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No more low-bid wins: Alberta announces new bidding evaluation process


August 8, 2018
By Andrew Snook


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Alberta’s AB-40 S crossing the Athabasca River. Andrew Snook/Rock to Road

The Government of Alberta has announced that a new bidding evaluation process will be used when reviewing proposed bids.

The new bidding process was mentioned in a news release announcing that the province had issued requests for proposals for maintenance operations on Deerfoot Trail in Calgary (the current contract will expire on July 31, 2019). Going forward, bids will be evaluated “according to updated criteria with renewed focus on performance and outcomes.”

The Government of Alberta, when previously evaluating bids, had placed 95 per cent emphasis on cost and five per cent on technical components. The new evaluation model will be much closer to even split, with 60 per cent of the emphasis going towards cost, and 40 per cent towards performance measures, including the bidder’s ability to deliver on maintenance activities such as snowplowing, salting and sanding for snow and ice control; pothole patching; mowing and vegetation control in highway rights-of-way; and a bidder’s ability to work with municipalities.

“Safety on Alberta roads is a top priority for our government and it’s a priority on Deerfoot Trail, one of the province’s busiest roads,” stated Brian Mason, Minister of Transportation. “We need to make sure our roads are well-maintained and contracts are in the best interest of taxpayers. We hold highway maintenance contractors in Alberta to high standards of safety and accountability, and expect our renewed focus on performance to result in improved conditions on Deerfoot Trail and on highways across this province.”

In addition to the Deerfoot Trail maintenance contract, the Government of Alberta will be tendering 10 other highway maintenance areas across Alberta in late 2018. The new highway maintenance contracts will also have a seven-year lifespan with a possible three-year extension if expectations for contractor performance have been met, according to the news release. All highway maintenance contracts are opened to competitive bidding as they expire.