Flowchart 9B: Change Order Process

Full Flowchart

You can also dig more deeply into the separate pieces of the flowchart below.

Change orders, also called minor contract revisions (MCRs) and contract modification orders (CMOs), are needed for changes to specifications, design, contract time, scope of work, project limits, and typical section, as detailed in Section 120.7 of the CDOT Construction Manual. See Appendix C of the manual for example change orders.

Refer to the following FHWA video on Change Orders for more information.

You must discuss all MCRs and change orders with the CDOT project manager (and with FHWA on full oversight projects) and receive written approval prior to commencing any work, as there are certain federal aid requirements that apply to the entire contract (such as Buy America) regardless of the funding source.

On full oversight projects where FHWA determines that the FHWA Operations Engineer needs to sign the CDOT Form 90 Contract Modification Order, this signature must be obtained before the work starts. See Section 120.7.5 of the CDOT Construction Manual for the procedure.

You are also required to obtain CDOT project manager approval prior to use of contingency money (MCR dollars), which are typically budgeted into the project. Change orders where work is incorporated into the project prior to CDOT or FHWA approval are subject to a non-reimbursement determination.

You may use your agency's own form or CDOT's Form 90 for a change order. The change order must provide enough information for the contractor to build the work directed in the change order and establish how the work will be measured and paid. Change orders are project records and are required to be routed for electronic signature in Adobe Sign.

The following statement, included in the body of the Form 90 (or equivalent), must be signed by a qualified representative of your agency for all change orders that involve the expenditure of federal or state funds before the work covered by the change order commences:

Should federal funds not be available to cover these additional costs, or the FHWA decides not to participate in these costs, the Local Agency agrees to provide the required funds.

The __________(Name of Local Agency)__________approves this Change Order No. ______ by signing below.

_____(Authorized Signature)_____ ____(Title)_____


You will submit the complete and final change order package, consisting of CDOT Form 90 (or equivalent), along with the letter of explanation detailing background, the reason for the change order, price and time justifications, any budgetary implications, and any attachments for review and electronic signature in Adobe Sign by CDOT.

This final change order package must be in compliance with Section 120.7 of the CDOT Construction Manual. (See the Form 90, Letter of Explanation and content requirements in the CDOT Construction Manual.) Review time by CDOT will vary depending upon the complexity of the change order.

It is your responsibility to follow up with the CDOT project manager and FHWA, if applicable, to obtain the signatures on the original change order.

Once all signatures are completed, the CDOT project manager will distribute approved change orders as follows:

  • Your agency, electronic original
  • Region program engineer
  • Contracts and market analysis area engineer electronic copy for review
  • CDOT ProjectWise Explorer / Project Share, electronic original

You will be responsible for forwarding an electronic copy of the approved change order to the contractor.