Bid Letting - Glossary
Definition of construction and maintenance terminologies.
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A+B Projects:

A project utilizing a bid method requiring the contractor to bid both the traditional construction items and contract time.



American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials.


Abstract Bid Tabulation Summary:

List of all pay items on the job and each contractor's bid for each item. Abstracts also show the engineer's estimate for each item. Abstracts can only be posted after the contract has been awarded.



Supplement to the proposal form as originally issued, covering additions, corrections, or changes in the bidding conditions for the advertised work. Addenda are issued to prospective bidders prior to the date set for opening of proposals. (A list of addenda issued for projects in upcoming lettings is posted. This does not include the Addenda itself but merely lists what projects have had addenda issued.)


Advertisement for Bids:

Public announcement, as required by law, inviting bids for the work to be performed and/or materials to be furnished.


Associated General Contractors of America (AGC):

An organization of qualified construction contractors and industry related companies dedicated to skill, integrity and responsibility.



Acceptance of a bid by Mn/DOT, subject to execution and approval of the contract. The contract is usually awarded within 30 days of the bid opening to the lowest responsible bidder who complies with all prescribed requirements. Mn/DOT notifies the successful bidder by letter that the bid has been accepted subject to execution and approval of the contract as required by law.


Award Package:

Materials sent to the lowest responsible bidder after bid letting. The awards package includes: information on human rights certificate of compliance, certificate of current workers' compensation insurance form, copies of the authorized signature form, withholding affidavit, request to sublet form, and month-end trucking report. Some items must be returned before the contract is approved.


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Bid Bond:

Guaranty in the amount of 5 percent of the contractor's total bid amount. If the contractor withdraws a bid without just cause, a claim is filed against a contractor's bid bond. Just cause is limited to clerical errors. Bid bonds act as deterrents against contractors submitting and then withdrawing bids. Bid bonds also reimburse Mn/DOT for costs related to re-advertising the project and delays in the project start date.


Bid Express:

Third-party Web site developed by Info Tech (developer of Trns*Port). Contractors submit their completed and digitally signed bids to Bid Express prior to bid opening. Bids are encrypted and retained until the public and private keys are used to release the bids to Mn/DOT.


Bid Letting:

Opening of bid proposals for highway construction and maintenance projects. Mn/DOT holds monthly lettings, usually the fourth Friday of each month. Bids are awarded to the lowest responsible bidder.Bids are published on line as they are opened.


Bidders Results:

List of bidders and job-total bid amounts for each job in a letting. The results are posted on the Bid Express Web Site as the bids for each project are read. Mn/DOT provides a link to the Bid Express site using the "Bid Result" option.


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Construction Specifications:

Mn/DOT's Standard Specifications for Construction and any subsequent Supplemental Specifications that govern requirements for construction projects.



Written agreement between contracting authority and contractor setting forth their obligations, including, but not limited to, the performance of the work, the furnishing of labor and materials, the basis of payment and other requirements contained in the contract documents.


City and County Engineers List:

List of city and county engineers.


County Number:

List of Minnesota counties with the number that is used as the first part of the State Project number.


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Debarred Contractors:

Individuals or businesses that are debarred and/or disqualified from entering into or receiving a Mn/DOT contract, serving as a subcontractor or material supplier under such a contract. This debarment also applies to county, town, home-rule and statutory city contracts for goods or services.


Digital Signature:

Signature created from an algorithm that can't be separated from a message and then attached to a different or altered message.


Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE):

A DBE is a for-profit, small-business concern that is at least 51 percent owned by one or more individuals who are both socially and economically disadvantaged or, in the case of a corporation, in which 51 percent of the stock is owned by one or more such individuals; and whose management and daily business operations are controlled by one or more of the socially and economically disadvantaged individuals who own it. Certification of DBEs by Mn/UCP according to minimum uniform criteria is required. Link to DBE Process Web page:



Design-build projects brings designers and contractors together early in the detail design portion of a project.It can significantly deliver projects faster than

traditional methods. Design-build differs from traditional methods by overlapping design and construction, allowing construction to begin after only a portion

of the design has been completed.


DBE Goal:

DBE specialists evaluate each proposal for federally funded Mn/DOT projects or contracts before advertising occurs and establish a DBE participation goal or set a race-gender neutral goal. The goals are based on many factors including, but not limited to, the type of work, location of project and the availability of DBEs. The goals are stated in the DBE Special Provisions, which are included in the contract/proposal. Link to DBE Goal Setting Web page:


Dropped / Moved Jobs:

Notices of jobs that have been removed from a letting after advertisement and a notice in which letting they may appear.


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E-plan Room:

A virtual plan room, hosted by a third party vendor QuestCDN, that has electronic copies of all projects advertised for bids.Package may be viewed for

free or downloaded for a fee.


Electronic Signature:

Signature created by any electronic means. Signing a notepad that electronically transfers the physical lines of your signature is an example.


Engineers Estimate:

Mn/DOT's estimate of what a project will cost to construct. This estimate is prepared using the final plan and proposal. It is compared with the bids received to determine if the project should be awarded. The Engineers Estimate is not available to the public (by statue) until after the project is awarded.


Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO):

EEO Is responsible for ensuring equal opportunity for employment in the construction trades on Mn/DOT projects regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age, religion, marital status and status with regard to public assistance. Link to EEO Web page:


Expedite Files:

Trns*Port module used in electronic bid preparation. Contractors can download a spreadsheet application from Expedite to assist in preparing their bids. Module also checks for bid errors – blank lines, failure to acknowledge addenda, etc.



On some projects, contractors may receive additional compensation (an incentive) equal to the amount of Mn/DOT's contract administration fee or a portion

of Road User costs for early project completion.


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Insurance Service Organization (ISO):

Group maintaining a database with information on the bonding limits of all contractors. A bonding agent sends a bid-bond request to the ISO database. If the Contractor is qualified for the bond, the bonding agent receives an eight-digit confirmation number from the ISO site. The bonding agent gives the eight-digit number to the contractor to include in the bid submission to Bid Express. Bid Express automatically verifies the validity of the bond and sends Mn/DOT a summary of the bond, including Power of Attorney, name of the bonding agent, etc.


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Lane Rental:

A bidding method requiring the contractor to include an estimate of the value of time during which certain road segments will not be available to the traveling public.


Local Agent:

Individual who has authority to execute bonds on behalf of the insurance company.


Lowest Apparent Bidder:

Contractor with the lowes bid. Lowest apparent bid must be verified and the bidder must comply with additional requirements to become the lowest

responsible bidder.


Lowest Responsible Bidder:

Bidder who submits the lowest bid and complies with all prescribed requirements. (This process ensures that taxpayers get the best value for their dollars.)


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Main Vendor List:

List of active vendors who have purchased plans and/or proposals since 2001.


Master Item List:

List created by Trns*Port system of all items.


Minnesota Unified Certification Program (Mn/UPC):

A "one-stop" shop for certification of Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBEs) on U.S. Department of Transportation contracts in Minnesota. The Mn/UCP is made up of the Minnesota Department of Transportation (Mn/DOT), the Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC) and the Metropolitan Council, along with other state and local transportation authorities that are recipients of federal funds for transportation projects. Mn/UCP provides application forms, reviews and evaluates applications, and certifies successful applicants as DBEs. Those companies certified as DBEs may participate in the DBE programs at any of the member agencies.

The Mn/UCP is comprised of both certifying and non-certifying members. The certifying members include the Minnesota Department of Transportation (Mn/DOT), the Metropolitan Airports Commission, and the Metropolitan Council. The non-certifying members include all other government entities in Minnesota that are recipients of U.S. DOT funds.

For more information see:


Mn/UCP DBE Directory:

Consists of: 1) a searchable listing of all Disadvantaged Business Enterprises certified to perform work under the DBE program; and 2) a searchable listing of all DBE and non-DBE prime and sub vendors who have bid or performed work on Mn/DOT contracts. Contractors are encouraged to review the Mn/UCP Directory to identify appropriate vendors and DBEs for solicitation efforts. See Mn/UCP directory at:


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One Item Per Line:

Files containing a list of all items and quantities for a job in a "one item per line" format.


On-The-Job-Training (OJT) Goals:

The Federal On-The-Job Training (OJT) Program requires the placement of trainees with construction contractors on selected Mn/DOT projects. The primary objective of the Training Special Provision is the training and upgrading of minorities and women toward journey worker status. Projects with OJT requirements will contain a special provision indicating the number and hours required. For more information see Web page


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Payment / Performance Bond:

Single bond with an aggregate liability of twice contract amount of the contract for contract under 5 million; equal to the contract amount on contracts over 5

million. If the bond is filed against, the payment portion of the bond is designed to pay those employees, sub-contractors or suppliers who were not paid by

the prime contractor. The performance bond pays for hiring a new contractor to complete the work called for under the original contract.


Planholders List:

List of vendors who have purchase plans and/or proposals for a specific job in the active letting.



Plan, profiles, typical cross-sections, and supplemental drawings that show the locations, character, dimensions, and details of the work to be done.



The period of time starting with the bid opening.



The period of time prior to a bid opening for a project. Depending on the type of project, it can be a few months or many years between when a project is

first thought of and its bid opening.



Document containing the special provisions, wage rates, appropriate notice to bidders, plus the schedule of prices for a specific project.


Prevailing Wages:

Hourly basic rate of pay plus the employer's contribution for health and welfare, vacation, pension and other economic benefits which are required to be paid

to workers engaged in the same class of labor in the same geographic area. Both Minnesota and the federal government have prevailing wage determinations.

The proposal will contain all Prevailing Wage Determinations that apply to the project.


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Six- Month Tentative Schedule:

List of projects Mn/DOT expects to ask for bids on during the next six-month period; schedule is updated weekly to reflect changes. This list does not include State Aid projects.


State Project Number(S.P):

Number used to identify a particular project. The first two digits of the number identify the county number for that project; the next two digits designate the particular section of road within the county. Multi-county projects either begin with the number “88” or use the lowest S. P. number for identification.


Special Provisions:

Additions and revisions to the standard and supplemental specifications covering conditions particular to an individual project. (Special Provisions document any changes, updates or modifications to the Mn/DOT Standard Specifications for Construction since the book was published. Special provisions also cover topics that are unique to a specific project. )


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Software system designed for bid submission, bid preparation, detection of collusion and the contract administration of state highway construction / maintenance projects.


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Used Pay Items List:

Lists of Pay Items used in Calendar Years 1998 through 2004 and the State Projects they were used on.


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Contractors, sub-contractors, suppliers who have done business with Mn/DOT.


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Bid Letting Links

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