Where Construction Goes to Work Smarter


5 Simple Steps for Managing Single Bid Items on Multiple Job Sites

March 7, 2016
 / HeavyBid / 


If you're an estimator who deals with the Department of Transportation (DOT), chances are you've had to manage dozens of single bid items at different job sites. You also know that the DOT’s single bid item structure makes calculating job value difficult for most estimators.

Jason L. Myers, Chief Estimator at Gregori Construction Inc., offers a creative solution for these situations using HCSS HeavyBid.


The DOT uses a single bid item like Class A Concrete. The concrete installation is spread to five different bridges, each with a differing method of construction. 

  1. Identify the big ticket items that are part of each bridge (such as concrete, traffic control, shoring, demolition, rebar, etc.). The DOT might be bidding one item, such as Class A Concrete at 247 CY, but as an estimator, there could be five different construction scenarios. 

  2. Create five child bid items under the 247 CY, where the total quantity for child items equals 247 CY.

  3. Assign Bid Item Summary Codes to each child item. For example: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, or by route number 43, 95, 118, 23, 99.

  4. Now, after all of the items have data, you can do a cost report, select Summary 1, and enter one of the codes (1 or 43), which will only include the costs associated with that bridge. 

  5. Add a Summary Code called "JOB" (for example) for small ticket items reserved for things like a silt fence, line striping, and items that are 100 percent subbed out.

Extra Credit:

Subdivide every bid item to get a true cost per bridge. You can calculate the mobilization per bridge by creating five child items, even if there is only one bid item for mobilization (which is “Lump Sum”).

Since there can be five child items at 1 LS, the traffic control at each bridge is priced individually (like flagging, road closed, half width, or traffic signal). This makes it easy to separate traffic control and view each bridge’s construction value. The solution separates your labor costs by bridge so you can better estimate how long construction will take at each bridge. This in turn helps you predict traffic and supervision needs.


Leave the subdivided bid items as part of the “JOB” summary code in order to add overhead (e.g., one superintendent overseeing two bridges concurrently, etc.)


Have you had to oversee single bid items at different job sites? What was your solution?

 Learn More about  HCSS Estimating Software