PennDOT Pilot Reaches More Small Businesses

Pennsylvania road sign

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf has announced a new state Department of Transportation pilot program geared toward small businesses.

The program is meant to increase opportunities for small business enterprises to compete for work as lead consultants on federally assisted engineering and design agreements on at least six projects.

The program includes preliminary engineering and final design for three bridge replacement projects: one for State Route 3005 over South Witmer Run in Clearfield County, another for State Route 3007 over Marshall Run in Indiana County and a third for State Route 2057 over Leaf Creek in Berks County.

According to a PennDOT statement issued Sept. 14, at least three more projects will be advertised to the private sector this fall. PennDOT will evaluate how many small businesses submit letters of interest and determine whether a contract is awarded to such a business. Based on the pilot’s results, the program may be extended.

“We are committed to increasing opportunities for small, disadvantaged and diverse businesses, and this pilot program is another step forward,” PennDOT Secretary Leslie Richards said. “This program aims to provide opportunities to expand expertise and the pool of potential firms for future department work.”

There are 413 small businesses certified by PennDOT. In order to qualify, small businesses must meet Small Business Administration standards and complete an application to PennDOT to participate in federally assisted transportation projects. One stipulation is that the business’ average annual gross receipts for the three previous fiscal years cannot exceed $23.9 million.

In the pilot, the small business must be the primary consultant on the agreement, but other companies can be added as sub-consultants. Participating small businesses must complete 50% of the contracted work and must be registered as a business partner in PennDOT’s Engineering and Construction Management System.