Regarding Mobilization and Traffic Control as Pay Items
By: Ron Dahlquist, Federal Aid and Pre-Construction Coordinator
As a rule, it is preferred to have pay items in the Statement of Estimated Quantities (SEQ) for as many items as appropriate, instead of declaring some items as ‘incidental’ through notes. This is especially true on larger, more complex projects.
As an item in the SEQ, Mobilization should be used on many projects, especially the larger the projects get. The same is true of Traffic Control since it can become quite involved depending on the project.
However, for simpler projects, such as HSIP striping projects, Mobilization may not necessarily be useful as a pay item and may be left out if desired. Mobilization for these simpler projects is mostly a matter of the contractor driving vehicles to the worksite rather than multiple trips of hauling heavy equipment. There is the potential that a Mobilization item may actually add to the cost of the project.
Even on simpler projects, special care must be taken if it is desired to have Traffic Control as incidental, rather than as a separate pay item. Every federal-aid project requires a Traffic Control Plan (TCP). For simpler projects the TCP can consist of a reference to a section of the MMUTCD. In these cases notes such as the following may constitute a TCP:
"Traffic Control shall be incidental. Traffic Control layout for each "operation" of striping shall meet the requirements of the current edition of the Minnesota Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MMUTCD), including the Field Manual for Temporary Traffic Control Zone Layouts"
Or as appropriate,
"Traffic Control shall be incidental. Traffic Control layout for each "installation location" shall meet the requirements of the current edition of the Minnesota Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MMUTCD), including the Field Manual for Temporary Traffic Control Zone Layouts"
Please note that when Mobilization or Traffic Control are not separate pay items the cost for them will be rolled into other pay items and the bid price for those items may not reflect the true cost of the actual work. This may become a factor to consider when adding work to the current project or for estimating purposes on future projects.
Whether or not to use Mobilization and/or Traffic Control as pay items should be a thoughtful decision.