Work Plan for Utilizing Job Order Contracting to Implement the Dodge Blvd and Sunset Villa Transportation Enhancment Project
Purpose and Scope
The purpose of this work plan is to outline the Job Order Contracting (JOC) approach Pima County Department of Transportation (PCDOT) wishes to utilize in delivering the Dodge Blvd and Sunset Villas Transportation Enhancement (TE) projects. With approval of this work plan, PCDOT expects to deliver these much needed improvement projects in the shortest time possible for the best overall value.
The current method for delivering Transportation Enhancement (TE) projects is to utilize the traditional design-bid-build approach. PCDOT has used this method on several recent projects, including the Catalina Highway Bike Lanes, Camino De Oeste widening and realignment, and Old Spanish Trail bike lanes.
Opportunities for Improvement
Through approved State Legislation, PCDOT has utilized the JOC method of delivery on several smaller, bike lane/overlay projects as well as several intersection and safety improvement projects. These projects range in size from approximately $100K to $500K under the previous JOC contract (dollar limit established by the County Board of Supervisors) and under this most current contract, the price range is approximately $100K up to $1M per Task Order as per the cap limit established by State Law. These projects have been highly successful for a number of reasons:
- The competitive element is enhanced through the use of Qualification-based as well as Cost-based criteria. The difference in terminology is the difference between the procurement competition and the contract. This Contract was competed under ARS 34-603(F) that provides for a second-step competition based on technical and cost proposals after a qualifications-based down- selection. The "cost based criteria" are the criteria by which the cost proposals are evaluated; the cost proposal contains unit prices for tasks that can be combined to deliver a project; the winning contractor's proposal becomes the "price book".
- The overall time frame is reduced since the bidding process for each individual task (or project) is eliminated and the design time is truncated. Under a typical design/bid/build delivery method, there is approximately a 3-4 month time frame after contract plans are completely finalized that consists of advertisement, bid period, pre-bid meeting, opening of bids, review of bids received, award of contract by the County Board of Supervisors, development of contract, approval by the Contractor and lastly Execution by the Chair of the Board.
In contrast, a JOC contractor can participate in the design process, helping to produce a better and more constructible design, significantly reducing the risk of change orders and accelerating the time for development of a cost proposal to, in some instances, coincide with design completion. On these particular projects, the design will likely be completed or nearly completed; nonetheless, the entire time for development and presentation of the JOC cost proposal, PCDOT review and approval of the cost proposal, and notice to proceed to the Contractor can be reduced to a few weeks.
- The overall costs are reduced since the level of detail required in preparation of contract plans is less than what is typically required for a design-bid-build.
- The costs to the Contractor are reduced since they don't have to continuously spend time and effort developing bid proposals.
- The best overall value is achieved by working directly with the Contractor (using a competitively bid price book) to jointly discuss the work, and subsequently develop the overall work plan using the competitive pricing in the price book.
Using this delivery method has allowed PCDOT to develop and deliver a larger number of higher quality projects in a shorter amount of time, thus doing a better overall job of providing the necessary improvements to the traveling public.
Based on the success achieved with traffic projects, PCDOT is requesting approval to utilize this same approach in delivering the Dodge Blvd: Bike Lanes and Sidewalks project, and the Sunset Villas: Pedestrian Enhancement project. Other projects PCDOT will be evaluating for future consideration include:
- Homer Davis Elementary School: Bike and Pedestrian Enhancement. Construction anticipated for Summer 2008.
- Laguna Elementary School: Pedestrian Enhancement. Construction anticipated for Summer 2008.
- Continental Elementary and Middle School: Bike Lanes. Construction anticipated for Summer 2008.
- Hohokam Middle School: Bike and Pedestrian Enhancement. Construction anticipated for Summer 2008.
The schedule for the Dodge Blvd project is as follows:
- Complete 100% design activities by April 2007, and complete Plan production activities by June 2007. For the Dodge Blvd project, we have continued to move forward with project activities and have completed the overall design to the 100% level to ensure that all standards, guideline and requirements are met. The actual plan documents i.e. the Plans, specifications and Estimate are in the process of being finalized and will be completed to a level of detail in which we could use either design/bid/build (with some minor refinements), or the JOC delivery method. We typically define this as approximately the 75% Plan level (as compared against the traditional design/bid/build package) since all the necessary work items are included i.e. the Specifications, details and appropriate information necessary to build the project, but the general contract specification language has already been included in the master JOC contract. We have made the decision to proceed in this manner as part of our efforts to expedite this project and are subsequently making the request to use this method much later in the project time frame than we typically would on our other projects.
- Obtain clearances and complete right of way acquisition by April 2007. The phrase "clearances" refers to any and all approvals and/or permits (formal and informal) we need in order to move forward with construction. Specific for this project is the Biological coordination with Game and Fish regarding mitigation for bats under the bridge structure, and utility clearance letters specifically from Tucson Electric Power (TEP) and Pima County Wastewater.
- Submit final package and request release of funding from ADOT in June 2007.
- Receive Funding authorization ADOT and FHWA in June/July 2007.
- Develop Task Order with Contractor in July 2007. The "development" of the Job Order (hereafter referred to as the "Task Order) refers to finalizing the plans, time frames and all necessary project information to submit to the Contractor requesting a proposal for performing the work. This may include all the necessary communication and negotiation that may occur as the Contractor reviews the submittal and develops a proposal.
- Finalize Task Order and begin work activities in July/August 2007. The "finalization" of the Task Order refers to the final review, approval, signature and execution of the Task Order.
- Anticipated construction duration is approximately 6-9 months.
The schedule for the Sunset Villas project is as follows:
- Complete design and environmental documentation activities by May/June 2007 including obtaining the final approval of the Project Assessment (PA) and Categorical Exclusion (CE).
- Complete 100% design activities by June 2007, and complete Plan production activities by June/July 2007. For the Sunset Villas project, we have continued to move forward with project activities and have completed the overall design to the 100% level to ensure that all standards, guideline and requirements are met. The actual plan documents i.e. the Plans, Specifications and Estimate are in the process of being finalized and will be completed to a level of detail in which we could use either design/bid/build (with some minor refinements), or the JOC delivery method. We typically define this as approximately the 75% Plan level (as compared against the traditional design/bid/build package) since all the necessary work items are included i.e. the Specifications, details and appropriate information necessary to build the project, but the general contract specification language has already been included in the master JOC contract. We have made the decision to proceed in this manner as part of our efforts to expedite this project and are subsequently making the request to use this method much later in the project time frame than we typically would on our other projects.
- Obtain clearances by June/July 2007. The phrase "clearances" refers to any and all approvals and/or permits (formal and informal) we need in order to move forward with construction. Specific for this project is the Inter-governmental Agreement (IGA) with the two other jurisdictions in the area; City of Tucson and City of South Tucson.
- Submit final package and request release of funding from ADOT in July 2007.
- Receive Funding authorization ADOT and FHWA in July 2007. Develop Task Order with Contractor in July/August 2007. The "development" of the Job Order (hereafter referred to as the "Task Order) refers to finalizing the plans, time frames and all necessary project information to submit to the Contractor requesting a proposal for performing the work. This may include all the necessary communication and negotiation that may occur as the Contractor reviews the submittal and develops a proposal.
- Finalize Task Order and begin work activities in August/September 2007. The "finalization" of the Task Order refers to the final review, approval, signature and execution of the Task Order.
- Anticipated construction duration is approximately 6-9 months.
Reporting and Measures
At the end of each project constructed via the JOC method, a report will be prepared by PCDOT and submitted to ADOT and FHWA. This report will capture how well the overall process worked in comparison to experiences on similar projects using the more traditional design/bid/build approach. The feedback will be geared to reflect on the process and methodology of the JOC delivery method, rather than the project specifically. Some of the specific areas of evaluation will include: preparation of the final plans including clarity and effectiveness in describing the work requested, ability to work with the Contractor for difficult to describe items, and ability to make any minor adjustments needed during construction, qualitative descriptions of where costs were avoided, lessons learned during both the design and construction phase, and applicability for other projects of similar size and type.
Specific Items of Interest
Contractor Selection Process
The current process for selecting a JOC contractor for Pima County may consist of either a one or two-step competitive process, depending on the particular application. Solicitations are fully open to all qualified contractors with no preference given to local firms or outfits.
In the two-step process that was employed for this contract, the first step is qualification-based in which the proposals from the submitting contractors are scored and then short-listed to the top three based on qualifications. In the second step, the short-listed firms are issued an RFP that requires the submission of additional and more specific quality-based qualifications, along with a competitive price proposal based on unit prices for a broad range of service line items., Both these elements are scored, and then a final ranking established, followed by recommendation for award of the contract to the highest scoring contractor based on the results from the second step only.
Each subsequent Task Order will have a defined scope of work provided by the design consultant. The cost for each task order is derived by assembling the quantities of the line item services to complete the work and applying the competitively-established unit prices. "Competitively-established unit prices" is a reference to the unit prices submitted in the cost proposal during the JOC contract competition. The Contractor submits prices (similar to a low-bid approach) for each of the items that have been requested i.e. the materials and the labor items. These bid prices are then compared against the engineer's estimate and scored appropriately. The lowest prices receive the highest score.
The contract also contains a price adjustment provisions for a limited number of price-volatile commodities that are listed on the "Materials Schedule" in the contract. The price adjustment provision is based on FHWA Technical Advisory T 5080.3; adjustments are capped based on changes in ENR construction materials and related indexes. At this time, conduit (PVC and 2.5" galvanized steel) and asphalt are the only two items that contain provisions in the Contract for automatic price adjustment. The Contractor can submit a request (including appropriate justification and documentation) for adjustment of the price of any of the commodities on the Materials Schedule at any time during the life of the contract. Any price adjustments to commodities with established unit prices outside of those originally identified cannot be evaluated or adjusted. In the event that a commodity price is lower that the original bid amount, the Contractor will provide a credit to the County. In addition, the contract allows the application of Davis Bacon wage rates where required. At the time a Task Order is submitted to the Contractor, we ask the Contractor to obtain the most current Davis Bacon wage rates and include them in the proposal. A copy of the FHWA-1273 is included in the Contract and also will be physically included in each task order that is FHWA funded.
At this time, PCDOT has completed the overall process and has selected KE & G Construction, Inc. as the contractor (approved by the Pima County Board of Supervisors at the March 1 3th, 2007 meeting) and is moving forward with final contract activities. PCDOT has selected this contractor for a variety of traffic and transportation projects, not just the enhancement projects and we anticipate starting Task Orders for a number of traffic projects in the upcoming weeks. The initial contract term limit is for one year, however PCDOT reserves the option (and at our discretion) to extend the term limits up to two (2) additional one-year periods.
This proposal addresses the construction of the Dodge Blvd and Sunset Villas projects only. At this time, we anticipate using a different Contractor for the 4 projects scheduled next summer, however the overall selection and administration process remains the same.
Design and Environmental Approvals. Obtaining clearances, and Requesting Release of Funds
As outlined in the TE development procedures and guidelines, detailed design activities cannot occur until after approval of the project design and environmental documentation (Project Assessment and Categorical Exclusion). Regardless of the delivery method chosen, PCDOT will follow this approach to ensure that the project purpose and needs have been identified and addressed, and impacts associated with the design have been avoided, minimized or mitigated.
For the traditional delivery method, PCDOT is committed to developing projects in a manner in which the necessary clearances, i.e., right of way, utilities, environmental, and other approvals are obtained prior to advertisement. By having these elements addressed before any contactor activities occur, PCDOT has been able to minimize conflicts, reduce the unforeseen difficulties, and reduce the overall risk associated with the project.
For the JOC delivery method being proposed, PCDOT will utilize this same approach and will ensure that all necessary clearances are obtained prior to submitting the Release of Funds request to ADOT/FHWA. Through our own diligence and through the use of this formal request and release process, a project will not be able to move forward and a Task Order developed until the appropriate approval has been received.
Initiating a Task Order
After the Contractor is officially under contract and the price book has been established, and PCDOT has received the official release of funds for ADOT/FHWA, the individual project plans, specifications, and estimate are developed to the appropriate level of detail needed to adequately construct the required improvements (past experience on other projects has indicated this is traditionally performed to a lesser level of detail than a traditional design-bid-build, resulting in lower production costs). Project plans and specifications are then sent to the Contractor for their review, evaluation, and the subsequent development of a cost proposal, which is then submitted to PCDOT. Once PCDOT agrees to the cost proposal, the work is approved and a notice to proceed is given to the Contractor, and within a few days the Contractor mobilizes crews and equipment to start work. In the event that PCDOT does not approve the initial cost proposal, representatives from PCDOT meet with the Contractor to discuss and negotiate the overall quantities, labor, and equipment hours needed to perform the task, reconcile issues, and subsequently come to an agreed upon price.
In the event that both parties cannot come to agreement on the quantities, terms or conditions, PCDOT reserves the right (at its discretion) to cancel the project Task Order, and subsequently advertise the project in a traditional low bid method, open to all qualified Contractors.
Administration and Inspection
Once the Task Order has been completed and construction activities are underway, the overall administration and inspection duties are handled in the same manner as traditional delivery methods. PCDOT staff will be on hand to address questions, provide clarification and/or guidance where needed, and ensure that all elements are constructed to the appropriate specifications, standards, guidelines, and requirements.
Cost Overruns and Change Orders
Change orders and cost overruns associated with the JOC delivery method do not exist in the same manner as with a traditional design/bid/build approach. Instead, these aspects are handled in the following manner:
Changes in Quantities: Since quantities are agreed to by both parties during the development of the Task Order, costs for under runs are incurred by PCDOT, and costs for overruns are incurred by the Contractor.
Changes in the Work Within the Project Scope: For changes in the work activities within the original project scope (small changes that do not affect the overall intent of the project, i.e. a change in curbing type, or striping material, etc), and/or additional work, (i.e., the Contractor, and once it has been agreed upon, it is subsequently approved. This may also be related to a change in the work that is not .e., both the type of the work and the associated quantities) a new Task Order is developed and then negotiated between PCDOT and related to the Enhancement portion of the project i.e. the modification, deletion or addition of an overlay.
For Items Not in the Contract: For items of work that are not included in the price book, PCDOT requests an estimate from the Contractor for the price of the new items and then does due diligence to investigate the accuracy of this estimate. Once that has been completed, the price is subsequently negotiated with the Contractor. Once the new item and price is agreed to and approved, the new item is in effect only for the duration of the Specific Task Order for which it was requested, and does not become part of the overall price book.
Time Element for a Project
The time element is typically handled by identifying the timeframe or number of working days in our initial submittal to the Contractor, and then agreed to in the proposal that is developed by the Contractor and returned to PCDOT. Once the Task Order is signed, then the time frame is officially agreed to and becomes binding.
Final Acceptance and Payout
Once the work has been completed, a final walk through inspection is held with PCDOT and the Contractor in order to review the overall completed project and identify any remaining or deficient items that need to be corrected. Upon satisfactory completion of these outstanding items, PCDOT accepts the final work as performed and issues the complete and final payment to the Contractor.