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Alternative Project Delivery Methods for Public Works Projects in California

March 25, 2009

Public agencies in California have long been restricted in the manner they can award public works construction projects. As a general rule, public agencies are obligated by competitive bidding statutes to award construction contracts to the lowest responsive, responsible bidder. This traditional project delivery method places primary importance on cost, and restricts agencies from utilizing most of the alternative project delivery methods available to the private sector (design-build, job-order contracting, construction manager at risk, publicprivate partnerships, integrated project delivery, all discussed below in more detail). However, an increasing number of statutes are being enacted authorizing designated public agencies to use alternative project delivery methods under certain circumstances. While this is a welcome trend for most people involved with public works contracting, the scope of this authority is both limited and confusing. This paper will summarize the current statutory authority for alternative project delivery methods for public works projects, and explain why it is vitally important for public agencies to understand the limits of these statutes so as to avoid awarding public works contracts illegally.

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For more information, please contact:

David Gehrig

415-995-5063 Direct Phone
415-995-3416 Fax

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