Public Works

Chapter 6 - Bid Phase
The Bid phase commences when acquisition of property has been completed, relocation of utilities is underway, project specific permits have been obtained, and bidding documents have been filed.

The following flow chart summarizes the tasks involved during the Bid phase.
ch 6 flowchart

Bid Documents
Plans, specifications, and addenda for City of Cedar Rapids infrastructure projects are viewed and downloaded, from the Cedar Rapids IonWave bidding platform. Each publicly bid CIP project has a page that contains a brief description of the project, bid date, City contact, and project schedule information. The plan holders list can also be viewed from the Cedar Rapids IonWave website. Users must create an account to access the Cedar Rapids IonWave website. Creating an account is free.

Hard copies will also be available at the Rapids Reproductions Plan Room. Paper copies can be ordered directly from this site at no charge. Directions for doing so are listed in the Project Manual for each project. Again, users must create an account to access the Rapids Reproductions Plan Room but, creating an account is free.

Setting a Public Hearing and Filing Plans & Specifications
Per Chapter 26, Public Construction Bidding, of the Iowa Code, if the estimated total cost of a public improvement exceeds the established competitive bid threshold, the governmental agency shall advertise for sealed bids for the proposed public improvements. Iowa Code Section 314.1B establishes horizontal and vertical bid threshold subcommittees that meet at least every other year to adjust the bid and quote thresholds for city and county projects. These thresholds become effective on January 1 of each year and can be found on the Iowa Department of Transportation website.

Refer to website: IOWA DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION BID & QUOTE THRESHOLDS

Also per Chapter 26 of the Iowa Code, if the estimated total cost of a public improvement exceeds the established competitive bid threshold, the governmental agency shall hold a public hearing and approve the proposed plans, specifications, form of contract, and estimated cost. This process requires two Council meetings – one to set the public hearing date and file the plans and a second one to hold the public hearing and adopt the plans.

Refer to document: SOP - MOTION SETTING THE PUBLIC HEARING FILING PLANS & SPECS

Addenda
After the plans have been filed and prior to the bid opening, it may be necessary to issue an addendum for changes in the contract documents. An addendum may be issued to clarify, correct, or change the contract documents. Only questions answered by addenda are binding.

Answering Questions from Bidders
Section 00200, Instructions to Bidders, in the project manual designates the contact person for bidder questions during the bid phase. The contact person is generally the City’s Project Manager (PM). If the PM cannot answer the question, the PM may reach out to the Consultant for clarification.

Questions can be accepted via phone or email however, per the Instructions to Bidders, questions should be submitted through the Cedar Rapids IonWave bidding website.

If the contract documents address the question, the PM may respond directing the bidder where they may find the information. If contract documents DO NOT address the question, a decision must be made as to whether or not an addendum is required.

Refer to document: SOP – ANSWERING QUESTIONS AND ADDENDA

Components of an Addendum
If an addendum is issued to clarify, correct, or change the contract documents, the Consultant or the Project Manager shall prepare the documents. Ideally, the last addendum would be issued no later than the Friday prior to opening. This allows time for the addendum to be reviewed on the Cedar Rapids IonWave website for all plan holders.

Refer to document: SOP – ANSWERING QUESTIONS AND ADDENDA

Pre-bid Meeting
A pre-bid meeting may be held during the bid period in order to discuss unique aspects of a project. The pre-bid meeting shall be held no later than eleven days prior to the bid opening. This schedule will allow adequate time for the preparation of an addendum if one is required. This timing also serves to motivate the contractors to review the documents early in the bid period.

The purpose of a pre-bid meeting is to ensure that potential bidders have adequate familiarity with the existing conditions of a project to intelligently bid for the proposed project improvement. A pre-bid meeting may be held when there are complex staging requirements, extensive coordination with utilities and/or a railroad is required, or when there is unusual work that may result in a high likelihood of questions or concerns. Latitude is given to the Project Manager in determining the necessity of a pre-bid meeting, and whether to make it mandatory for all bidders to attend.

Minutes of the meeting will be taken and a copy of the minutes will be uploaded to the project page in the Cedar Rapids IonWave website. All attendees should sign in on a sign-in sheet and that sheet should be attached to the minutes.

Pre-bid meetings should not add any additional detail to the contract documents however, an addendum may be issued after the pre-bid to answer questions or concerns that were not adequately addressed by the contract documents.

Public Hearing
The public hearing generally occurs at the meeting following the meeting at which the public hearing was set and the plans were filed. The public hearing allows Council members to receive information about the project and hear any public comments. At the public meeting, the Council is considering adopting the proposed plans, specifications, form of contract, and estimate of cost.

Refer to document: SOP - MOTION SETTING THE PUBLIC HEARING FILING PLANS & SPECS

Bid Opening
Bids are received electronically via the Cedar Rapids IonWave website on Wednesdays before 11:00 a.m. Bid openings begin promptly after 11:00 a.m.

Refer to document: SOP – BID OPENING

Post Bid Opening Procedures
Bid Tabulation
The bid tabulation shows what each contractor bid for each item along with the overall bid total. The bid tab is prepared electronically on the day of the bid opening but is only distributed internally at that time. After the project has been awarded, the bid tab is made available to the public.

Refer to document: SOP – BID TABULATION

00300-A Funding and Recommendation to Award
The 00300-A Funding form and Recommendation to Award are prepared using the bid prices from the bidder who is recommended award the project. These documents help ensure that the funding is in place to complete the project. Both of these forms are found in the Project Development Guide.

Refer to document: TEMPLATE – PROJECT DEVELOMENT GUIDE

Refer to document: SOP – BREAKDOWN BY FUNDING AND RECOMMENDATION TO AWARD

Report on Bids and Award or Reject Contract
After the bids are opened, the Project Manager will analyze the bids received and, if concerns are discovered about the acceptability of the bid, will discuss them with their Program Manager. The decision will made as to if, and on what date, the contract will be awarded. The Project Manager will inform the PW Support Staff member that attended the bid opening and prepares the Report on Bids letter and the Construction Contract Coordinator as to if, and on what date, the contract is to be awarded.

Bids are reported at the first council meeting following the bid opening.

Awarding the contract is the decision of the Project Manager and can be done at the same time as the report on bids or at a later meeting. As Iowa Statewide Urban Design and Specifications (SUDAS) is applicable to CIP projects, the City has 60 days from the bid opening to award the contract.

The City may decide to reject all bids. Some reasons to do this may be:

  • Bids come in over budget
  • Proceeding with the award would be disadvantageous to the City
  • Low or only bidder cannot meet obligations

Single bids should not be rejected unless they are clearly non-responsive and/or non-responsible.

Refer to document: SOP – REPORT ON BIDS AND AWARD OR REJECT CONTRACT

(Updated March 2021)

© 2022  Cedar Rapids, Iowa, 101 First Street SE

Powered By Revize Login