Road maintenance projects to begin in August.

In preparation for the launching of road repair projects and contracting with international companies, the Ministry of Public Works has approved the new mechanism for neutral laboratories to monitor asphalt factories as the road maintenance contracts with international companies will start in early August, reports Al- Qabas daily quoting sources.

Sources disclosed the mechanism includes checking the quality and validity of tests without the intervention of a consultant or contractor. It also prevents conflicts of interest, because the results of the contractor’s laboratory tests are for his use only in order to control the quality of his work; such that the ministry and the consultant cannot rely on the results of such tests. Sources affirmed that the on-site laboratories will be neutral and they have ISO certificates.

These laboratories will play the role of conformity assessment bodies as a third party to monitor the results of on-site tests on mixtures, asphalt layers and components of the mulching process during the implementation of the projects, sources explained. Sources said the new mechanism is one of the recommendations of the previous technical committees, including the need to follow up projects without the interference of contractors or consultants. Sources added the neutral laboratories are obliged to upload the results of tests on the ministry’s website upon completion to serve as a guide in the implementation of projects. Once the results are uploaded on the website, the information will be available to project officials, supervisors, contractors, consultants, quality controllers and experts, sources said. Inspection visits Sources revealed there will be regular inspection visits to ensure strict compliance with the regulations.

In case a laboratory violates the regulations; its accreditation will be suspended, it will be excluded from the list of authorized laboratories and legal measures will be taken against it, sources warned. Sources added the Government Center for Testing and Quality Control has so far approved two laboratories, and the accreditation of the third laboratory is underway. Bid extension Sources informed the daily that the deadline for international companies to submit their offers has been extended from June 15 to July 3. Sources clarified this is in response to the request of bidding companies during the preliminary meeting on June 1.

They said some companies requested for extension of up to two months for further technical study; so they can submit the best offers, while some have already submitted their bids and the ministry is currently studying them. In addition, the number of international companies that purchased bidding documents has reached 11.

Advantages of the new mechanism:
• It is considered the pillar of quality management system,
• Availability of a reference database for decision makers,
• Adopts international standards to ensure the quality of project implementation,
• Prevent contractors from contracting with laboratories outside the approved list,
• Open the way for the private sector to work in the field of laboratory testing,
• Reduce the cost of projects by providing the required equipment,
• Activate the role of the government laboratory as a reference.

Three measures for the radical improvement of roads:
1. Development of roads according to international standards,
2. Accreditation of neutral laboratories for testing the asphalt mixture,
3. An integrated plan to prevent the recurrence of gravel blowing.

Source- Arab Times.

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