Evaluation of the Quality Management System of Highway Projects in the Northern West Bank

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Nabeel Ahmad Hussain, Areej
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An Najah National University
In Palestine, there is limited documentation concerning quality management system in construction projects in general, and in highway construction at specific. The lack of specialized studies for this purpose could be attributed to the lack of awareness in quality and their importance in construction in light of economic, social, and political challenges that encounter the Palestinian situation, especially with shrinking budget and the lack of reliable data. Therefore, this study is done to explore the quality management system in highway construction project and to highlight the main factors affecting their quality in the northern West Bank. Field surveys and a questionnaire were used for data collection. The population under study is made up of highway contractors and consultants who are actively associated with the construction activities and possess sufficient experience in the field of construction. Thirty-seven factors are identified to affect the quality of road projects; subdivided into five groups: managerial, design- and specifications, construction, quality, and environmental factors. Statistical analyses showed that the critical factors that affect highway construction project’s quality are: quality and type of used asphalt, contractor’s experience, availability of experienced staff in the owner’s and contractor’s teams, construction process used for asphalt layers, and design errors. Pavement roadway condition survey was done visually to twenty-five roads distributed in the northern governments in the West Bank to evaluate roads with an age of less than five years. Common distresses observed in the field were alligator, longitudinal cracks, depression, and patching. These distresses show defects in the construction process of different layers, inaccurate design, and/or weak affective coordination in executing the infrastructure works. A model has been developed using Pareto approach. The model represents the critical factors of quality in highway projects to be used as a tool to determine important factors of road construction projects to solve or avoid problems and to improve the performance. The study recommends contracting and consulting firms involved in road construction projects to develop a quality management system to meet the requirements of international quality standards. This also includes a management system for equipment, materials, and labors. The owner should select the most qualified contractors not based on the lowest bidder; rather based on qualified, experienced, and efficient site staff with the team.
management system in construction projects , weak affective coordination