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Advanced Search Bar Capabilities

The Information Portal web site has many built-in capabilities to search for a new product. One can search by Product Line, Project Type, Specification or enter key words into the Search bar. The following are advanced search tips one can use when conducting a search using the Search bar.

Definition of Single Terms and Phrases
  • A query is broken up into terms and operators. There are two types of terms: Single Terms and Phrases.
  • A Single Term is a single word such as "cover" or "frame."
  • A Phrase is a group of words surrounded by double quotes such as "sanitary sewer."
  • Multiple terms can be combined together with Boolean operators to form a more complex query (examples will be provided below in these procedures).
Wildcard Searches
  • The search bar supports single and multiple character wildcard searches.
  • To perform a single character wildcard search use the "?" symbol.
  • To perform a multiple character wildcard search use the "*" symbol.
  • The single character wildcard search looks for terms which match the single character replaced by the "?".
    • For example, to search for "trap" or "trip" you can use the search: tr?p
  • The multiple character wildcard search looks for terms which match zero or more characters replaced by the "*".
    • For example, to search for cover, covers or covering, you can use the search: cover*
  • You can also use the wildcard searches in the middle of a term.
    • For example: tr*p
  • You cannot use a * or ? symbol as the first character of a search.
Fuzzy Searches
  • The search bar supports fuzzy searches. To do a fuzzy search use the tilde, "~", symbol at the end of a single term (word).
    • For example, to search for a term similar in spelling to "rvr" use the fuzzy search: rvr~
    • This search will find terms like rwr and cvr.
  • An optional parameter may be added to specify the required similarity. The value is between 0 and 1. A value closer to 1 returns terms with a higher similarity.
    • For example: rvr~0.8
    • The default that is used if the parameter is not given is 0.5.
Boosting a Term
  • The Search bar provides the relevance level of matching documents based on the terms found. To boost a term use the caret, "^", symbol with a boost factor (a number) at the end of the term you are searching. The higher the boost factor, the more relevant the term will be.
  • Boosting allows you to control the relevance of a document by boosting its term.
    • For example, if you are searching for airport cover and you want the term "airport" to be more relevant, boost it using the ^ symbol along with the boost factor next to the term, you would type the following: airport^4 cover
    • This will make documents with the term airport appear more relevant.
  • By default, the boost factor is 1. Although the boost factor must be positive, it can be less than 1, e.g., 0.2.
Boolean Operators
  • Boolean operators allow terms to be combined through logic operators. The Search bar supports AND, "+", OR, NOT and "-" as Boolean operators. Boolean operators must be ALL CAPS.
  • OR
    • The OR operator is the default conjunction operator. This means that if there is no Boolean operator between two terms or phrases, the OR operator is used. The OR operator links two terms and finds a matching document if either of the terms exist in a document. This is equivalent to a union using sets. The symbol || can be used in place of the word OR.
    • To search for documents which contain either "airport cover" or just "airport" use the query: "airport cover" airport or "airport cover" OR airport
  • AND
    • The AND operator matches documents where both terms or phrases exist anywhere in the text of a single document. The symbol && can be used in place of the word AND.
    • To search for documents which contain the phrase "airport cover" and "und asy" use the query: "airport cover" AND "und asy"
  • +
    • The "+" or required operator requires that the term after the "+" symbol exist somewhere in the field of a single document.
    • To search for documents which must contain the term "airport" and may contain the term "cover" use the query: +airport cover
  • NOT
    • The NOT operator excludes documents that contain the term or phase after NOT. The symbol ! can be used in place of the word NOT.
    • To search for documents which contain the phrase ?airport cover" but not the phrase "und asy" use the query: "airport cover" NOT "und asy"
    • Note: The NOT operator cannot be used with just one term or phrase. For example, the following search will return no results: NOT "und asy"
  • -
    • The "-" or prohibit operator excludes documents which contain the term or phrase after the "-" symbol.
    • To search for documents which contain the phrase "airport cover" but not the phrase "und asy" use the query: "airport cover" -"und asy"

Government Regulations


The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) represent all five transportation modes including, air, highways, public transportation, rail, and water. The AASHTO, is a body which sets standards and publishes specifications for products used in the design of highways, specifically, the goal is to allow for the development, operation, and maintenance of an integrated national transportation system.

Learn more at

M 306

Gray iron castings shall be manufactured from iron conforming to ASTM A48, Class 35B, as noted in section 3.1 of AASHTO M306. Ductile iron castings shall conform to ASTM A536. The iron material used in products provided shall have a minimum recycled material content of 75%. The recycled materials shall consist of post-consumer material.


The Municipal Castings Association (MCA) is a non-profit organization with members dedicated to providing the knowledge and resources necessary to manufacturers, specifiers, and users of cast iron infrastructure products to assure that those products meet all laws, regulations, applicable standards, specifications, and quality requirements pertaining to their purchase and use.

Learn more at

Buy America

Introduction By law, American-made iron foundry products must be used in all federal transportation projects and state and local government projects that use federal transportation dollars. Products covered by the law include manhole frames and covers, catch basin frames and grates, iron and steel inlet grating, and various miscellaneous iron products.

The Buy America provisions of the law, known as the Intermodal Surface Transportation Act of 1991, explicitly require that iron castings manufactured in U.S. foundries be used for federal transportation infrastructure projects. Such a provision first appeared in the Surface Transportation Act of 1982. Then, however, the law required that only U.S.-made "steel and manufactured products" could be used in transportation projects funded by the federal government. With the passage of the 1991 legislation, Congress clarified the 1982 legislation by specifically stating that iron products are covered by the Buy America provision. The Department of Transportation's Buy America provision now reads U.S. -made "steel, iron, and manufactured products."

Canadian Products: Note that while the Buy America regulations of certain federal agencies now define Canadian products as domestic (with some restrictions), Canadian products are considered foreign-made under the Buy America regulations of the Departments of Transportation and Energy.

Penalties: Because the Buy America provisions of the 1991 law explicitly require that iron castings manufactured in U.S. foundries be used for federal transportation infrastructure projects, knowing country of origin is particularly important for purchasing officials who procure iron products for such projects.

If a contractor violates the law by using foreign products, the normal remedy is to penalize the contractor by reducing the contract price by an amount equal to the difference between the cost of the foreign material provided and the cost of similar domestic materials. A contractor who falsely certifies that U.S.-made products will be provided may also incur civil penalties under the False Claims Act.

Severe penalties exist for a government contractor or subcontractor who deceptively affixes a "Made in the USA" label or intentionally misrepresents the country of origin of a product to be used in a federal highway project. These penalties include placement on the "List of Parties Excluded from Procurement Program" that is circulated to all federal agencies. Moreover, the offending party may be subject to further civil and criminal penalties of up to $5,000 and/or imprisonment for one year per violation.

A construction contractor who fails to comply with the Buy America provisions will be prohibited from receiving any further construction contracts from any federal government agency for a three- year period. The three-year ban also applies to subcontractors or suppliers associated with the contractor.

Buy American

The Buy American Act was passed in 1933 by President Roosevelt. The act required the United States Government to prefer U.S.-made products in its purchases. Other pieces of extend similar requirement to third-party purchases that utilize Federal funds, such as highway and transit programs.

The Buy American Act applies to all U.S. federal government agency purchases of goods valued over the micro purchase threshold, but does not apply to services. Under the Act, all goods for public use (articles, materials, or supplies) must be produced in the U.S., and manufactured items must be manufactured in the U.S. from U.S. materials. Many states and municipalities include similar geographic production requirements in their procurement.