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Alternative Contracting

Upcoming Projects

 FFO - OR58: Salt Creek Half Viaducts Phase 2



What is Alternative Contracting?


Alternative Contracting consists of project delivery methods, contract procurement methods, and contracting tools that deviate from the traditional design-bid-build low bid business method. Alternative Contracting is also called "Innovative Contracting" as it was originally identified by FHWA Special Experimental Project No. 14 (SEP-14). SEP-14 is the FHWA program that provides State DOT's the ability to test and evaluate non-traditional contracting on Federal Aid highway projects. FHWA no longer considers the following methods experimental, and therefore they do not require a SEP-14 approved workplan: Cost+Time (A+B), Design-Build, and Incentive/Disincentives. Oregon State Law requires the use of low-bid procurement for highway construction (ORS 279C.300), but allows exemption from this requirement if required findings are approved (ORS 279C.335). Methods that require an exemption from state law include Design-Build, CM/GC, Design-Bid-Build Best Value (A+C+D), and Cost+Time (A+B).


Alternative Contracting Methods and Tools are meant NOT to replace traditional Design-Bid-Build low bid, but to provide additional options for unique, complex, or schedule critical projects.  When considering alternative contracting for a project, the selection of the right method or tool is critical to the success of the project. ODOT has used alternative contracting for projects ranging from project development methods (i.e. Design-Build) to alternative bidding tools (i.e. A+C+D) to contracting tools (i.e. Incentive/Disincentive.





Karen N. Scott, Alternative Contracting Engineer, 503-986-4347


Final Reports for Projects with State Exemptions 


Final Reports for the OTIA III Bridge Program Alternative Contracts are available at:



Many volumes of information exist for alternative / innovative contracting.  The information provided here is a starting point.  Please contact Karen Scott for assistance is finding information appropriate for your specific project.

ODOT Selection Guide – Still in development.
AAHSTO Primer on Contracting for the Twenty-first Century
Related Web Sites:

    ODOT Links


FHWA Links:

       Special Experimental Projects No. 14 - Alternative Contracting (formerly Innovative Contracting)   
Other States (not all inclusive):
       Colorado DOT 
       Florida DOT 
       Minnesota DOT 



Contractor Special Prequalification



Performance Specifications



 Still in Development