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The Formation and Purpose of the HRPDC Regional Construction Standards

The Cities and Counties that make up the region of Hampton Roads, Virginia recognized the need to develop uniform construction standards for improvements in public rights of way. Prior to the development of the Regional Construction Standards (“Standards”), most of the Hampton Roads municipalities had developed individual construction standards, many of which were severely out of date, or inappropriate for the newer technologies that were being developed. Contractors and consultants, who provide services throughout Hampton Roads, were frustrated that each jurisdiction had different construction standards for performing very similar work. Often times, the legal documentation, technical specifications and methods of payment for conducting the work varied drastically. Time and again, contractors (and consultants) would need to familiarize themselves with the conditions to execute the work in a particular jurisdiction, which resulted in a waste of time and money.

The initial direction of the Standards was to address “horizontal” improvements and those involving the major elements of roadways, drainage and utilities (water distribution and wastewater collection). Therefore, these documents are intended to support the majority of issues the communities face in building typical roads and utilities. Large (over 36-inch diameter) utility pipelines, major roadways, and vertical construction (including buildings) are not intended to be addressed by the Regional Construction Standards, although projects have adapted the Standards for "vertical"; applications. In a nutshell, the Standards are intended to provide quality construction throughout the region, simplify the bidding and construction administration process, and reduce construction costs.

On May 20, 1998, HRPDC enlisted a consultant to furnish professional services to assist in the development, management and implementation of the Standards. The First Edition was published in December 1999. The latest version, the 6th Edition, was adopted by HRPDC in 2016. 

In 2005, the Department of a Professional and Occupational Regulation (DPOR) formally recognized the Standards as a reference document, similar to the VDOT Road and Bridge Specifications or AWWA Manuals. As such, the bulk of document does NOT need to be reproduced for each project. In addition, the document had been approved by the Virginia Health Department for water distribution projects up to 36-inches in diameter.

The Standards were developed under the auspices of the Hampton Roads Planning District Commission (HRPDC) and represent a collaborative effort of the 17 member communities, the Hampton Roads Sanitation District (HRSD), and the Hampton Roads Utility and Heavy Contractors Association (HRUHCA). Many municipal, HRSD and HRUHCA representatives have spent countless hours serving on committees that guided, edited, refined, and established these Regional Construction Standards. Designers, material suppliers, contractors, attorneys, purchasing agents and consulting engineers have provided timely and insightful comments, along with the Virginia Department of Transportation, the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, and the Virginia Department of Health.


Standards Explained Membership Organization and Procedures Manual

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April 24, 2020 - Whitney Katchmark, Prinicipal Water Resources Planner
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