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Media Advisory
For Immediate Release:
Richard Thomas
Vice President, Legislative Affairs
rthomas@dbia.org
202-682-0110
Connecticut Passes Transportation Design-Build Law
The Connecticut House adjourned this morning after passing Governor Dannel Malloy’s design-build legislation (S.B. 33). Passage of S.B. 33 was a top legislative priority for both Governor Malloy and the Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA). The bill authorizes the Connecticut Department of Transportation (DOT) to use design-build as an alternative to the customary design-bid-build process. Design-build is an integrated approach that delivers design and construction services under one contract with a single point of responsibility. Fully competitive, this delivery method is an authorized for transportation projects in 47 states.

Addressing the House, Malloy thanked House Leadership, and especially Speaker Donovan, for their, “Clear commitment to ensuring that thousands of hard working men and women in the building trades have good paying jobs." “Once I sign this bill,” he noted, Connecticut will join 46 other states that have implemented 'Design Build,' making us more competitive in the quest for Federal money. But more importantly, this bill will give us the ability to make long overdue investments in our infrastructure, all while lowering the cost and improving the quality of construction projects."

DBIA has been working to expand design-build procurement authority in the transportation sector for the past two years. Reacting to passage of the Connecticut legislation, DBIA Vice President, Legislative Affairs, Richard Thomas said, “This is a great day for Connecticut. The state DOT now has both the right leadership team and the right tools to the deliver high-quality projects faster and more cost-effectively than ever before” “We fell short last year,” Thomas added, “ But the Malloy administration stepped up and provided leadership when it was needed most.”

When Congress passed the federal stimulus legislation amid the frozen markets of early 2009, Connecticut was not in a position to react quickly. Its slow-moving processes for approving projects resulted in missed opportunities to leverage federal spending. In testimony earlier this year, James Redeker, DOT commissioner, said, “I quite frankly was surprised . . . that [design-build project delivery] wasn’t a tool in the DOT’s toolbox, because I’ve been used to it for so long in my career in transportation.” As a result, Redeker admitted, Connecticut did not benefit as much as it might have from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). “Frankly, if I had design-build, I could have gotten additional money to the state of Connecticut,” he said.

The Commissioner noted that design-build would improve Connecticut’s ability to chase down any new federal funding that may become available while staying cutting edge. “In the long run, design-build I think gives us an opportunity to pick selective projects that may be particularly difficult or interesting – that need innovation, where we want to try something new, where we want to set a price and make sure that there’s some risk being taken on by the contracting community,” Redeker said.

Passage of S.B. 33 leaves only three states – Iowa, Nebraska and Oklahoma – without any design-build procurement authority for transportation projects. Thomas said, “We have come a long way in the last few years; in 2009 there were 12 states with no design-build authority, today that number is three. Clearly, our efforts to educate state DOTs and their lawmakers is working.”
 
Established in 1993, the Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA) is the only organization that defines, teaches and promotes best practices in design-build project delivery. Design-build is an integrated approach that delivers design and construction services under one contract with a single point of responsibility. Owners select design-build to achieve best value while meeting schedule, cost and quality goals. Learn more about design-build, and DBIA’s certification and other programs at www.DBIA.org.