receipt from the contractor when the disks are delivered. Retain a copy of the receipt in the project file.
  • Field inspect and release materials that are acceptable upon delivery of the materials to the job site. Complete Form CEM-4102, “Material Inspected and Released on Job.”

4-7802B Miscellaneous Coatings

  • Review Sections 4-91, “Paint,” and 6-2, “Acceptance of Manufactured or Fabricated Materials and Products,” of this manual. Verify that the contractor submits coating manufacturer’s product data and application instructions at least 7 days before use.

4-7802C Parking Bumpers

  • Obtain product data for parking bumpers from the contractor before the material is delivered to the job site.
  • Visually inspect that the pavement is in good condition before placing the parking bumpers. If necessary, issue a change order for repairs to the pavement.

4-7802D Resetting and Relocating Mailboxes

Before starting construction activities, document the existing conditions and locations of mailboxes and newspaper boxes. Count and record the number of mailboxes and newspaper boxes to be reset or relocated.

4-7802E Obliterating Roads and Detours

If payment for this work is by area, measure the surface area of roads and detours before obliterating.

4-7803 During the Course of Work

During the work, do the following:

4-7803A Survey Monuments

Arrange for necessary control staking when the contractor has submitted the required survey request. Control staking must be sufficient to set the disk to the accuracy required in the specifications.

Check materials, dimensions, details, finish, and cure for compliance with specifications. If existing monuments are damaged, contact the district Surveys Unit to perform any resetting.

4-7803B Miscellaneous Coatings

Verify that Materials Engineering and Testing Services has inspected and released the paint to be used. Retrieve the “Inspection Release Tag” as the paint is delivered to the site and match the paint to Form TL-0029, “Report of Inspection of Material.”

Make sure that surfaces have been prepared as the specifications require. If blast cleaning is required for structural steel, check that the contractor obtains the surface profiles as required by Section 59-5.01D(4), “Quality Control,” of the Standard Specifications.

Allow application of paint only to thoroughly dry surfaces and only during periods of favorable weather.

For structural steel, make sure that each application of paint and each coat of paint are of the proper thickness. Frequently check difficult-to-reach areas for coverage.

4-7803C Parking Bumpers

Verify that parking bumpers are installed in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.

4-7803D Resetting and Relocating Mailboxes

Wherever possible, mailboxes should be set in their final location. However, it is often necessary to move mailboxes a number of times during construction. Any movement of mailboxes purely for the convenience of the contractor is the contractor’s responsibility. Verify the contractor maintains proper position and access to mailboxes.

Following are the procedures for mailboxes encountered on construction projects:

  • If the mailbox is outside the limits of the new work, it may be allowed to remain.
  • If it is within the limits of the new work and does not have to be moved either laterally or vertically to conform to the ultimate section, it may be allowed to remain.
  • If under either of the above conditions the contractor desires to remove the mailbox to facilitate equipment operation, the contractor must replace the mailbox at the contractor’s expense. The contractor must also arrange for the receipt of mail in the interim.
  • If the mailbox must be removed entirely, it must be turned over to the property owner.
  • Where five or more mailboxes are concentrated at a single point, a stand on which the property owners may place their mailboxes may be built at Caltrans’ expense. This stand will prevent the unsightly appearance resulting from a group of posts of various sizes, heights, and characters. The approach to the stand should be surfaced sufficiently to make the stand accessible under all weather conditions.

4-7803E Obliterating Roads and Detours

The objective of the Standard Specifications requirements for obliterating roads and detours is to assure a well-drained, presentable area. You may allow the contractor the option of removing oversize material in lieu of breaking it into the required size, provided the objective is met and no other complications are involved. Update the water pollution control plan to reflect the new conditions.

4-7804 Level of Inspection

Suggested levels of inspection for incidental construction work activities are:

  • Benchmark inspection for typical survey monument, parking bumper, resetting and relocating mailboxes, and obliterating roads and detours work.
  • Intermittent inspection for miscellaneous coatings work.

4-7805 Payment

Be familiar with the payment clauses for incidental construction. Determine whether measurements must be taken before or during the work.

4-7805A Survey Monuments

Deduct costs for replacing monuments that are lost or damaged by the contractor’s operations. Refer to Section 3-518, “Property and Facility Preservation,” of this manual.

4-7805B Resetting and Relocating Mailboxes

If a change in grade or relocation of a roadway edge results in the need to raise, lower, or laterally move the mailbox, the work done to the mailbox is change order work.

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