Committee on Construction

AASHTO Liaisons
Casey Soneira, Program Manager for Engineering
Marlon Spinks , AASHTO Engineering Fellow


Adopted August 6, 2003


The Committee on Construction hereby adopts these Operating Guidelines. They are supplemental to and intended to be fully consistent with the AASHTO Articles of Incorporation, by-laws, and operating policies. In the case of conflict with said, the AASHTO provisions prevail over the COC Operating Guidelines. These guidelines are subject to review and revision when necessary to meet the needs of the Committee. Minor adjustments may be made by the Chair of the COC in consultation with the officers of the COC. Major changes are made by approval of two-thirds of all Member Departments or two-thirds of those in attendance at the annual meeting.


The Chief Executive Officers of the 52 Member Departments (the 50 States, District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico) may appoint up to three representatives to act on their behalf to serve on the COC. However, only one vote is allowed per Member Department.

Associate Membership on the COC is open to federal, state, local, and international government agencies with current membership in AASHTO. Associate Members have all rights and privileges except that they serve as ex officio without the right to vote.

Each member of the COC is to provide the Chair or their designee updates to the membership information upon appointments and when changes occur. Changes to membership information are to be sent to AASHTO headquarters.

Substitutes attending meetings for Member Departments are subject to the approval of the CEO of the respective Department. They are to act on behalf of the Member Department and represent the person who is unable to attend.


The organization of the COC is shown in the chart below.

The President of AASHTO appoints the Chair and Vice Chair from a Member Department with the concurrence of the AASHTO Executive Committee. The Secretary is appointed by the FHWA.

The Chairs and Vice Chairs of the Sections are either appointed by the Chair of the COC or elected. Election will be by the majority of the Members in attendance at the respective Section breakout meetings held at the annual meeting. The method of selection is at the discretion of the COC Chair.

The Chair of the COC appoints the Chair of the Research Steering Committee.

Duties of Officers

The COC Chair is responsible for leading the COC and representing the COC in AASHTO and the AASHTO Council on Highways and Streets (CHS).

The COC Vice Chair conducts the general business of the COC under the general direction of the Chair.

The COC Secretary provides working support for the actions of the SOC and other resources for the COC. Specific tasks include but are not limited to preparing minutes of meetings and records of the activities of the COC. The Secretary further assigns FHWA staff to work with each Section, Committee, and Task Force.

Section Chairs provide leadership for the specific topics of the Sections. The Section Vice Chairs serve in the absence of the Chair and provide support under the general direction of the Chair. The Section Vice Chair serves on the Research Steering Committee. The Term of the Section Chair and Vice Chair is two years with an option for two additional years.

Section Secretaries (assigned by the FHWA COC Secretary) provide minutes of meetings, record the activities of, and provide other support for the activities of the Sections.

Section Responsibilities and Assignments

The responsibilities of the Sections include developing and completing annual work plans, coordination with other groups, and development of initiatives assigned by the officers of the COC. Each work plan is approved by the Chair of the COC and is submitted to the CHS after the annual meeting, usually with the semi-annual activity report.

Annual work plans will address items such as, but not limited to:

  • promoting all aspects of quality in construction,
  • providing a forum for an exchange of construction policies, procedures, methods, etc.,
  • promoting training and human resource development,
  • providing for development of coordinated plans and specifications,
  • promoting safety for workers and the general public,
  • promoting best practices for contract administration,
  • encouraging electronic solutions and technology practices for construction related programs,
  • advocating environmental sensitivity, and
  • promoting efficient and effective means and methods for construction and maintenance of roadways and structures.

The Sections may be assigned duties including but not limited to review of national policy, development of specific initiatives, and coordination and liaison with the activities of other committees within AASHTO.

The membership of the Sections is to be maintained such that each region of AASHTO is well represented. Assignment of members to the Sections will be made by the Chair or Vice Chair of the COC with the concurrence of the member.

The Sections and their charges are as follows:

  • Computers and Technology Section: Charge to be developed by the Section.
  • Contract Administration Section: Charge to be developed by the Section.
  • Environment and Human Resources Section: Charge to be developed by the Section.
  • Roadways and Structures Section: Charge to be developed by the Section.
  • Research Steering Committee Section: Charge to be developed by the Section.

Task Forces

The Chair of the COC or the Chairs of the Sections may assign task forces. Task forces are responsible for addressing specific topics. The term of a task force is usually no more than one year. The Chair of the Task Force will be appointed by the Chair of the SOC or respective Section.

Joint Committees

The Chair of the COC will appoint members to serve on Joint Committees with external organizations as required for the business of the COC and as requested by AASHTO.

Liaison Members

The Chair of the COC will appoint liaison members to attend meetings of and coordinate with other AASHTO committees.

AASHTO Responsibilities

AASHTO provides the administration for the efforts of Member and Associate Member agencies including preparing and producing publications, procedural assistance, and other duties as the service organization for the members of AASHTO.


In addition to the above, limited funding is available through pooled funds and FHWA funding.


Annual Meeting

The COC Chair, in consultation with the Officers of the COC and AASHTO, will develop an agenda for the annual meeting. All members are encouraged to suggest agenda items. The meeting location will be rotated around the AASHTO Regions. Member Departments will host the annual meeting and will vie for the opportunity three years in advance. A simple majority vote of the Member Departments in attendance will determine the site of the annual meeting. If a Member Department selected to host the annual meeting, later determines it is unable to host the event, the COC Chair will determine the most appropriate method to secure a host.

The agenda of the annual meeting usually includes a general session, separate breakout sessions for the Sections, and closed business meetings as necessary. Event planning, logistics, and budgeting for the annual meeting are the responsibility of the host Member Department.

The Chair of the COC, in coordination with the host Member Department and AASHTO, will establish the annual meeting dates.

Other Meetings

The Chair of the SOC, Section Chairs, and Task Force Chairs may call other meetings as necessary for the business of the COC.



The COC is responsible for developing and updating reports, Guide Specifications, Construction Manuals, and other products in the area of highway construction for use by the Member Departments. AASHTO funds the publication and distribution of these documents. Publication requires the approval of two-thirds of all Member Departments (excluding US DOT) through mail, e-mail, or in-person ballot.

The Subcommittee may recommend that a document be published as a Subcommittee Report, or as an AASHTO Guide, Guide Manual, Guide Specification, Technical Report, Voluntary Technical Policy, or Voluntary Technical Standard.

  • A Subcommittee Report requires the approval of two-thirds of the Subcommittee membership, and will be distributed by AASHTO to interested committees and the CEOs of the Member Departments. These publications may be offered for sale or outside distribution at the discretion of the Executive Director.
  • AASHTO Guides, Guide Manuals, Guide Specifications, Technical Reports, Voluntary Technical Policies, and Voluntary Technical Standards require the approval of two-thirds of the Subcommittee Membership, followed by approval of two-thirds of the membership of the Standing Committee on Highways, and, if requested by three or more Board members, two-thirds of the membership of the Board of Directors. These documents will be printed and distributed by authority of the Board of Directors, including the distribution of 10 free copies to each Member Department and one free copy to each Associate Member Department.

Semi-Annual Activity Report

The semi-annual activity report will be submitted by the Chair of the COC to the SCOH and is developed with the Sections, Research Steering Committee, and Task Forces. The report is submitted after the annual meeting by the deadline established by AASHTO.

The report contains resolutions requiring CHS approval (resolutions of national significance), past accomplishments, and proposed work plans (proposed work plans are submitted only once each year).


Resolutions addressing nationally significant issues or policy require CHS and, ultimately, the AASHTO Board of Directors approval. Resolutions that address technical issues require CHS approval. These resolutions require two-thirds approval of all COC Member Departments. All other resolutions internal to the workings of the COC require approval of the COC by two-thirds of all Member Departments or, when voting at the annual meeting, two-thirds of those Member Departments in attendance.


Member surveys, polls, and questions should be coordinated with Section Chairs as much as practical to eliminate redundancy and reduce efforts required by the members.


Commercial exhibits and sponsorship are allowed at meetings provided there is no conflict of interest, they are approved by the Chair or Vice Chair of the COC, and they are conducted in accordance with AASHTO guidelines.


Industry and consultants are to be encouraged to attend and participate in meetings within limits established by the Chair, Vice Chair, and Section Chairs.


All members are asked to review the AASHTO Articles of Incorporation, bylaws, and policies to become familiar with requirements in regard to conflicts of interest.