State of the Practice of Warranty Specifications in the United States

Report No: 97-TAR5

Published in 1997

About the report:

Warranty contracts (in which the contractor guarantees the product and assumes responsibility for repair and maintenance for a designated period) are either being used or being critically examined for use by many states. In years past, the greatest use of warranties was in areas such as bridge painting, pavement markings, and freeway management. More recently, California, Michigan, and Wisconsin have let warranty contracts for flexible rehabilitation paving projects. Warranty contracts also have been developed for surface treatments and micro-surfacing projects. With the publication of the FHWA Final rule on Warranty Clauses (April 19, 1996), which allows states to develop warranty contracts for many items, more states will take a critical look at the feasibility of warranty contracts. The FHWA and states that have successfully developed warranty contracts, such as Wisconsin, suggest developing these contracts with the input of industry in order to minimize fears of inadequate design, bonding problems, increased costs, etc. Several aspects of Wisconsin's recent experience with warranty contracts for asphalt pavement are discussed.

Disclaimer Statement:The contents of this report reflect the views of the author(s), who is responsible for the facts and the accuracy of the data presented herein. The contents do not necessarily reflect the official views or policies of the Virginia Department of Transportation, the Commonwealth Transportation Board, or the Federal Highway Administration. This report does not constitute a standard, specification, or regulation. Any inclusion of manufacturer names, trade names, or trademarks is for identification purposes only and is not to be considered an endorsement.


  • Charles S. Hughes, P.E.

Last updated: December 16, 2023

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