WSDOT is proposing a 19 percent overall DBE participation goal on Federal Highway Administration-funded projects for federal fiscal years 2018 through 2020. WSDOT will submit the proposal to FHWA early next year following a public comment period. Once submitted to FHWA, the goal will be effective through Sept. 30, 2020. (See info on public meetings below.)
AGC is reviewing the proposal and considering its response. AGC members are encouraged to send comments to AGC Chief Lobbyist Jerry VanderWood, 360.352.5000.
WSDOT said the 19% goal is based upon the availability of ready, willing and able DBEs as established by the WSDOT Disparity Study. (See summary of the 2017 disparity study here; see full study report here.)
In its report, study authors Collete Holt and Associates concluded, “These results provide the agency with the evidence necessary to narrowly tailor its DBE program for federal-aid contracts, as required by 49 C.F.R. Part 26. The statistical data and the anecdotal testimony provide a sufficient basis for the continued use of narrowly tailored remedial race- and gender-conscious measures to ensure full and fair access by all firms to WSDOT federally-funded prime contracting and associated subcontracting opportunities.”
WSDOT will host a series of public meetings to provide opportunities for individuals to comment in person:
Spokane 2 – 4 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 28 (WSDOT Eastern Region Headquarters, 2714 N Mayfair St.)
Vancouver 2 – 4 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 29 (WSDOT Vancouver Headquarters, 11018 NE 51st Circle)
Seattle 2 – 4 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 7 (WSDOT Northwest Region Headquarters, 15700 Dayton Ave. N, Shoreline)
Those who are unable to attend one of the meetings can participate in a no-cost webinar from 2:30 – 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 5. Advance registration for the webinar is required. Those interested in participating should email DisparityStudy@wsdot.wa.gov.
Written comments can also be submitted by mail or email to Jackie Bayne, Policy & Reporting Manager, Washington State Department of Transportation Office of Equal Opportunity, P.O. Box 47314, Olympia WA 98504-7314 or to DisparityStudy@wsdot.wa.gov.
WSDOT will consider all written comments received through Friday, Dec. 15, 2017.
Documents detailing the methodology used for determining the FHWA DBE goals are available at www.wsdot.wa.gov/equalopportunity/ or in person at the Transportation Building, 310 Maple Park Ave. SE in Olympia.