Letting Process

The Iowa DOT's Contracts Bureau normally has a highway letting the third Tuesday of each month. These lettings include interstate, primary and secondary road work, and maintenance projects. The Iowa DOT also lets local projects that involve federal aid.

The Iowa DOT uses The Des Moines Register to advertise its letting dates for bids because the Register has the widest newspaper circulation in Iowa. The official letting advertising is on the first Monday of each month.

* Information provided here is of a general nature. The contract documents supersede this information in all circumstances.

Attention iconView detailed letting information by topic concerning the letting process, including requesting eligibility, submitting bids, and the awarding of contracts.

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Requesting eligibility to bid

Requests to bid and the Bidder Status Form must be submitted by noon the day prior to letting as provided in Article 1102.05 of the Standard Specifications.

Information concerning the Bidder Status Form (.docx)

Contractors must be authorized by Contracts to submit a bid as a prime contractor. To submit a request to bid as a prime contractor, use the “Request Bidder Eligibility” function on the Bid Express website.

A Bid Express subscriber must log in. Once logged in, select the desired letting date. Choose the “Request Bidder Eligibility” function in the “Also Available” box. Select the desired proposals from the list. Choose the “Request Eligibility” button. A dialogue box will appear. Enter your company name or Iowa DOT "Vendor ID" in the "Bidder ID" box. Then select your "Vendor ID" from the drop-down box that appears. Complete the remaining fields as required.

Contact the Iowa DOT's Contract Bureau if you don’t know the "Vendor ID" or a "Vendor ID" has not been assigned to the company.

You must report the total amount of uncompleted work under contract for your company, the amount of incomplete work that is subcontracted to others.

Vendors who want to be shown on the list of eligible bidders must mark “Confidential?” as “No” when requesting bidder eligibility. When the request is approved by the Iowa DOT, the vendor’s name will appear on the list of eligible bidders. Vendors who marked “Confidential?” as “Yes” and who are approved by the Iowa DOT will not appear on the list of eligible bidders. It is the responsibility of the vendor to ensure that they have been approved as an eligible bidder before submitting a bid.

A company must have sufficient resources to complete the work outlined in the proposal. When Contracts receives a company’s request to bid, staff will analyze the company’s bidding capacity by subtracting the uncompleted work under contract from the maximum prequalification limit. This will provide the company’s bidding capacity for the upcoming letting. Additional information may be requested to furnish evidence of the company’s ability to do the work as specified.

Prequalification to bid

Competency and qualification of bidders is addressed in Article 1102.01 of the Standard Specifications.

To be prequalified to bid as a prime contractor on most work types, a contractor must submit a Contractor Financial-Experience-Equipment Statement Contractors’ Forms (Iowa DOT Form 650004) at least five calendar days prior to the scheduled letting date. This form can be viewed at Form 650004 or by calling the Iowa DOT’s Contracts Bureau at 515-239-1414.

Form 650004 contains important information about maximum prequalification amounts and bidding restrictions. On Form 650004, a contractor identifies the class of work that best represents the company's experience. To be prequalified to submit a bid on a particular proposal, a company must be recognized as a contractor engaged in the class of work provided for in the plans and specifications of that proposal.

Prequalification, the submittal of Form 65004, is not required on projects involving furnishing materials, granular surfacing, lighting, buildings, salvage and removal, wells, traffic signals, pavement markings, and designated small business initiative contracts. However, to submit bids for these types of projects, the company must still provide past work experience and be recognized as a contractor engaged in the class of work provided for in the plans and specifications of each proposal on which the company is bidding.


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