For local-let projects, the local government is responsible for publishing official notice, which includes letting and project information. A State Letter of Authority (SLOA) is required for a local government let construction project prior to initiating the letting phase. The SLOA from TxDOT to the local government functions as the notice to proceed with the letting phase. The SLOA must be signed and dated prior to advertisement of the project.
For projects where the local government is performing construction by force account, the SLOA must be signed and dated prior to construction.
Federal-aid projects require a Federal Project Authorization and Agreement (FPAA) in addition to the SLOA.
An advertisement is the public announcement to invite bids for work or materials. In Texas, advertisement of a contract proposal legally takes the form of a classified advertisement published in a newspaper. On federal-aid projects, the minimum advertisement period is three weeks (21 days).
Any proposal solicitation package or notice for advertising needs to include all information necessary to allow a responsible contractor to make a responsive bid, proposal or other applicable expression of interest for the procurement contract.
All bidders must bid on comparable terms so that no bidder or the local government receives an advantage or disadvantage. The local government must notify all prospective bidders of any addendum as soon as possible. TxDOT must approve an addendum prior to release to the prospective bidders.
Bid Opening, Tabulation and Analysis
The bid opening is a public forum for the announcement of all bids and is the point in time where the bids are opened and read aloud.
Bid tabulations provide a means of evaluating bids and a mechanism for tracking construction costs.
The engineer’s estimate is part of the Plans, Specifications and Estimates (PS&E). One of the purposes of the estimate is to serve as a guide to analyze bids. The estimate should be accurate, credible and based on realistic data.
The bid analysis process is an examination of the unit bid prices for reasonable conformance with the engineer’s estimated prices.