Implementing a Competitively Bid Time and Materials Contract to Replace and Rehab Sanitary Sewers


  • Tad Powell - Hazen and Sawyer
  • Matt Alpaugh - Jefferson County

This presentation reviews the development and implementation of a competitively bid time and materials (T&M) contract that will be used to replace and rehabilitate sanitary sewers in Jefferson County, AL. Jefferson County Environmental Services Department (ESD) manages over 3,100 miles of sanitary sewer through the use of an Asset Management Program (AMP). This amount of aging sewer requires continual maintenance along with multiple replace and rehabilitate (R&R) projects. The AMP utilizes various types of assessment procedures and prioritization programs to execute these construction projects.

ESD experiences a number of emergency failures throughout the sanitary sewer system which require immediate and often challenging replacement. The T&M contract is a great tool to readily address these emergencies due to the nature of the work. Many of these excavations are high priority with little time for investigative or design efforts such as geotechnical testing, surveying, easement acquisition, etc. In addition, most emergencies are in-kind replacement, so there is usually no need for many of the administrative tasks required with the typical design-bid-build process for new assets.

Bid forms for the T&M contract are issued with estimated quantities of hours for general labor, foremen labor and equipment operating and with figures for dollars spent on materials, subcontractors and rentals. Bidding contractors listed their labor rate, equipment rates and markups on materials, subcontractors and rentals in the bid form. In an effort to control the equipment rates the national standard of Equipment Watch Rental Rates Blue Book was used. The Contractor is then free to apply multipliers to the rates as they feel necessary. ESD then has a competent contractor with low bid T&M rates available to replace emergency sewer failures almost immediately. The T&M contract ensures a high level of service is provided to the customers of Jefferson County by quickly addressing infrastructure deficiencies at competitive prices.

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