Tuesday, December 1, 2015

New Davis-Bacon Wage Rates

For the December 15th letting the predetermined wage rates have been changed by addendum.  The addendums state the change but don't provide a copy or link to the new wage rates.  Bidx has the new wage posted on their website.  I have copied them and provided links below.



Below are some other Davis Bacon forms you might find useful.




Thursday, October 1, 2015

Heads Up! Two large projects out for bid.

This month there are 2 big projects out for bid.  In the October 20, 2015 letting Bid Order 103 in Woodbury county will let over 4 miles of grading and paving of the new four lane US Highway 20 including a bridge, culverts, and the traffic control.  Then in a special letting on October 27th Bid Order 1 in Pottawattamie county lets a project that includes a steel girder bridge, paving, and noise wall on I-29 in Council Bluffs.  Both jobs carry a $2,000,000 guaranty which roughly equates to a bid total of around $40,000,000.  Consider these items when bidding.

  • Big jobs may bring in large contractors from out of state who may not be used to the DBE rules in Iowa.  For example in Iowa good faith effort is primarily judged on exceeding the DBE goal percentage and not on how many letters you send to DBE contractors.
  • These jobs extend over two years so bid to include the escalation of incidental costs and how see how the work fits your schedule.
  • Make sure the prime contractors bidding receive your bid directly and early because they need to fill out the DBE form and perhaps share your bid with other contractors bidding portions of the whole project.

Contract Payments Posted

Contractor payments are posted on the Iowa DOT Website @ 


Use it to track payments made to prime contractors.  You can search for payments by the name of the prime contractor, county name, date the payment was posted, and the project number.  Payments are generally only posted on Fridays so only search for those dates.




Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Doc Express & Materials Approved Product List Enterprise (MAPLE)

Doc Express is the online document management program used by the Iowa DOT.  Doc Express is organized to collect all the paperwork electronically submitted for one contract. More contracts are using Doc Express each year.  Prime contractors are given access by the Iowa DOT for their contract.  Primes give access to their subs and suppliers.  Make sure to get access from the prime contractor so you can benefit from the ease of using Doc Express.  The Doc Express user guide has recently been updated.



Materials Approved Product List Enterprise (MAPLE) contains a searchable database of most of the approved products, sources, producers, and suppliers of materials for Iowa DOT projects. MAPLE may be searched by the brand/product name, producer, Materials Instructional Memorandum (IM) number, or material name. New approvals are continually added as they become approved for use instead of waiting for a new list to be published.




Wednesday, July 29, 2015

The Next Generation of Construction Workers

An ongoing issue for many contractors is finding and retaining good workers.  Many highway contractors built their workforce from relatives and friends of their current workers.  I can remember working on a bridge crew and figuring out that I was the only one without a connection to a member of the crew.  DBE contractors that were new to the industry did not have the ability to develop a crew from within and always had to look outside the company for experience help.

Because of the retirement of older workers and the increased volume of work all contractors will need to attract good young workers. People of a certain age do not all think and act alike but I think it is smart to adapt to make your company attractive to the millennial generation. Such as:

  • Emphasize safety;  Millennials have been raised with safety rules - buckle your seatbelt; wear your bike helmet,
  • Show that the company's work helps the greater good;  Share the companies history of completed projects.
  • Make it easier for workers to connect with the company outside of the work day; Company facebook page, company volunteer day
  • Millennials like to multitask.  Ask them to develop different skills.
For more discussion on this topic checkout these articles:





Monday, June 22, 2015

2015 DBE Consultant Essentials Training July 9th

Register today for the Iowa DOT disadvantaged business enterprise (DBE) consultants training in Ames, July 9, 2015. This is the first Iowa DOT workshop for DBE consultants to learn about the tools and resources available to take advantage of Iowa DOT contracting opportunities for small businesses. This training is for certified DBE companies only and concentrate on opportunities for companies who are consultants.. Schedule and agenda topics may change depending on demand. Don't miss this opportunity to develop and enhance your knowledge and skills about civil rights and nondiscrimination matters.

This training is administered by the Iowa DOT Office of Employee Services civil rights section. The training is offered free of charge.




Friday, May 8, 2015

Erosion & Sediment Control Field Guide

The Iowa Department of Transportation Office of Construction and Materials has revised the Erosion & Sediment Control Guide Guide.  I still think it is one of the best documents produced to show erosion control techniques.  The file can be downloaded here.


You can also order a hard copy of the field guide for $8.00 using this order form.



Friday, March 27, 2015

Accessible Sidewalk/Curb Ramp Design & Construction

Description

Staff from Iowa DBEs, Iowa local agencies, or Iowa DOT are invited to join us for this free accessible sidewalk/curb ramp design and construction workshop. This workshop is different than those offered in previous years. Some of the design manual information will be covered, but the focus will be on issues that occur in the field (see the agenda). The audience of the presentation and discussion materials developed are primarily those working in the field and either just starting to design and construct sidewalks/curb ramps or those that would like a refresher discussion.
This workshop will address the design and construction of accessible sidewalks and curb ramps. A variety of topics will be discussed with a majority of the focus on issues and considerations related to efforts completed in the field.

Why Attend

  • Iowa DOT and SUDAS have produced Design Standards and Plan Preparation Requirements for Accessibility
  • Accessibility of Public Rights-of-Way is Required by the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
  • Receive a short summary of the relevant Iowa DOT and SUDAS Design Manuals sections
  • Hear about plan reading, curb ramp forming/construction, the focus of inspectors, on-site decision-making, and estimating
  • Workshop will summarize the Sidewalk, Curb Ramp, and Work Zone Portions of the Iowa DOT and SUDAS Design Manuals
For locations, dates and times please go to: http://www.intrans.iastate.edu/events/ada-dbe/

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

DBE Directory

Since last last year the Iowa DOT DBE directory has been posted on IDOT website in real time with changes and additions being made as they are approved.  The link to the directory is:

Please check you own listing for any needed corrections in phone, email, address, work types, and notify the Iowa DOT by contacting:

Peg Muxfeldt;  margaret.muxfeldt@dot.iowa.gov;  515-239-1422

I have taken the DBE directory and using a free online program called BatchGeo I have plotted out the Iowa DOT DBEs in Google maps.  The map is here:


 Making the map is free and pretty simple.  You just need a list in a spreadsheet that has addresses that can be found.  I can see this being helpful in listing your projects, employees with their addresses, suppliers (who is close to our jobsite?).  The program is at:

Thursday, January 8, 2015

FAA DBE Program

A question has been posed on this blog as to getting more information on airport Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) government funded projects in "2015" and the DBE goals.  Airport work unlike highway work is not contracted out in a centralized system.  Individual cities or airports are given grants to improve their facilities. The best way to find work is to keep track of work proposed by the individual airports.  For example the Des Moines Airport Authority has a written DBE program and a DBE goal of 4.54%. I did find a listing of all the FAA Improvement Grants throughout the country.  You can download it here.

The FAA has started a website called FAA dbE-Connect which lists bid opportunities, goals, and directory of DBE firms.  As an Iowa DOT certified DBE your should be listed in the directory.  This website is a great idea but it is up to the various airport funding recipients to post the information on this site.  Looking at the website few projects are being listed.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

DBE Essentials Training Feb 4th & 5th.

Register today for the Iowa DOT disadvantaged business enterprise training in Altoona, Feb. 4-5, 2015. Attend the training sessions to learn about the tools and resources available to take advantage of Iowa DOT contracting opportunities for small businesses. This training is for certified DBE companies only. Schedule and agenda topics may change depending on demand. Don't miss this opportunity to develop and enhance your knowledge and skills about civil rights and nondiscrimination matters.

This training is administered by the Iowa DOT' Office of Employee Services civil rights section. The training is offered free of charge.

Event information 
  • Wednesday and Thursday, Feb. 4 -5 
  • 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. 
  • Adventureland Resort
  • Call 515-265-7321 to reserve a room
  • Hwy 1-80 (Exit 142A), Altoona, IA 
  • Lunch is provided 
  • Event contact: Jacqui Miskimins
  • Phone: 515-239-1427