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Section 2: Routine Maintenance Contracts

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When to Use Routine Maintenance Contracts (RMC)

Section 223.001 of the Texas Transportation Code requires that all contracts proposed by the department for the improvement of a highway on the state highway system should be submitted for competitive bids. The definition of “highway improvements” includes construction, reconstruction, and maintenance.

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Use of the Construction and Maintenance Contracting System (CMCS)

CMCS facilitates the routine maintenance contracting process. (See CMCS District Users Manual for information) The district develops and prepares all the routine maintenance project proposals. When the proposal is complete and ready for letting, the district inputs the required information for the proposed routine maintenance project into CMCS.

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Locally Let Contracts

The district engineer has the authority to let, award or reject, and execute contracts estimated under $300,000. This authority may not be delegated further.

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State Let Contracts

State let contracts should be submitted to the Maintenance Division. The contract is reviewed, proposals are sent to prospective bidders and the project is let. Bids are tabulated and recommendations for awards or rejections are sent to the Texas Transportation Commission.

The Construction Division (CST) reviews all bid documentation and then sends a letter of “Award of Contract” to the low bidder, requiring the low bidder to execute the contract and return it with a Payment and/or Performance Bond within 15 calendar days. Upon receiving a positive response from the contractor, CST will review the documentation and process through MNT to execute the contracts. CST then forwards the fully executed contract to the contractor stating the following: "The authorization for you to begin work on this maintenance contract will be sent to you by the district office that is responsible for administering this contract." The original contract then will be sent to the district for filing. The other copy is sent to the contractor. A more detailed explanation of this process follows.

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Contracts Let by State Headquarters

The following table shows the general process of state let routine maintenance contracting.

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Who Does It…

What They Do…



send documents to MNT.



reviews completion of the documentation and approves for letting.



sends proposals to prospective bidders.



lets contract and tabulates bids.



forwards recommendations to Commission via MNT and tabulates for review and assembling.



awards or rejects.



sends a letter awarding or rejecting contract.


Low Bidder

executes contract and returns with bonds.



reviews documentation and forwards to MNT for signature.



executes the contract.



forwards executed contract to contractor authorizing beginning of work and original to district for filing.



sends letter of authorization to begin work to contractor.

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Justification for Awarding or Rejecting Contracts

Justification is required for award or rejection of contracts in the following situations:

  • Projects with two or more bids where the low bidder is 20 percent or more over the engineer's estimate.
  • Projects with one bidder where the low bid is 10 percent or more over the engineer's estimate.
  • Projects where all bids are rejected.

The table below lists the types of projects that require an Engineer's Seal and examples of those that do not:

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Required for:

Not Required for:

  • Asphalt/concrete pavement repairs
  • Bridge rail repair/painting
  • Bridge structure repair
  • Bridge joint clean/seal or repair
  • Guardrail repair
  • Drainage repair/improvements
  • Slope/riprap repair
  • Safety lighting maintenance
  • Loop detector repair/replacement
  • Sign/support maintenance
  • Barrier fence repair
  • Crack sealing
  • Rest area/picnic area maintenance
  • Mowing
  • Removing/replacing pavement markers
  • Retracing stripping
  • Sweeping highways
  • Litter pickup
  • Landscape maintenance
  • Tree trimming/brush removal
  • Cleaning drainage structures

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Contract Administration

See the Contract Administration Manual for Maintenance Projects for information on pre- and post-award activities and administering the contract.

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