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Expedited Delivery Contracting Work Plan
The Utah Department of Transportation hereby submits this work plan for review and approval as a program under the provisions of the Special Experimental Projects No. 14 (SEP-14) for use of alternative contracting practices.
The proposed Expedited Delivery Contracting (EDC) method is an innovative process which is similar to the procurement process currently used by UDOT for small state funded signal, pedestrian ramp and maintenance projects. This approach has been used by UDOT for over six years and is based on the authority set forth in Utah Code Annotated Section 63G-6-401. The proposed EDC process is not an exact replication of the current process used on state funded projects instead it has been modified to meet federal requirements.
EDC enables the acquisition of contractor services for a number of similar tasks using a group of short listed contractors. The prequalified contractors are required to meet bonding requirements, schedule requirements, and honor their prices for at least a year. The intent of this delivery method is to reduce the administrative burden of designing and advertising small projects. Reducing administrative burden will allow more of the funding to be applied to construction and avoid unnecessary design and advertising costs.
This method of contracting may be applied to programs such as Safe Routes to Schools, signals, pavement preservation and structure preservation. UDOT intends to start with the Safe Routes to Schools Program as its pilot program using EDC and will determine expansion into other programs based on the results of this initial pilot.
The purpose of Expedited Delivery Contracting is to reduce administrative work and speed delivery. The traditional linear approach to managing transportation projects uses one at a time design-bid-build (low bid) process. This system works well on conventional transportation projects. The majority of the projects delivered by the Utah Department of Transportation fall into this traditional category. However, there are many small repetitive projects which take as much administrative effort to acquire a contractor as a large project. Combining small projects into one contract will reduce the administrative load and improve the speed of delivery. We have concluded after discussions with our legal department that our approach to EDC fits within State Rules of low bid contracting.
Expedited Delivery Contracting is a method that includes the following steps.
These steps generally do not happen linearly, but concurrently as identified in the Process Diagram below.
Maintain Contracting Pool
Expedited Delivery Contracting is a contracting method that combines a number of small projects into a pool of short listed contractors. This is done by obtaining unit prices on a list of typical bid items defined by Standard Drawings and Specifications. The price of each bid item is associated with a range of quantities. The contractors with the lowest bids are then placed in a pool of qualified contractors using the Pool Qualification Method described below. The Pool consists of contractors with their own respective contract, also referred to as the short listed contractors.
Being in the Pool does not guarantee a contractor work. It does however qualify them for upcoming work. The bid prices in the Pool contracts are valid for one year with options to renew in subsequent years depending on mutual agreement between UDOT and the short listed contractors.
The qualified contractors bid prices are entered into a Pool Spread Sheet with one tab or sheet for each contractor. This spreadsheet will later be used to determine the low bidder after project specific items of work and quantities have been established.
Many projects can be awarded to prequalified contractors in the Pool. For example, if five or ten projects are designed in a given year they can be awarded to the contractor with the combined overall lowest price.
Pool Qualification Method
The Pool Qualification Method identifies certain bid items that will be price compared to determine the Pool of short listed contractors. These bid items and their respective quantities are not disclosed to the contractors prior to bidding. The criteria for selecting bid items and respective quantities may be based on the anticipated amount an item may be used in the upcoming year. Quantities should also fall within the range of quantities the contractor is bidding. The number of bid items selected will vary as appropriate.
Depending on the capabilities of the contractors who propose we may add a technical and experience requirement to the selection process.
After the contractors have submitted their bids, the previously identified bid items and their respective quantities are totaled using the contractor’s unit prices. A predetermined number of short listed contractors are then selected to be in the Pool. This selection is accomplished under the direction of the Delivery Contracting program manager.
In order to reduce design administrative costs and expedite schedules the design process has been simplified to better meet the needs of small projects while following FHWA Core Curriculum. Before a project can be considered for Pool work it must meet the following requirements:
Selection from the Pool
Projects meeting the design criteria listed above can now be considered for Pool work. Contractor selection to do the work is a two-step process. First the lowest bidders are identified by entering the project specific bid items into the Pool Spreadsheet and totaling the bid items for each contractor.
The second step consists of bidding work that was not covered by bid items on the Pool Spreadsheet. Work not covered by the bid items is termed “Additional Work”. If there is Additional Work required then the pool contractors are asked to submit prices for the Additional Work. The combined overall lowest price is determined by totaling the Pool Spreadsheet and Additional Work. The contractor with the combined overall lowest price is then approached to do the work.
If the low bid contractor is unable to meet the contract schedule then the next lowest bidder is approached. This process is followed until a contractor in the pool is able to meet the schedule. If all contractors in the pool are unavailable due to schedule constraints then the project is advertised using the standard advertising method.
Once the project has been awarded and the EDC is in place, the construction process follows the same procedures as regular projects. The project will be assigned an RE and the project will be constructed following the policies and procedures outlined in the UDOT Manual of Construction.
Davis Bacon wages will apply. Due to the limited scope of projects DBE requirement will be waived. All other elements of the FHWA Core Curriculum will be followed.
Selection from Pool
Measures and Reporting
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