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Section 3: Equipment Acquisition

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Acquisition Methods

Districts can acquire traffic signal equipment by any of the following methods:

  • through the GSD general warehouse
  • through small purchases
  • through blanket orders
  • through construction contracts.

Explanations of each of these methods follow.

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Acquisition through GSD General Warehouse

Equipment obtained through the GSD general warehouse provides uniformity and quick purchase time. This is the most economical way to purchase equipment, because warehouse stock is purchased in larger quantities. Districts may order equipment from the general warehouse by submitting a request using the on-line Materials and Supply Management System (MSMS). (See the MSMS User Manual for details.) A TxDOT catalogue number (DHT number) is required. Stock equipment is issued on a first-come-first-serve basis.

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Acquisition through Small Purchase

Equipment not stocked in the general warehouse can be obtained through either a small purchase or a blanket order. The small purchase is most useful and practical for infrequently purchased items (items purchased once or twice a year). Small purchases can often be done directly by the district, depending on the amount of the purchase. Three bids are required for a small purchase, unless a sole source purchase justification is submitted to GSD. Purchases of equipment over $15,000 are handled by GSD.

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Acquisition through Blanket Order

Blanket orders can be established for items more commonly purchased (equipment purchased on a small purchase basis several times a year). This type of purchase procedure also promotes equipment uniformity. Blanket purchases generally are made through GSD, and delivery is made directly to the district requesting the equipment. Since the bids are obtained before the specific request from a district, the delivery time is typically shorter than for a small purchase.

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Acquisition through Construction Contract

Traffic signal equipment may be acquired through construction contracts by any of the following three means:

  • The contractor may supply the traffic signal equipment.
  • The state may furnish the traffic signal equipment. With this method, the state purchases the traffic signal equipment through the general warehouse, small purchase, or blanket order and provides the equipment to the contractor for installation.
  • When a traffic signal is being installed in a city, the city may supply the traffic signal equipment to the contractor for installation.
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Coordinating First Time Purchases with TRF

Whenever new traffic signal equipment is purchased for the first time, the purchase should be coordinated with the Traffic Operations Division (TRF) to ensure that all TxDOT districts and divisions become aware of the experiences with and testing done on the product. This coordination helps maintain uniformity across the state and reduces duplication of effort between districts and divisions.

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Equipment Testing

Equipment must undergo environmental testing at TRF in Austin as specified. Equipment that is not on a prequalified list must also go through functional testing at either the district or TRF in Austin. This testing is in addition to the environmental testing.

If the equipment is supplied by the state through the GSD purchasing system, it has already been through both the functional and environmental tests. Such equipment is also purchased in larger numbers and can provide significant cost savings.

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Product Prequalification

The equipment testing performed by TRF includes the evaluation of new products and testing products for prequalification. Prequalification reduces the time required to test pre-shipment samples and the duplication of effort between the districts and division.

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Equipment for Contract Jobs

Equipment on contracted projects can be supplied by the contractor, state, or city.

If the equipment is supplied by the contractor, it must be thoroughly checked to verify that it meets all pertinent specifications. Prequalification of traffic signal equipment does not eliminate the need for testing. Testing is the only assurance that the equipment will function as specified when it is installed at the intersection.

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