Aug. 27, 2012
Pilot Project Results in Nearly 30 Percent Cost Savings
AUSTIN — A recent pilot project in Houston where a private contractor bid a maintenance contract is saving the state about $10 million or nearly 30 percent of what this work was estimated to cost following the traditional approach.
Based on this initial success, the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) plans to expand the opportunity for the private sector to perform routine maintenance on parts of Interstates 35 and 45 between Dallas and Houston and Dallas and San Antonio. This work would also include highways inside metropolitan areas around Dallas and Harris counties.
TxDOT intends to issue a Request for Information (RFI) to parties interested in performing routine maintenance that could create value and yield cost savings. Estimates show that moving in this direction could result in more than $90 million of maintenance contract work on these highways each year and save TxDOT $120 million over five years. TxDOT would then invest those savings in other maintenance work.
TxDOT leaders envision private sector businesses bidding for maintenance work including roadside mowing, litter removal, sign replacement, pothole patching, and minor resurfacing, to name a few. Meanwhile, TxDOT maintenance workers assigned to these areas of the state would concentrate their efforts on other priority work in those regions.
The pilot project in Houston was bid by a private contractor for approximately $26 million. Estimates for this work following the traditional approach utilizing TxDOT staff and contractors were about $36 million. Key to success around this opportunity includes delivering high quality service at the best value with the strongest performance metrics measuring the work.
"TxDOT is working many angles to create value and better efficiencies for our tax dollars," said Phil Wilson, Executive Director of TxDOT. "Every opportunity to deliver high quality work and save money means more work can be performed to maintain a safe transportation system for the traveling public."
TxDOT is expected to issue this RFI in the coming weeks.
Funding for road projects and maintenance continues to be part of daily conversation among transportation experts and TxDOT is continuing to generate ideas to innovate, be good stewards of tax dollars, deliver quality, and keep safety top of mind in its daily pursuit of excellence.