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Alternative Technical Concepts

ATC Process

What is the Alternative Technical Concepts (ATCs) Method?

State departments of transportation (DOTs) often look to contractors to provide innovative solutions that promote efficiencies, reduce risks, accelerate project delivery schedules and reduce project costs. Through a flexible highway contracting procurement method known as Alternative Technical Concepts (ATCs), contractors can submit innovative, cost-effective solutions that are equal to or better than the State's design and/or construction criteria. State DOTs and local transportation agencies have used ATCs successfully with traditional Design-Bid-Build (D-B-B) contracting, as well as with the Alternative Contracting Methods of Design-Build (D-B) and Construction Manager/General Contractor (CM/GC).

The ATC process has most commonly been used with the D-B project delivery and many resources are provided herein. However, the Missouri DOT has also used ATCs with D-B-B contracting and this new approach has shown much promise. The MODOT links found on this site under "Additional Resources" highlight this ACM work.

The basic ATC process is represented in the diagram above. An agency issues a request for ATCs as part of a Request for Proposal (RFP) on D-B projects, or Invitation for Bid (IFB) on D-B-B projects, which will contain basic project configurations, design and construction criteria. Individual contractors may then confidentially submit ATCs based on their industry expertise and the DOT approves or rejects them. Each contractor with an acceptable ATC may incorporate the concept into their proposal or bid and the DOT does not share them with other contractors prior to project award. This process allows contractors to submit innovative solutions and gain competitive advantage for them, while the DOT also selects the best-value proposal or bid that meets and potentially exceeds the basic project requirements. The ATCs may include concepts that accelerate project delivery, reduce travel impacts or include features desired by the DOT and/or the general public. The ATC approach fosters solutions that create greater project value for the public.

ATC Resources

ATC Legal Authority or Enabling Legislation

ATC Sample Manuals of Instruction

ATC Procurement Documents & Templates

ATC Contracting

Confidentiality Requirements-ATC
Request for Proposal (RFP) or Invitation for Bid (IFB) language regarding ATCs
Contract Provisions

Lessons Learned and Benefits Data

Other Handy ATC Resources

Source Title
2012 Transportation Research Board Presentation, Ken Smith, PE, Sr. Vice President, HDR ATCs: Implications and Nuances from both the Owner and the Proposer Perspectives (.pdf)
Mark A. Coblentz, Acting ICC Project Director; January 201 Alternative Technical Concepts Used On the ICC Project (.pdf)
Construction Program Guide SEP-14 ATC Reports
Design-Build Projects
Design-Bid-Build Projects Missouri's Use of ATCs on the New Mississippi River Bridge Project: March 25, 2010
NCHRP Synthesis 455: "Alternative Technical Concepts for Contract Delivery Methods" (ATC State of the Practice)
Colorado DOT Programmatic Waiver for CDOT and HTPE of FHWA Requirements for ATCs in 23 CFR 636.209(b) (.pdf)
Georgia DOT Recommended Guide for Next Generation of Transportation Design-Build Procurement and Contracting in the State of Georgia (sections 3.2.7, 3.2.8, 3.2.9, 3.2.15, and 3.1.6) (.pdf)
Illinois DOT, Missouri DOT Mo Interchange: Alternate Technical Concepts (.pdf)
Missouri DOT
State of Ohio Design-Build Selection Criteria (pages 29-32) (.doc)
South Carolina DOT SEP-14 Request Waiver for 23 CFG 636.209 (b)
Utah DOT Alternative Technical Concepts White Paper April 4, 2011
Webinar Introduction to Alternative Technical Concepts

ATC Webinar Series

Updated: 10/25/2019
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