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Final Report Special Experimental Project No. 14 for CLAIMAD-70
The Federal Highway Administration approved a proposal for innovative contracting practices from the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) in March of 2004 for optional bidding of the pavement treatment on CLAIMAD-70, a twelve mile Interstate rehabilitation project. This proposal requested that contractors be allowed to bid on either the rubblize-and-roll treatment or an unbonded concrete overlay (UBCO). An adjustment factor representing the difference in value of the future maintenance costs was applied to the bids for the rubblize and roll treatment. The bids were opened on June 4, 2004, and all three bids submitted reflected the rubblize and roll treatment. Kokosing Construction Company was the low bidder, and their bid was under the engineer's estimate by 2%.
ODOT was disappointed that no bids were submitted for the UBCO treatment, so interviews were conducted with several contractors and both industries to get feedback on the optional bidding project. Kokosing Construction Company stated that they concluded several days after plans were available that the UBCO would not be competitive, even with an adjustment factor of about $1,000,000. They stated that the concrete option would need 4' more shoulder replacement than the asphalt option due to equipment requirements. They also indicated that concrete pavement is at a disadvantage on rehabilitation projects due to maintenance of traffic factors and that the ability to recycle asphalt favors the asphalt option.
Two contractors were interviewed that frequently bid concrete jobs to find out why they did not submit bids on this project. Shelly and Sands stated that they determined the UBCO would not be competitive with the asphalt option due to the additional width needed to slipform. More temporary pavement would also be required. Other factors they mentioned were higher temporary pavement marking costs for the UBCO (tape instead of paint) and a greater difference in design thickness for the UBCO to be economical. Shelly and Sands suggested that concrete could be more competitive on new construction with no maintenance of traffic constraints. Complete General was interviewed even though they also chose not to submit a bid. They mentioned the same issues of equipment requirements to slipform, recycling of asphalt and comparable design thicknesses. Complete General stated that a project has to be designed with concrete pavement in mind for concrete to be competitive.
Feedback from both the Ohio Concrete Construction Association and Flexible Pavements of Ohio was obtained as well. The Ohio Concrete Construction Association stated that this project was too large. They suggested a project of 4-5 miles with a cost between $20,000,000 and $40,000,000 would be more appropriate. They felt that a rehab project was not a good candidate for optional bidding, noting that some of the design details didn't provide for a good comparison. They also mentioned the advantage for recycling asphalt. The biggest concern of Flexible Pavements of Ohio was the determination of the adjustment factor. They stated that our methodology doesn't reflect the past history for both products, and that it underestimates asphalt performance and overstates concrete performance.
ODOT now has a good understanding of the factors which played a part in the outcome of our optional bidding project. We agree that rehabilitation projects are not the best candidates for this innovative contracting practice. For that reason we have chosen full depth replacement projects for our next SEP-14 proposal, which was recently approved by FHWA. It is our hope that some concrete contractors will submit competitive bids on those projects.