Chapter 8: Letting and Award

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Section 1: Introduction

The Contracting phase of a project involving a local government (LG) and the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) includes three stages: bid document preparation; letting and award; and contract execution. The first stage (bid document preparation) is included in Chapter 7 – Plans, Specifications & Estimates (PS&E) Development. The second stage (letting and award) is included in this chapter. The last stage (contract execution) is included at the beginning of Chapter 9 – Construction. The tasks associated with the letting and award are described in detail with references to two types of procurement: design-bid-build; and design-build.

Before a transportation project can be placed under contract, the contracting agency must “let” it, or make the project available for bidding. Letting involves the request for a submission of bids through a public advertisement, the receipt of bids and the selection of the most responsive bid using a competitive selection process based on qualifications, best value, experience or any other factors included by the LG or required by TxDOT or federal funding requirements. When stated in the advance funding agreement (AFA), the LG is responsible for the letting process for local projects, although TxDOT maintains oversight for projects involving state or federal funding. A well-planned and executed bidding process allows the LG and TxDOT to get the most competitive price and allows businesses to compete fairly for business. The Letting phase is followed by the Contract Execution phase.

Chapter 4 – Preliminary Engineering and Design describes the process for preparing and obtaining TxDOT approval of the procurement procedures. Chapter 7 – Plans, Specifications and Estimates (PS&E) Development outlines the procedures for preparing and obtaining TxDOT approval for the PS&E and bid documents. The LG must follow the approved procedures, submit the local funds to TxDOT for costs to be incurred by TxDOT for oversight (as required by the AFA) and obtain TxDOT approval prior to beginning the Letting phase (advertising) and Construction phase (contract execution) of the project. This chapter of the Local Government Projects Policy Manual and Local Government Project Management Guide describe the responsibilities of the LG and TxDOT during the advertising and letting phases of the project.

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