The El Paso area was affected by the end of year retirements like many of the Texas Department of Transportation offices. David Head, Director of Construction for the district retired, in addition to District Engineer Chuck Berry’s retirement. David had been responsible for the construction office in the district for almost twenty years and had been known statewide for his expertise in construction.
The district is scheduling projects, thanks to the additional funding authorized by Proposition 12 bonds. Efforts in meeting with state representatives and senators during session were successful in addressing transportation needs for the biennium. The legislature approved over $4 billion dollars in eventual expenditures, $3 billion of which will be made available for projects during the 2012 through 2013 biennium. Their approval came at a time when the overall projections for state funds were significantly less than past years. The efforts go back to 2007 when the original Proposition 12 constitutional amendment was approved by 63% of the votes cast.
TxDOT is moving toward an eventual rewrite of their Standard Specifications. In AGC of Texas membership’s initial discussions, TxDOT indicates they want to move toward performance- based specifications with the intent that there would be less reliance on TxDOT forces.
AGC of Texas membership has been working closely with TxDOT in reviewing the Department of Labor’s wage decisions. Wages are being thor- By Thomas Bohuslav oughly vetted to assure accuracy in reporting and compliance with regulations. The AGC of Texas’ membership has worked to refine the employee classifications titles and descriptions to modernize and develop better clarity in skills to improve the classifications for wage determinations. Membership’s work product, the new Red Book, was timely, as well as unprecedented in the nation.
The AGC RFP (TxSmartBuy) Task Force has been working closely with the State Comptroller’s Office and TxDOT to refine the bid items and the procurement, award, and requisition process for the next procurement of TxSmartBuy. Membership and TxDOT have made significant strides in reducing bid items, identifying security issues for the Comptroller to address, and developing and recommending practical bidding and award processes. With only a few more details to resolve, we expect an improved procurement process.