Get the latest Employee Updates, information on working from home, policies, and data related to COVID-19.
Public Works Contracting Process
Board of Public Works Calendar
This website was developed to help those of you who work with Public Works contracts, at any step of the process. This site will help guide you through the process and give you valuable information. It also has many of the forms (or links to) that you may need and a list of contact names and numbers of people that you many need to contact at various steps of the process.
Planning the Project and Establishing Capital Budget
No forms needed for this step.
The Capital Budget establishes projects for the upcoming year.
Examples of Capital Budget projects include the continual maintenance and/or reconstruction of existing infrastructure and construction of new infrastructure.
Each agency prioritizes projects and submits them for the Capital Budget process. Ultimately, the Mayor and Common Council may make modifications to the budget prior to the approval of the Capital Budget.
Once the Capital Budget is approved by the Common Council, the projects are established.
Note: There may be permits, approvals, and easements associated with the project. Please confirm what will be required and the related timelines. Contact Traffic Engineering, 266-4761, and Madison Metro, 266-4904, to discuss any traffic specifications that may be necessary.
Assign Project/Contract Number
Please complete the following form:
- Request For Project/Contract Number DOC (MS Word)
Obtain an account number from your department or division's accounting staff for the project. Email the completed form to the Engineering Administrative Team (Heidi Fleegel, Johanna Johnson, Lesley Parker), ENAdmin@cityofmadison.com. You will be contacted by email when the project/contract number is assigned. Any changes in contract information (account number, bid schedule) should be forwarded to the Engineering Division. Questions and/or changes may be directed to ENAdmin@cityofmadison.com.
Approval of Plans and Specifications
Please complete the following forms:
- Resolution Form when Special Assessments are Deemed Necessary (MS Word)
- Resolution Form Establishing the Assessment District (MS Word)
- Resolution Form Allowing the Agency to Advertise and Receive Bids (MS Word)
- Board of Public Works Calendar (PDF)
- City Calendar of Events
- Special Assessment Waiver (MS Word)
- Sample of Assessment Notice of the Public Hearing before the Board of Public Works (PDF)
- Notice/Ad Public Hearing before the Board of Public Works (BPW) (MS Word)
- Notice/Ad Public Hearing before the Common Council (CC) (PDF)
- Letter from Finance Department of BPW/Common Council Approval (PDF)
Resolutions approving plans and specifications come in two types.
Below is a description of each type and when they are appropriate to use.
- The first type is the Resolution when no special assessments are deemed necessary. This form allows the agency to advertise and receive bids. This is the most common.
- The second type is the Resolution when a special assessment has been deemed necessary. The resolution establishes the assessment district. Engineering prepares this Resolution. There is a second Resolution that goes with this step. It is the resolution that allows the agency to advertise and receive bids.
- Engineering staff will enter the Resolution into Legistar. Email the completed ContractNbrRequest for your contract with the requested BPW meeting date to BPWAgenda@cityofmadison.com.
Public Hearing Notices
- A mailing of the assessment, notice of the Public Hearing before the Board of Public Works, and a letter describing the project must be mailed ten (10) days prior to the BPW meeting.
- An advertisement for Public Hearing before the BPW must be placed in the City's official newspaper ten (10) days prior to the Public Hearing.
- A mailing of the assessments and notice of Public Hearing before the Common Council must be mailed ten (10) days prior to the CC Public Hearing.
- An advertisement for the Public Hearing before the Common Council must be placed in the City's official newspaper ten (10) days prior to the Public Hearing.
The BPW and CC Approve the Project
- When the project is approved by the BPW and the actions are entered into Legistar, the Legistar process pushes the resolution as an agenda item to the CC Agenda.
- Once the assessments have been approved by the CC, you need to do another mailing within ten (10) days of the Council Hearing. A copy of the approved assessments, a copy of the approved Resolution, a Residential Driveway Opening Request (if warranted), and a letter from the Finance Department needs to be mailed to each property owner. This notice informs the property owner that the assessments were approved by the BPW and CC.
- Project Manager/Engineer is now authorized to bid the project.
Please confirm that all permits, approvals & easements have been approved or applied for with applicable City, County, State and Federal agencies.
Preparing Contract for Bid
Please complete the following forms:
- Public Works Contracts Boilerplate (value OVER $100,000) (MS Word)
- Public Works Contracts Boilerplate (value UNDER $100,000) (MS Word)
- Sample Proposal Pages (MS Excel)
- Special Provisions Worksheet (MS Word)
A generic ad is placed in the City's newspaper of record every week. This ad covers the requirements for most contracts going out for bid. Special ads may need to be published if federal or state funding is involved.
If the contract is $100,000 or greater, SBE/DBE/WBE Goals are required.
- SBE Goal - $100,000 or greater
- DBE Goal - All USDOT (Federal) funded projects
- WBE & MBE Goals - all HUD (Housing and Urban Development) funded projects.
Email the proposal with estimated cost to email@example.com a minimum of five (5) working days before you need the goal. DCR requires the following information to establish the goal:
- Proposal pages, including quantities, line item cost estimates and total(s)
- Provide the architect's report, or similar report, that lists work areas, including quantities, cost estimates and total(s). This information should be as detailed as possible to identify specific materials and elements of the project.
- Electronic spreadsheets or PDF formats are preferred.
The Project Manager/Engineer prepares plans & specs.
These should be completed and posted to Bid Express on the day before the AD FOR BID is published.
- Based on the dollar amount of your contract, you will use one of the boilerplate spec books.
- Some of the information provided to the Engineering Division on the contract when the contract number was set up (dates, title, prequal date, receive and open dates) will be verified by via email to ENAdmin@cityofmadison.com.
- We have added a word doc to help you with Special Provisions. Find the category you would like to copy over, click on it and it will drag you to the section you are looking for. Copy and paste into your boilerplate and modify as necessary.
- For the Engineering Division, route internally for staff review prior to sending to ENAdmin. Internal routing process identified in M:\DESIGN\C3D\Workflows\Remote Plan Routing
- Provide digital copies of the proposal, plans, and contract to Engineering, along with the project manager's estimated cost. A digital copy should be emailed to ENAdmin@cityofmadison.com to be placed on Bid Express. Once posted to web, you will be notified to verify that the information is correct. Non-Engineering agencies should provide six (6) unstapled copies to Emil Street for contractor distribution.
- For plans requiring digital signatures, send a copy of proposal, specs, and plans for review to ENAdmin@cityofmadison.com. Title email "planstamp" and attach plan. Note: you must have a digital signature and stamp on saved in Adobe prior (contact ENAdmin for instructions). After plans are digitally stamped, Adobe will send you a secure PDF of the stamped plans and Admin will upload a copy to BidExpress.
- The Project Manager/Engineer is responsible for distributing copies to external agencies. ENAdmin will notify City Staff and utilities after the project is posted on BidExpress. If you have specific emails that you would like notified, please notify ENAdmin.
PLEASE NOTE that externally-funded projects (e.g., Federal, State) may have additional requirements and/or certifications that may need to be attached to the contract. Review by City Attorney if needed.
Contract Out for Bid
Please complete the following form:
- Addendum (MS Word)
Plans, specifications and plan holder lists are available on Bid Express.
- Contractors are asked to sign a plan holders list on Bid Express. The Plan Holders List is maintained by Alane Boutelle at Emil St. It is updated on the Bid Express website on a regular basis.
SBE Pre-Bid Meeting
- Small Business Enterprise Pre-Bid Meetings are not being held in person at this time. Contractors can schedule one-on-one phone calls with Tracy Lomax in Affirmative Action.
- Technical questions about plans and specifications should be forwarded to the project manager/engineer - post answers in addendum.
- The Project Manager/Engineer prepares the addendum. The signed addendum along with electronic copies of the plans and/or specs that have changed, should be forwarded to ENAdmin@cityofmadison.com. They will post the addendum to the Bid Express for review. The Project Manager shall review and approve the addendum. Once updated on Bid Express, the Engineering Admin staff will notify everyone registered on the Plan Holders List.
- The ABSOLUTE deadline for issuing an addendum is at NOON ON TUESDAY prior to the Thursday the bids are to be received.
- Inform ENAdmin@cityofmadison.com if the project’s cost estimate needs to be updated.
- Changes in cost estimates can affect whether a contract needs an SBE goal.
Award and Execution of Contract
Please complete the following forms:
- Opening Bid Tab (PDF)
- Start Work Letter - No Outstanding Issues (PDF)
- Start Work Letter - With Issues (PDF)
Submittal of Bids
Bids are submitted to the Engineering Service Building, 1600 Emil St. On the day Engineering receives the bids, Alane Boutelle confirms that the bidders are prequalified with Engineering and prepares a bid opening tab. Bidders who have incomplete prequalification paperwork with the Engineering Division will have their monetary bid opened at the bid opening. However, the bid opening tab will also note that the bid is rejected for being not prequalified.
Bid Opening Tab
Alane then posts the bid opening bid tab on the Public Works website and Posts Apparent on Bid Express. The Project Manager/Engineer, Civil Rights staff and BPWAgenda@cityofmadison.com are emailed the bid opening tab. Contractors learn of bid results by checking the websites or calling Alane.
If there is only a single qualified bidder, results are not shown on the opening bid tab until decision to award has been made.
The breakdown of bid prices is prepared by Alane Boutelle. Bid tabs are saved to Enroot/Pub_cont/BidTabs and Sharepoint. Bid Tabs are generally available by Friday afternoon after the Thursday of a bid opening, but this may fluctuate based on the number of bidders and contracts being opened. The bid tab is posted on the website directly if <10% over the Engineering estimate, no SBE is required, and there were multiple qualified bidders. If SBE required, bid tabs with multiple bidders will not be posted until Affirmative Action approves the SBE submission. If project is > 10% over estimate after approval, the decision to recommend to BPW must be made before posting. Please note - Decision to recommend for award must be made for a single qualified bid amount to be posted.
Review of Bid Proposal
Alane Boutelle reviews proposal pages to check for missing information or inclusion of riders, which is not acceptable. The City Attorney’s Office may be contacted to review a bid proposal. The Project Manager/Engineer will be included on emails. It is possible that the apparent low bidder’s proposal could be deemed “non-responsive” at this stage and the next lowest bidder is considered.
SBE information for the lowest bidder is sent to Affirmative Action for review. Return notification to Engineering to be no later than noon on the Tuesday after the bid opening. If deemed non-responsible, the SBE information for the next lowest bidder is sent to Affirmative Action until a resolution is reached.
WI certification is determined for the lowest bidder. This must be in place by Common Council date.
Contracts opened at the bid opening automatically go to the next Board of Public Works meeting for award. Resolutions are then created by BPWAgenda@cityofmadison.com. However, if low bidder is over the cost estimate, the Project Manager/Engineer needs to notify them and Alane if the agency would like to reject the bid or have the award referred.
Between the Board of Public Works and the Common Council meeting, Alane Boutelle assembles the contract for the contractor to sign and sends a “pre-award” packet. This packet includes the Agreement pages, Payment & Performance bonds, subcontractor form, Best Value Contracting form for subcontractors, and if applicable, workforce profile forms.
The general contractor submits this form. If the total percent of subcontractor utilization is greater than 40%, the subcontractor form must be approved by the Board of Public Works (BPW). Alane Boutelle will contact BPWAgenda@cityofmadison.com to have the sub form added to the BPW agenda. Depending on the BPW schedule, this has the potential to delay the issue of a start work letter. Subcontractor forms that are 40% or less may be signed by the Engineering Construction Section Supervisor. If a subcontractor is added or dropped during the course of construction, the subcontractor form must be amended to reflect the change. This may entail the subcontractor form needing to be approved again by the BPW. If the dropped subcontractor is an SBE, permission must be requested from DCR prior to the change. Added subcontractors may also have to submit a workforce profile, meet BVC requirements, and become prequalified, as applicable. Neglecting to do this could result in delay of payments.
Workforce Profile (Applies Only to Contracts With Davis-Bacon Funding)
The general contractor and all subcontractors must submit a workforce profile. Alane Boutelle reviews workforce profiles. All workforce profiles must be approved before a company receives a partial payment.
Best Value Contracting Subcontractor Form
Subcontractors that have a contract with the general contractor that is above the current single trade $ minimum, must be prequalified with the City of Madison. These subs are also required to comply with Best Value Contracting requirements. This may entail the subcontractor becoming an active trade trainer. To what extent a sub must comply with BVC is determined on a contract by contract basis.
Early Contract Sign Up
The Project Manager/Engineer may include language in the special provisions of a contract requiring the contractor and their bonding agent to execute the contract agreement pages prior to the Common Council awarding the contract. However, it is the responsibility of the Project Manager/Engineer to alert both the contractor and Engineering that the agreement pages need to be signed in advance.
Alane Boutelle prepares and sends the award letter when Legistar shows the award resolution as having both a resolution number and enactment date. Typically, this information appears in Legistar the Friday or Monday after a Common Council meeting. The award letter gives contractors ten (10) days from date of the letter to sign up contract.
If, after the ten (10) days expires, it is apparent that a contractor will not sign the contract and/or time is of the essence to get the contract going, the Project Manager/Engineer works with BPWAgenda@cityofmadison.com to get a resolution on the BPW agenda asking for the next lowest bidder to be awarded the contract. After the BPW, the Common Council must also approve the award. The Project Manager/Engineer also contacts the next lowest bidder to see if they have the capacity to do the contract.
Routing of Contract for City Signatures
Alane Boutelle prepares contracts for routing and ENAdmin@cityofmadison.com enters them in the contract routing database.
Project Manager/Engineer receives an email or phone call from Johanna once the contract is received at City-County Building and can advise what routing status (i.e., "routine" or "hand carry/rush") they would like the contract to be placed on. If the Project Manager/Engineer wishes s/he may also walk the contract through the routing process.
When the contract has been signed by all required, Engineering scans a copy of the contract and sends the signed File and Contractor’s Office copies back to Emil St.
SOMEWHERE IN THIS TIMEFRAME, THE PROJECT MANAGER/ENGINEER IS ALSO CONDUCTING A PRECONSTRUCTION MEETING.
Start Work Letters
For contracts where the Engineering Division is the lead agency: Alane Boutelle checks with the design engineer and Construction Section Supervisor to see when to issue the Start Work Letter. The particular version of the Start Work that is issued depends upon whether all workforce profiles have been received and approved and if there are any outstanding Best Value Contracting or prequalification requirements. The contractor is mailed a packet containing the Start Work Letter, signed copy of the contract and the application for partial payment, if the signed contract has not already been provided by the engineer.
Departments other than Engineering: For contracts where the Engineering Division is NOT the lead agency: Alane Boutelle notifies the design engineer whether all workforce profiles have been received and approved and if there are any outstanding Best Value Contracting or prequalification requirements. The design engineer should include any outstanding documentation in their start work letter.
Please complete the following forms:
- Change Order (MS Excel)
- Payment Request (PDF)
- Payment Request Blank (PDF)
- Ban the Box Job Application Requirements Notice (PDF)
- Department of Civil Rights Contract Compliance Website
- Contractors Resources
Demographic Information Submission
Contractors are required to submit demographic information throughout the course of the contract. Compliance reporting information is now provided on line through DCR portal above. Payrolls are only required if Davis-Bacon rates are in effect. When required, these are also provided on line through DCR portal above (LCP Tracker under Know-How section).
Whether progress meetings will be held is established at the preconstruction meeting. Preconstruction meeting templates and utility contacts information shall be generated through access contract database.
Inspectors should be aware of contractors and subcontractors working on the project.
For the Engineering Division, follow process in RemotePlanRouting-Revised.pdf Route plans internally for review and signatures first, then send to ENAdmin@cityofmadison.com for posting and notice of revised plans.
Partial Payment Requests
- Pay requests are submitted on one of two forms. The form should be submitted to the project manager/inspector. If the project is an "Engineering" project, the pay request form is generated by Emil St. staff. Other departments and divisions may elect to use the AIA form. (AIA form is mainly used by the architects).
- Forms must include the following:
- Contract Number
- Time period worked
- List of sub-contractors that worked during that time period.
- The form must be signed by the contractor. Work items and quantities should equal the dollar amount of payment requested.
- The inspector reviews quantities, enters subcontractor information, and signs the form when it is approved for payment. If there is more than one inspector please coordinate with all parties.
- Notification of request for pre-approval of payment is submitted to Affirmative Action via email if first payment is over 25%. Affirmative Action has three days to review request.
- Affirmative Action receives a copy of all partial payments to determine compliance for next pay request. Payments will be withheld for any of the following reasons:
- Any substantiated wage violations
- Missing payroll, demographics, or Committee Cost Status information
- Affirmative Action will send a report to the City agency if there are any issues.
- Payment is calculated and an invoice in Munis is created. This includes calculating retainage. Retainage is calculated as follows:
Engineering EmployeeNet: Partial Payment Table
- Note: After 50% of work is complete, no additional retainage is taken unless change orders are added. Retainage is capped at 2.5% of original contract total (including original change order totals).
- The Munis invoice is then released for approval. The Finance Department processes the payment after departmental approvals. Checks are run on Thursdays.
- A PDF of the contract payment is sent to the contractor, one copy is saved on the City website, and another copy in Sharepoint.
- Blank change orders can be found in F:\Common\Change Order\MASTER CHANGE ORDER. Open the Master Change Order and immediately SAVE AS under the contract number, in whatever year the contract was issued.
- It is only necessary to fill out the areas in yellow. There are 10 blank change orders per file. Most information is carried over from one change order to the next. Several fields are locked to protect formulas. If you need additional lines, additional change orders, contractor address changes, or a new contractor, contact ENAdmin@cityofmadison.com. Be sure to fill out a Justification sheet for each change order.
- The Construction Inspector shall designate his/her approval on change orders which are initiated in the field after the contractor has signed the change order.
- The Construction Supervisor is authorized to approve change orders up to $10,000 provided that the sum of the change order under consideration and the previous change orders do not exceed the contract contingency, (generally 8% of the contract lump sum bid).
- Change orders over $10,000 provided that the sum of the change order under consideration and the previous change orders do not exceed the contract contingency shall be approved by the City Engineer or the sponsoring agency Division or Department Head.
- The City Engineer may approve change orders which are, in his opinion, necessary to safeguard life or property or guard the City against financial risk or loss provided that the City Engineer report the situation to the Board at the first opportunity.
- Change orders which alter the completion date, substantially alter the scope, or are over $20,000 or change orders in which the sum of the change order under consideration and the previous change orders exceed the contract contingency shall be approved by the Board of Public Works.
- Change orders which materially influence the scope of the project as well as change orders which are used to acquire additional construction, fixtures, etc., not intended in the original contract must be approved by the Board of Public Works, prior to issuance.
- A change order may be challenged if not processed properly. It is recommended that those persons approving change orders be certain of:
- Validity of change order, and
- Extent of his/her authority to commit the City to any change order whenever it is an added cost or deduction, and
- That the change order scope or cost, if applicable, is reflective of the value of the work and in the best interest of the City.
- Once your change order is complete, have it reviewed and signed by the Contractor.
- Send a copy of the change order that needs to be approved by the Board of Public Works to BPWagenda@cityofmadison.com to be placed on the agenda.
- Change Order Policy pdf
Contract Close-Out - Final Payment
Please complete the following forms:
- Substantial Completion Letter (PDF)
- Copy of Notice to Paper of Certificate of Completion (XLS)
- Example of Packet Engineering Division sends to contractors at this stage (PDF)
Individual versions of the forms follow below. The packet includes a copy of the final payment but this is more for contractor's information/records. There is no requirement per se that a copy be sent with the Final Subcontractor List and Final Pay App.
- Final Letter (MS Word)
- Final Subcontractor List (PDF)
- Blank Payment Request (PDF)
Contractor Requests a Certificate of Substantial Completion
The Notice is filled out by a Facilities Project Manager and sent to EnAdmin@cityofmadison.com to create the Substantial Completion letter. Alane Boutelle creates the notices for all other Engineering divisions. Johanna Johnson, (608) 264-9274, in Engineering, will publish both notices in the newspaper. A copy of the Notice that is published is emailed to Affirmative Action, the Contractor, the Alderperson, the bonding agent, and anyone else in your division who is required to receive the notice.
Liquidated damages occur when a Contractor exceeds the contract time stated in the original contract. It is up to the project manager to determine if liquidated damages will be assessed.
Final Application and Certificate
Final contract quantities must be verified by the inspector.
The final application and certificate for payment and the request for Final Subcontractor should be sent out to the Contractor at this time.
Affirmative Action Review
Alane Boutelle emails Affirmative Action when the Final Subcontractor List has been received, as well as anyone else in the division that is required to receive this information. This prompts the final demographic and payroll report review by Affirmative Action (10 working days). The Contractor is notified if there is any missing information.
Payment Needs to be Withheld
If notified that payment needs to be withheld, a reason will be included. The Engineer will review the unresolved violations and determine if final payment should be withheld. The Contractor should be notified that payment is being withheld pending resolution of any violations. Once the violations are resolved, payment can then be processed.
If there are any liens to be placed on the project, you need to contact the Attorney's office prior to final payment.
Warranty on the project is tied into the substantial completion notice. It is good for one year from the date of notice. Warranty inspections should be made prior to the end of the one year warranty. Warranty issues should be addressed by letter to the Contractor. If a letter of substantial completion was not sent, warranty on the project is one year from the date of the contract's Common Council acceptance.
Outstanding Warranty Issues
The Prime Contractors bonding company is notified if outstanding warranty issues have not been resolved before the time the warranty expires.