A Day in the Life of a Civil Engineer – Day 73

Day 73 or How to Save Our Transportation Funding

Plan Review

I spent part of the day reviewing the plans for a bike underpass that the county is planning to build. The county received a grant to construct the improvement. It's definitely needed! The underpass will allow pedestrians and bicyclists to safely cross one of the busiest arterials in the county. 

Water Main Easements

I was going to send the easement plats to our city attorney today so he could prepare the documents, but after checking them one more time, I noticed one of the angles was wrong on the plat. So I emailed the consultant to have them revise the plat.

GIS Features

Our GIS group has also been planning to set up our sidewalk feature class. We decided to go with a centerline to designate this feature and assign as main attributes the material, width, year of repair, and road. We are also creating a curb ramp feature class that will be a point feature with attributes such as detectable warnings, slope, etc.

PACE Bid Tab

I did receive a copy of the PACE Bid Tab in the mail today even though I had requested a pdf of it be sent through email. Well, at least I got it. I put up an image of it at the bottom of this post so you can see the bidders and the amounts. (You have to click the image to get a good look.) It is strange because it doesn't look like a normal bid tab for a construction project – it is more of a summary of bids. And I am not sure how the highest bidder became the lowest bidder because from what I learned at the precon, Landmark was awarded the project. As you can see from the bid tab, they seem to have had the highest total bid. Then over on the right, someone put the lowest bid amount from Dimensions in Concrete in the line where Landmark is and labeled it lowest bid. I tried to go on the FTA website to see if they somehow have a creative way to allow a public agency to transform the highest bidder to the lowest bidder, but could not find anything. So the other explanation could be that the FTA allows public agencies to award projects to the highest bidder. Also, it seems strange that none of the main concrete companies in the area that bid our concrete work, other than Landmark, submitted bids.

Aside from all that, the good news is that PACE is at least re-bidding the portion of this $4+ million job that lies within our county. So hopefully when they rebid, the highest bidder comes in lower because it appears that for this project, the highest bidder is actually the lowest bidder or at least gets the job! I realize this is a crazy idea, but maybe next time they could award to the lowest bidder, and we'd have a few more transportation dollars to spend. Or maybe I, along with the other engineers who looked at this, are just missing something. If anyone out there knows how this works, please send in a comment.

Bid Tab for PACE Route 529 Improvements Fall 2011