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The Construction Division considers many issues of importance to us and members of the Associated General Contractors. Saving money while maintaining quality is important, and TxDOT maintains the highest standards of excellence in every project we handle. We continuously work to develop new policies such as alternative pavement designs for new construction and full reconstruction projects.

A proposed policy for alternate bidding is intended to require flexible and rigid pavement design alternatives in the proposal and plans. Funding through Propositions 12 and 14 plus ARRA funding allowed us to let a significant number of construction contracts. However, the reason it is critical we economize is because existing funding would have only allowed $1.7 billion for letting. An amount that would not cover current maintenance costs.

Quality control while lessening costs is important if we are to avoid the need and escalating costs for repairing deteriorating pavement. And one of the generally recognized ways to minimize construction cost is to allow a contractor to choose from different materials that serve the same purpose. A large percentage of cost for most highway projects is pavement structure.


A relatively minor cost savings per square yard of pavement can result in significant savings for the project. The use of rigid and flexible pavement alternates allows the market to determine the most economical structure for a project. And over five years, other state DOTs noted alternate bid type projects had a greater number of bidders. Final project results showed material costs were lower as well.

The objective is to encourage competition and use the most appropriate materials ensuring the best value for highway construction or rehabilitation. The primary consideration in using alternate pavement designs for a project is to ensure all alternates produce similar performance.

Alternate pavement design may not be a suitable strategy for every project, as there may be cases where it is necessary to match adjacent pavement types or where constructability constraints such as limitation in width, traffic control, drainage, construction sequencing, etc., dictate the selection of a specific pavement type.

TxDOT is developing these policies and scheduling meetings with our industry partners to get their input on proposed policies. This will help to ensure pavement projects can continue to be constructed in the most cost-effective way.

As you and our district staffs across the state work together on projects, don’t be shy about expressing your ideas on how we can improve our processes. With your help, our agency’s immediate goal is to make TxDOT the best government agency.

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