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This legislation would bar the state from executing long term contracts for road maintenance for more than five years, unless additional contingencies are negotiated. From a cost standpoint, the life time of maintaining a road with a shorter contract will ultimately increase the long term cost of maintaining the road. Agreeing to a longer contract with a higher cost up front but with a more robust infrastructure design plan being executed out of the gate, will save money in the long run.
Essentially, this bill will prevent the state from executing contracts on the most beneficial terms by unnecessarily limiting options for design-build contracts. By requiring that the department not use a design-build method for the construction, expansion, extension, rehabilitation, alteration, or repair of a highway project if the project is substantially designed by the department or another entity other than the design-build contractor this legislation would take good options off the table.
Ultimately, this legislation would undermine limited government by hampering the effective and efficient use of design-build contracting for certain highway projects. For this reason, we oppose SB 1294.