LOS ANGELES – The San Diego City Council has unanimously approved a proposal to streamline the bidding process for the city’s infrastructure projects.
Mayor Kevin Faulconer introduced 20 reforms in March that he said will ensure that infrastructure projects are completed more quickly and efficiently.
“These reforms are about investing taxpayer dollars in our neighborhoods faster and more efficiently,” Faulconer said in a statement after the plan was approved Monday. “By cutting red tape, being innovative with technology and making better use of the dollars we have, we can speed up street repair and improve neighborhoods across San Diego.”
The reforms focus on technological changes such as digitizing the bidding process by accepting bids online, which the mayor said would save $1 million annually and speed up projects by two to four weeks.
The mayor’s proposal cited an example where manually scoring bids resulted in no submissions that met federal funding requirements due to errors. The project – a pool in Logan Heights – had to be rebid delaying the project by three months.
The new system involves better cash management, the mayor said.
For instance, that same Memorial Pool project is now complete. The project cost $900,000 less than anticipated, but the money must sit for a year under the current warranty system, before it can be reallocated.
The city apparently did not have a commercial paper program for street paying. It does now.
The city adopted a multiple award construction contract program allowing the city to bid out multiple projects under the same contract.
The city can now issue a contract of up to $30 million involving multiple projects, which saves time in pre-qualifying and hiring contractors, according to the mayor’s office.
Over 50% of capital improvement contracts are less than $1 million, which results in higher delivery costs due to duplication of common activities, such as contract procurement, according to the mayor’s proposal.
Combining projects into larger contracts will result in millions in savings from economies of scale, according to the proposal.
“Capital Improvement Project streamlining has been a long time coming,” said City Council President Sherri Lightner. “Given the need for new public facilities, such as fire stations and libraries, along with other infrastructure improvements, changes to the MACC program will allow the City to implement projects more quickly while using fewer resources.”
The streamlined process will also make it more likely the city reaches the mayor’s goal of paving 300 miles in fiscal 2016, the mayor said.