Work Zone Mobility and Safety Program
Photo collage: temporary lane closure, road marking installation, cone with mounted warning light, and drum separated work zones.
Office of Operations 21st Century Operations Using 21st Century Technologies

Text from 'Innovative Contracting Techniques that Consider Driver Impacts Use of A+B Bidding' PowerPoint Presentation

Slide 1

Innovative Contracting Techniques that Consider Driver Impacts Use of A+B Bidding

Presented by: David L. Kent P.E.

New York State Department of Transportation

Slide 2

Photo of traffic in a workzone

Slide 3

Implementation of A + B Bidding in New York

  • Initial guidelines / special provisions issued - December 1993.
  • FHWA Special Experimental Project 14, Innovative Contracting Practices.
  • Based on FHWA sample provisions.
  • 150 Contracts awarded 4/94 to 2/03.
  • Total contract value $ 3.1 billion.

Slide 4

What Is A + B Bidding ?

  • A method of bidding that includes both cost and time in low bid determination.
  • "A" = $ amount of work to be performed.
  • "B" = no. of calendar days bid to complete the work X user delay cost.
  • Lowest A + B is awarded the contract.

Slide 5

I/D for "B" Portion Work

  • Incentive / disincentive included.
  • Max. days incentive = 10% of Eng. Est.
  • Total incentives for each contract limited to 5% of Eng. Est. cost.
  • No cap on disincentive.

Slide 6

When To Use A+B Bidding

  • Critical projects or project phases.
  • User delay and other documented delay costs > $3,000 per day.

Slide 7

A+B Project Characteristics

  • High traffic volume facilities,
  • Complete a gap in a highway system,
  • Major projects that will severely disrupt traffic,
  • Major bridges out of service,
  • Lengthy detours of high volumes of traffic.

Slide 8

Photo of traffic on a highway

Slide 9

Benefits of A+B Bidding

  • Encourages contractors to develop detailed well thought out plans in order to bid on the time to complete a project or project phase.
  • More efficient contractors can generally bid shorter times.

Slide 10

Benefits of A+B Bidding

Encourages contractors to:

  • Schedule operations to maximize efficiency of crews and equipment.
  • Work OT, double shifts, at night.
  • Develop innovative ways to reduce construction duration at the lowest cost during bid preparation and construction.

Slide 11

Applicability of Use in Other Locations

  • A+B Bidding is being used in many areas of the US.
  • State Bidding Laws vary and must be reviewed.

Slide 12

Lessons Learned

Design Phase

Project selection

  • Avoid projects where unanticipated conditions are likely to be encountered,i.e., utilities, rock, historical artifacts,etc.
  • Protect environmentally sensitive areas from high production construction operations.
  • Consider "B" portion work for critical phases instead of the whole project.

Slide 13

A Good Application For A+B

  • Bridge replacement project / off-site detour.
  • Contractors bid on bridge closure duration.
  • Timing of bridge closure coordinated with shop drawing submittals, ordering and delivery of materials, and other preparatory work.

Slide 14

A Good Application For A+B

Chart: This chart compares the A+B bid, A+B actual and the conventional bridge replacement duration periods. For the A+B Bid, the duration was 140 days (from April 2002 until mid October 2002). For the A+B actual, the duration was 120 days (from April until the beginning of October). The conventional bridge replacement duration period lasted 200 days (from February until mid November).

Slide 15

Lessons Learned

Design Phase

  • User delay cost calculations
  • Description of "B" portion work
  • Constructability reviews
  • Accuracy of Department estimate of time

Slide 16

Lessons Learned

Construction Phase

  • Time as a pay item
  • Critical path method scheduling
  • Time adjustments due to changed conditions
    • Added rehab. work, utilities, subsurface conditions, drainage redesign, piles, lane closure delays / revised restrictions
  • Overtime pay for inspection, night work, multiple shifts - offset by shorter duration.

Slide 17

Lessons Learned

Construction Phase

  • Contractors shift experienced staff to A+B projects.
  • Contractors propose innovative ways to accelerate.
    • Revised M&PT schemes
    • Use of precast concrete or modular items
    • Use of new technology
  • Change proposals that save time may also save money - Value Engineering provisions.

Slide 18

A+B Bidding Results

  • NYSDOT has used A+B bidding on more than 140 contracts.
  • Contractors are bidding 31% below Engineers estimated time and completing work ahead of schedule.

Slide 19

A+B Bidding Results

  • 133 projects completed "B" portion work.
  • Original contract value = $ 2.2 billion
  • 98 contracts awarded to low "A" portion bidder.
  • 35 contracts awarded to a bidder with a higher "A" cost and shorter "B" duration.
  • Added "A" cost of these 35 contracts is less than 1%.

Slide 20

Time & User Cost Savings

  • 133 projects completed "B" portion work.
    • 114 earned incentives, total $ 57.6 million.(2.5% of orig. contract value)
    • 10 completed on time, no incentive or disincentive.
    • 9 assessed disincentive of $ 625,000.

Slide 21

Time & User Cost Savings

  • 133 projects completed "B" portion work.
  • 42% of B periods required time adjustments.
  • $ 305 million estimated user cost savings.
  • 23,000 construction days saved.

Slide 22

Additional Information

  • NYSDOT engineering instruction 99-033.
  • Guidelines for use of time-related contract provisions.


Office of Operations