Construction Program Guide
Construction Contracting Method
Title 23 U.S.C. 112 requires the use of competitive bidding for Federal-aid highway construction contracts unless ". . . the State transportation department demonstrates, to the satisfaction of the Secretary, that some other method is more cost effective or that an emergency exists."
For Federal-aid highway construction contracts, contracting agencies have the following options:
- Competitive bidding with award to the lowest responsive and responsible bidder (23 C.F.R. 635, Subpart A)
- Design-build project delivery (23 C.F.R. 636)
- Where shown to be more cost effective, agency force account procedures may be used (23 C.F.R. 635, Subpart B and Order 5060.1)
- Where an emergency exists,
- Emergency repair work may be accomplished by the contract, negotiated contract or agency force account methods
- Permanent repair and reconstruction work may be done by the contract method unless the contracting agency demonstrates that some other method is more cost effective (23 C.F.R. 668.105)
- Deviations from the competitive bidding requirements in 23 C.F.R. 635, Subpart A or the design-build requirements in 23 C.F.R. 636 may be considered under FHWA's Special Experimental Project No. 14 - Innovative Contracting.
(Note: Federal-aid construction contracts that are not within the right-of-way of a public highway, may be procured with state-approved procedures. See Mr. Horne's June 26, 2008 memorandum.)
- 23 CFR 668 Emergency Relief Program (2011)
- 23 CFR 635 Construction and Maintenance (11/15/2006)
- 23 CFR 636 Design-Build Contracting (12/10/2002)
- 23 CFR 635 Construction and Maintenance; Contract Procedures Final Rule (11/25/1987)
- 23 CFR 635 Construction and Maintenance; Contract Procedures Final Rule (03/23/1983)
- The FHWA Contract Administration Core Curriculum Manual summarizes FHWA policy for contracting methods for Federal-aid highway construction contracts.
- FHWA Policy on Agency Force Account Use (Order 5060.1) (03/12/2012)
- Procurement of Federal-aid Construction Projects (06/26/2008)