Infrastructure Law Blog

Infrastructure Law Blog

Insights on California and national public works construction issues

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New bill would expand design-build authority for local agencies

Posted in Design-Build, Legislation

A new bill, AB 851, was introduced in the California legislature on February 16 that would expand the scope of the design-build authority currently available to local agencies. ┬áIf adopted, AB 851 would amend Public Contract Code sections 22161 to expand the definition of special districts that can utilize the design-build authority under Public Contract… Continue Reading

New case confirms competitive bidding exception for lease lease-back projects award by school districts

Posted in Lease-leaseback

A court of appeal case published on September 18, 2014, Los Alamitos Unified School District v. Howard Contracting, Inc., confirmed the existence of an exception to competitive bidding for “lease-leaseback” agreements awarded by school districts pursuant to Education Code section 17406. Many involved in school district construction have held the view that “lease-leaseback” agreements were… Continue Reading

Interesting article on “accelerated bridge construction”

Posted in Alternative Project Delivery Methods

This New York Times article describes a relatively new "accelerated bridge construction" technique using a self-propelled modular transport to lift a bridge into place.  The article focuses on the River Street Bridge in Boston, but the technique is being used increasingly around the country.  When done correctly, the bridge is lowered in place "like a… Continue Reading

Design-build gaining traction in the public sector

Posted in Design-Build

The use of design-build in the public sector appears to be growing.  As more public agencies achieve positive results with this project delivery method, the legislature appears to be more comfortable with expanding the statutory authority.  My colleague, Lisa Dal Gallo, and I recently co-authored an article about this trend as well as the many benefits of design-build.  Click here for a copy of… Continue Reading

Design-build authority for transit operators extended to 2015

Posted in Design-Build

On October 11, 2009, Governor Schwarzenegger signed into law AB 729 (Evans), revising the design-build statute applicable to transit operators.  AB 729 extends the authority of public transit operators to use design-build contracting from January 1, 2011 to January 1, 2015.  We interpret this to mean that transit operators must award, but not complete, a design-build contract prior… Continue Reading

Harvard Graduate School of Business and Graduate School of Design hosts symposium on Integrated Project Delivery

Posted in Integrated Project Delivery

On October 22 and 23, 2009, the Harvard Graduate School of Business and Graduate School of Design jointly sponsored a symposium on Integrated Project Delivery (IPD). IPD is a project delivery method where all of the key participants (owner, contractor, designer and key subcontractors) are engaged at project commencement to collaboratively design, develop and execute… Continue Reading

Are public works bidding requirements in California really that restrictive?

Posted in CM at Risk, Design-Build, Integrated Project Delivery

In a word, yes.  Most public agencies are required to award their public works construction projects to the lowest responsive, responsible bidder.  Failure to comply with public bidding requirements can result in a legal ruling which can void the contract.  However, there are also a variety of alternative project delivery methods (design-build, construction manager at-risk,… Continue Reading

New design-build authority for cities, transit operators and Sonoma Valley Health Care District

Posted in Design-Build

Governor Schwarzenegger recently signed three bills which will expand the ability of cities, transit operators and the Sonoma Valley Health Care District to award projects on a design-build basis.  Each of these agencies is generally constrained by public bidding requirements to award construction contracts separately from contracts for professional design services.  These agencies will now have a greater… Continue Reading

New bill would expand design-build authority for cities and specified projects

Posted in Design-Build

A new bill authored by Doris Wolk would expand the authority to award projects on a design-build basis to all cities, as well as to projects by any “qualified entity” for local or regional wastewater facilities, solid waste management facilities, or water recycling facilities. The bill, AB 642, has passed both the state assembly and state… Continue Reading

Governor Schwarzenegger Announces Ambitious Plan to Foster Public-Private Partnerships

Posted in Infrastructure Financing Act, Public-private partnerships

Governor Schwarzenegger recently announced a plan to promote public-private partnerships in order to meet California’s long-term infrastructure needs. (See Los Angeles Times article.) Public-private partnerships are contractual agreements which are formed between public agencies and one or more private companies whereby the private company finances, builds and manages public facilities for a specified period of time.… Continue Reading

New comprehensive guide for Integrated Project Delivery published

Posted in Integrated Project Delivery

Earlier this month, the American Institute of Architects California Council ("AIACC") and the American Institute of Architects ("AIA") jointly published a comprehensive new guide to Integrated Project Delivery methods.  The document is entitled "Integrated Project Delivery: A Guide," and can be downloaded here.  The Guide marks an exciting step forward in the development of Integrated Project Delivery… Continue Reading

AIA California Council issues a working definition of “Integrated Project Delivery”

Posted in Building Information Modeling, Integrated Project Delivery

At the AIA National Convention in San Antonio on May 2, the AIA California Council issued an intriguing working definition of "Integrated Project Delivery."  The goal of Integrated Project Delivery is to approach construction projects in a more collaborative way, taking advantage of technological tools such as Building Information Modeling.  Click here to view the document published… Continue Reading

Draft Building Information Modeling Standard issued

Posted in Building Information Modeling

The National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS) recently issued the version 1.0 draft of the National Building Information Modeling Standard (National BIM Standard).  The National BIM Standard has been in the works for over four years, and is a collaboration between over 30 subject matter experts throughout the capital facilities industry.  An industry review and… Continue Reading

Building Information Modeling: computer technology which could transform the construction process

Posted in Alternative Project Delivery Methods, Building Information Modeling

Building Information Modeling (BIM) utilizes computer technology to represent building structures and systems in terms of functional, as well as graphical attributes.  This technology may some day change the nature of collaboration between design professionals and contractors on construction projects.  This article examines the benefits and challenges of implementing Building Information Modeling.  Click here for the full… Continue Reading

State legislature expands statutory design-build authority to apply to more cities and counties

Posted in Alternative Project Delivery Methods, Design-Build

Pursuant to three separate bills, the state legislature expanded existing statutory authority to award construction contracts on a design-build basis to apply to more cities and counties as of January 1, 2006. In each case, the duration of the statutory design-build authority was extended to the year 2011, and the dollar threshold was lowered to $2.5… Continue Reading

Design, build, finance, operate, and maintain project – BART Oakland Airport Connector project

Posted in Alternative Project Delivery Methods, Infrastructure Financing Act On February 13, 2006, the San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District (“BART”) issued an advanced notice of a Request for Qualifications for the design, build, finance, operation and maintenance of a three-mile connector railway between the existing Coliseum BART station to the Oakland International Airport.… Continue Reading