Monitoring Town Asphalt Road Projects (2012MS- 7)

Issued Date
April 05, 2013

[read complete report - pdf]

We also released 10 letter reports to the following Towns: Brookhaven [pdf], East Hampton [pdf], Guilderland [pdf], Islip [pdf], Pittsford [pdf], Salina [pdf], Shelter Island [pdf], Southold [pdf], Thompson [pdf], and Union [pdf].

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to determine whether towns adequately monitored road surfacing projects for the period January 1, 2011, to December 31, 2011.


Vendors produce daily batch reports that identify the ingredients used in each specific batch of hot mix asphalt (HMA) loaded on delivery trucks. The delivery ticket specifies the type and quantity of product delivered. Town officials can verify that the HMA product from the vendor meets bid specifications by reviewing the batch reports and delivery tickets. Towns can also require that vendors provide for core sample tests of the HMA surface applied to verify that the product matches contract specifications. New York State Labor Law requires vendors hired on a public work contract (such as road surfacing) to pay their employees on that contract the prevailing rate of wages and supplements for the locality where the work is performed. The Law requires the vendor to submit certified payrolls to the municipality for review before the vendor gets paid for the contract work.

Key Findings

Towns can improve their monitoring of asphalt road surfacing projects to better ensure that asphalt products vendors provide meet bid specifications. Our review of a total of 26 asphalt projects in the 10 towns did not identify any material price or quantity exceptions.

  • While all 10 towns had procedures to verify the price and quantity of the HMA received, only two towns (Brookhaven and Islip) reviewed job mix formulas and batch reports to confirm that the HMA mix delivered by the vendor met bid specifications.
  • Although six towns used contracts with provisions for core sample tests of newly-applied HMA road surfaces to verify quality, only Brookhaven and Islip actually asked contractors to perform these tests to confirm the quality of the HMA delivered.
  • Eight of the 10 towns reviewed certified payrolls, as required by Law, to ensure that contractors’ employees on town projects were paid the appropriate wages.

Key Recommendations

  • Obtain the job mix formula and the daily batch reports from the asphalt vendor to help ensure that the HMA received is what the Town contractually agreed to purchase.
  • Revise contract bid specifications to include an option for obtaining core samples.
  • Obtain and review certified payrolls as required by the Law.