Recycle bins rejoice: Innovation moves ADOT bid process from paper to PDF

Web listings of project opportunities now provide documents for download

PHOENIX ‒ Who says doing business with a government agency has to involve lots and lots and lots of paper?

Thanks to improvements to how the Arizona Department of Transportation presents project opportunities online, contractors’ recycle bins are getting lighter. Those interested in bidding for projects now can simply determine which projects they want to pursue and download related documents.

It replaces a process that was more than a little heavy on paper, requiring contractors to drive to ADOT and pay for copies of construction plans and specifications. For example, bidders hoping to work on a six-mile section of Loop 303 several years ago hauled away more than 1,700 pages of plans.

“This is another example of our commitment using the latest technology to continuously improve processes and create better experiences for our customers,” ADOT Director John Halikowski said.

The improvement is saving both ADOT and contractors time and money. While contractors had paid a fee to help cover ADOT’s printing costs, the agency often wound up with more stacks of plans than bidders.

For contractors, the innovation also eliminates the need to scan 24-by-36-inch plan sheets. This saves time and effort, making it easier to do business with ADOT ‒ and to do business in general.

“The benefits are numerous, from the simple ability to look at plans quickly and assess whether the job is a fit without having to have plans mailed or have a runner go down to pick them up,” said Carlos Gonzalez, executive vice president of Rummel Construction, a member of the Arizona chapter of the Associated General Contractors of America. “It makes it easier for general contractors to get plans distributed to subcontractors, allowing more time to develop comprehensive bids."

The new system, available at (see Contracts and Specifications > Current Advertisements), went live recently with the help of ADOT Contracts and Specifications and Information Technology Group team members. In addition to including a variety of plan documents and other important information, the site allows contractors to receive automatic notifications of any project changes.

Steve Boschen, director of ADOT’s Infrastructure Delivery and Operations Division, said that while ADOT is still determining exactly how much the improved process will save the state in direct printing and labor costs, it’s already providing better customer service to Arizona contractors and subcontractors.

“We’re excited to have a new process that will make it easier for contractors to do business with ADOT,” he said.