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Special Experimental Project (SEP-14)
April 19, 2010
Mr. Charles W. Bolinger
Attention: Scott Nelson
Dear Mr. Bolinger:
By letter dated October 28,2009, FHWA approved the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development's (LA DOTD) request for a waiver of 23 CFR 636.209(b). Specifically, the LA DOTD requested a waiver from the requirement that states, "alternative technical concept proposals may supplement, but not substitute for base proposals that respond to RFP requirements." The LA DOTD's method of evaluating alternative technical concepts during the proposal review process was deemed satisfactory under FHWA's Special Experimental Program 14 (SEP-14), innovative contracting experimenting program.
As required by that approval, the attached document provides FHWA with a brief evaluation of the LA DOTD's experience using Alternative Technical Concepts (ATCs) in the procurement for the I-10 Widening Design-Build Project. Please note the same ATC process was used in connection with the US 90 project; however, since no ATCs were submitted in connection with that project, the attached evaluation only discusses the I-10 Widening Design-build Project.
If you or your staff have any questions or would like to discuss the results of the I-10 Widening Design-Build project's ATC process, please feel free to contact me at 225-379-1356.
I-10 Widening Design Build Project
Evaluation of ATC Process Background
The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development's (LA DOTD's) procurement process for the widening of Interstate-l 0 between the Seigen Lane interchange and the Highland Road interchange (I-10 Widening Design-Build Project) was based on the use of the competitive sealed proposal process. As part of that process, the LA DOTD used alternative technical concepts (ATCs) to allow innovation and flexibility to be incorporated into the proposals. The LA DOTD's ATC process, which involves the pre-approval of deviations from technical requirements, was carefully crafted to avoid any potential unfairness. The waiver of FHWA's requirement to furnish a base proposal provided each proposer the opportunity to submit ATCs for review and approval (or disapproval) by the LA DOTD during the pre-proposal period. Proposers were also given the discretion to choose which (if any) of their "pre-approved" ATCs to incorporate into their final proposal.
General Benefits of ATCs
Summary of ATCs Submitted by Proposers
Description of ATCs
This ATC process gives the LA DOTD the ability to factor the proposers' technical solutions into the selection process and gives the LA DOTD access to solutions from all proposers. It also gives the successful proposer a head start on implementation of its ATCs, and avoids unnecessary costs for proposers to advance a base design that ultimately will not be used. We did not receive any complaints regarding the ATC process from ay of the three short listed design-build firms. Out of 13 ATCs that were submitted, 6 were approved. Five of the approved ATCs were incorporated into the contract for the I-10 Widening Design-Build Project, resulting in significant innovation in the Project's design. The opportunity to introduce innovative concepts resulted in greater competition among the proposers by allowing the LA DOTD to consider a broader spectrum of technical solutions for the Project. Overall, we feel that the ATC process utilized for the I-10 Widening Design-Build Project was a success.
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