Contact: Kevin Coughlin
May 3, 2012
In an effort to help the state complete road work projects more quickly and efficiently, State Senator Andrew Maynard (D-Stonington), Senate Chair of the General Assembly’s Transportation Committee, led passage in the Senate tonight of legislation that would allow the allow the state Department of Transportation (DOT) the option of using new, more efficient contracting methods for highway construction and road maintenance projects.
“Connecticut is one of only four states in the country that does not avail itself of the ‘design-build’ contracting method for road construction, which could save the state significant amounts of both time and money. DOT manages hundreds of projects in all areas of transportation. By adopting these new contracting methods, DOT will gain flexibility to respond more quickly to the availability of a variety of federal grants,” said Senator Maynard.
Senate Bill 33 authorizes the DOT commissioner to choose amongst three different contracting methods for highway construction and maintenance projects. The three methods chiefly differ in how they assign responsibility for design and construction services.
The traditional “design-bid-build” method, the only one currently used by DOT, requires the department to sign separate contracts with the designer and the builder of a road project. The project design is completed before bids are solicited for a third, separate construction contract.
Under the “construction-manager-at-risk” (CMAR) method, newly allowed by the bill, DOT would contract with a single construction manager, who works with the designer and then provides labor, materials, and project management during construction.
Under the “design-build” approach, also allowed under the bill for the first time, DOT would contract with a single entity to both design and build a project.
The bill also, if it is in the public interest to do so, allows the state to require the use of a project labor agreement on a public works project, whether that project is managed by DOT or another state agency. A project labor agreement is a collective bargaining agreement that applies to a specific construction project and lasts only for the duration of the project.
Project labor agreements help to create uniform working conditions among the trades that meet the needs of a particular project.
The legislation will sunset after seven years, in 2019.
Legislative Office Building
Hartford, CT 06106-1591
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