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State Advocacy

Public design-build projects can only happen if the process is authorized by law. When DBIA was founded in 1993, only three states authorized design-build on public projects. Within ten years design-build was authorized in some fashion in 42 states and the District of Columbia. Today, DBIA members can use design-build for public projects in some form in all fifty states, and a majority of states permit design-build for all agencies for all types of design and construction. ​For more maps, click on the general authorization map below: 



 What We're Doing Now


Hurricane Recovery

Hurricanes Harvey and Irma have left Texas and Florida communities picking up the pieces and beginning massive recovery efforts in both states. While Florida has full design-build authority, Texas faces legislative roadblocks to the recovery power design-build had delivered in every major storm over decades. In Texas, design-build can only be used on three state highway projects per year and those projects must cost $150 million or more. There is an even greater restriction at the local level, where design-build is only authorized for cities with a population of 100,000. DBIA has been working to remove the legislative obstacles that currently exist so that the state can respond quickly and efficiently to rebuilding after Harvey, not only in large Texas cities but in the small communities that were hit just as hard by this natural disaster. We urge Texas Governor Greg Abbott to use his emergency authority to allow access to design-build to all communities, no matter their size.


State Advocacy

By raising the profile of design-build’s many benefits with legislators and key public officials, DBIA encourages owners in government agencies to take an active role in passing authorizing legislation, and gives them the knowledge to advo​cate for using design-build with other key decision-makers. When we visit elected officials and government representatives, we discuss the reasons design-build is now nearly 40 percent of the non-residential construction market, and encourage them to follow the trend and not fall behind their neighbors.

Pending Legislation​ 
State Statute Report  


Arkansas: Two major bills in Arkansas passed this session. First, legislation to authorize design-build for local municipal sewage systems (HB 1645) passed; authorizing the delivery method for sewage systems valued over $2 million. In addition, Arkansas authorized P3s for all state entities through the passage of SB 651.

Colorado: A funding bill was introduced this session with language that would have prohibited consideration of past experience for DOT projects funded by the $3.5 billion worth of bonds issued by the bill. HB 1171 (SB 205) specified that bid offerors on projects funded by the bonds could not be penalized during selection for a lack of experience. This bill has been postponed indefinitely for this session and is not likely to pass.

Iowa: Legislation was once again introduced this year to strip the Board of Regents of their design-build authority. As in past years, we worked closely with DBIA’s Mid-America Region on ensuring this bill did not progress. We are happy to report that the bill failed and this authority has been protected for another year.

Minnesota: Legislation to subject county governments to municipal consent law and thus limit their design-build authority was defeated once again this session. In addition, legislation to allow design-build on Trunk Highway projects while increasing their funding (HB 837) passed this session.

Montana: When legislation was introduced to curtail the use of Construction Manager at Risk contracts by the Transportation Commission, Montana made sure to protect their ability to use design-build in HB 92. In addition, HB 520 which also passed this session expanded design-build authority to include fire districts.

New York: The Governor’s budget bill this year reauthorized design-build for the Department of Transportation, the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and the Department of Environmental Conservation for four more years. The bill also successfully included several project specific authorizations for several entities that had not been authorized to use design-build previously. Reauthorization of design-build was one of DBIA’s top legislative priorities this year.

Oklahoma: SB 430 created a Partnership Committee charged with the mission of reviewing public-private partnership (P3) proposals as well as serving as the review body for bids and selection of bidders on P3s. Local governments and state agencies with the exception of the DOT ​are now authorized to use P3s. While this bill specifies that the Department of Transportation (DOT) and Turnpike Authority are exempt from this act, it affords the DOT the ability to use P3 if they consult the Director of the Office of Management and Enterprise Services and receive approval from the Transportation Commission or Turnpike Authority.

Virginia: Legislation was passed this session expanding design-build authority to all local governments. Previously the use of design-build was limited to only those local governments with a population greater than 100,000 people (SB 1129 and HB 2366). Not only were we able to expand design-build authority, we were also successful in stripping provisions that would have placed price thresholds on design-build projects. The thresholds that would have limited the use of design-build to projects over $40 million were amended out of the final version. This was a major victory for DBIA and the state.

Washington: SB 5806 recommends the use of design-build on the new I-5 bridge. Washington has used design-build often and the Legislature’s recommendation of the delivery method reflects positively on design-build and its benefits.

West Virginia: With several project delivery sunsets facing the state in 2017, the West Virginia Legislature was able to extend and expand design-build and P3 authority across the board. HB 2721 extended P3 authority until 2023 and lowered the project threshold on these projects to $10 million. HB 2722 increased the spending limit for design-build projects by the Division of Highways from $50 million annually to $400 million for future fiscal years, while HB 2815 authorized design-build for state institutions of Higher Education.


*Indicates a statutory change that was so impactful, it changed the state’s designation on our map of design-build laws.​ 
  • With the passage of SB 92– sponsored by State Senator Arthur Orr –the Alabama Department of Transportation (DOT) is authorized to enter into design-build contracts for public roads, bridges, or tunnels, and related work under the jurisdiction of the Department of Transportation. This legislation is a huge win for the region and is an important step forward in expanding design-build authorization to all jurisdictions. 
  • Legislation has been signed into law, authorizing the Louisiana DOTD to use P3s. S 195 passed both chambers and was signed into law on June 20, 2016 by Governor John Bel Edwards. 
  • The bill DBIA supports (H 2376) and that we have been working to pass for three years has passed through the legislature and was signed by Governor’s Nixon on July 1. The legislation enables any local political subdivision to use design-build project delivery at their discretion, and ensures that community development block grants are properly allocated to water and wastewater projects that are delivered using design-build. 
  • ​The Nebraska Department of Roads received a huge expansion of design-build authority through the passage of LB 960. The legislation also expanded infrastructure funding and was introduced on behalf of Governor Pete Ricketts who put transportation at the top of his priorities this session with design-build delivery as a key component. 
New Hampshire
  • Legislation to authorize P3s on transportation projects has been enacted in New Hampshire. S 549, which was supported by DBIA, passed the Senate and House, and was signed by the Governor on June 16, 2016. 
*New Mexico
  • HB 206 and SB 215 both passed the legislature and were signed into law on March 9 to give the New Mexico DOT authorization to use design-build on any project related to Federal-Aid Highways within the state. This is the first authorization granted for transportation projects in New Mexico. 
New York
  • The New York budget bill included design-build authorization for yet another year. This year, the Governor and legislative leaders approved a deal that gave design-build authority to the New York State Urban Development Corporation and the New York Convention Center Development Corporation. These are the entities charged with undertaking some of the Governor’s most important infrastructure projects that will be done using design-build which includes a major Penn Station renovation. 
  • H 180 and S 152 have passed this session and prohibit a public authority from requiring a contractor to employ a certain percentage of individuals from the geographic area of the public authority for the design or construction of a project. The bill has passed the House and Senate and was signed into law by Governor Kasich. 
  • Virginia Legislators approved a more nuanced aspect of Design-Build Done Right TM than general authorization. SB 465 authorized the use of Alternative Technical Concepts (ATCs) on all design-build projects. ATCs are an emerging trend in design-build project delivery and are a valuable tool for owners authorized to utilize them. For more information on ATCs and this bill, read the story we published on this legislation or read this Thought Leadership article on the topic from our magazine. 
With legislation still pending in states such as California, Pennsylvania and Illinois, there is much still to monitor through our pending legislation which can be accessed here​. ​



DBIA's team of advocacy professionals are working in many states including Minnesota, South Carolina, New Mexico and Iowa, but the following is a list of some of the largest developments from 2015

  • With the passage of HB 5997, the Washington Department of Transportation was authorized and encouraged to use design-build for projects over $2 million, reducing the price threshold after which design-build may be used from its previous limit of projects exceeding $10 million. The bill was introduced by Representative Curtis King who serves as Chair of the House Transportation Committee. The passage of this bill expands the opportunity for design-build to demonstrate how well it can work for smaller-sized projects.
  • Baton Rouge saw two design-build bills enacted this session to expand and extend design-build authority for regional transit authorities and ports within the state. With the sunset date for ports to utilize design-build set to expire in 2015, enacting an extension was a top legislative priority for DBIA this year. This goal was fulfilled by the passage of SB 66, extending the ports’ authority until 2020. The second bill, SB 159, authorized any regional transit authority to let a design-build contract for new ferries on the Mississippi River.
  • Passage of HB 1 and HB 20 in Texas remove the sunset date for the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT)'s design-build authorization. Together, the bills allow TxDOT to more easily plan for the future, and continue to successfully use the design-build project delivery method. Design-build has been a valuable tool for TxDOT to meet the growing transportation needs in Texas. Failure to reauthorize design-build legislation would have been a major setback for an agency that has had a very successful design-build program.

New York
  • DBIA worked with coalition partners, particularly the NYC DOT, to expand design-build authority for another two years. New York State first approved design-build authority in 2011, and has entered into dozens of design-build contracts since then, including one for the multi-billion dollar Tappan Zee Bridge replacement.
  • Passage of SB 785 culminates the longtime industry effort to standardize design-build laws in California, and it is the eighth bill passed in California in the past year expanding design-build authority. SB 785 streamlines California design-build laws and provides clarity and increased opportunity for project owners and practitioners.


  • We supported efforts to pass SB 492, which extends the State Building Commission’s design-build authority until 2018. We were involved in this effort early and were proud to watch it pass and be signed into law in January. 
  • We worked to pass SB 190, revising contract types and definitions for rulemaking that made design-build even easier to use.
  • We helped pass two significant bills that were both signed by the Governor in March. HB 2555 keeps proposals submitted for design-build projects exempt from public disclosure until the highest scoring finalist has been named or the selection process has been terminated. This is essential to ensuring companies’ bids, methods and advantages remain confidential, increasing the competitiveness of the process. We also helped pass SB 6001 which provides funding for two design-build projects: the I-405 Kirkland Stage 2 widening project and the SR 167 Puyallup Bridge Replacement. The two projects are high-profile in the state, so the fact that the legislation mandates use of design-build is a testament to how reliably design-build delivers high-quality infrastructure. 
  • We were successful in gaining passage of HB 677, a bill funding a new state legislative office building that specifically calls for using design-build to deliver the project. Following passage, however, there were nearly ten bills calling for new onerous requirements on design-build projects and repeal of HB 677. Thus far, we have worked to successfully block all of these bills or have the unnecessary requirements stripped out of the bill.


West Virginia and Arkansas
  • Two states which had State Department of Transportation (DOT) pilot programs with strict limits on the number of allowed design-build projects. The bill passed in West Virginia (SB 553) would eliminate an expiration (or "sunset") and the limitation on the number of design-build projects transforming the pilot program to a permanent program. Up to $50 million per year could go towards design-build projects and any unused portions could be rolled over to another year up to $150 million. Similarly, the Arkansas bill (HB 1702) eliminates the requirement that design-build could only be used on projects in excess of $50 million and ended  limits on the number of design-build projects.
North Carolina
  • In a significant victory for DBIA, North Carolina passed HB 857 authorizing all local governments to use design-build and P3s including QBS (read the press release here). North Carolina has been the epicenter of local Qualification Based Selection (QBS) legislation. Before DBIA helped pass this law, North Carolina local governments had to receive legislative approval on a case-by-case basis to use design-build. The passage of HB 857 makes North Carolina one of the best states to do design-build projects. 
Georgia, Kentucky and Illinois
  • These three were states with limited DOT design-build authority, only using design-build on a “low bid” basis. In Georgia’s case, its DOT had been very aggressive in its use of design-build but felt the low bid only option had its limitations. The newly enacted “best value” law, SB 70, will allow GDOT to take its design-build program to the next level, and choose design-build teams based on qualifications. Kentucky and Illinois took a more conservative approach: they introduced legislation calling for pilot programs allowing best value. The Kentucky bill (HB 445) was recently enacted and the Illinois bill is still pending.
  • ​The Indiana legislature passed legislation giving airports authority to use design-build.




To inquire further about our maps, please email Andrew Ausel, Manager, Legislative and Public Affairs at