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Construction Work Was 'Incidental' To Sales Contract

Wednesday, August 30, 2017 05:31 am


Denied: Public Works Contract

Unibridge Systems, Inc. v. Mike Patterson, ex rel. Oklahoma Dept. of Transportation, 2017 Okla. Civ. App. Lexis 13 (June 6, 2017)

A party contended that a construction-contract-specific set of rules should apply to its bid protest. Despite the demo, excavation, and installation work involved in the proposed contract, a court disagreed, ruling that the project was more accurately an acquisition of goods and services---not a construction contract.

Unibridge Systems, Inc. (Unibridge) submitted a $262,846 bid on a project to demolish and replace a truck scale in El Reno, Oklahoma for the Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT). It lost the award to Cardinal Scale Manufacturing, which submitted a $299,950 bid. Unibridge protested, and a trial court affirmed ODOT’s decision that Unibridge’s bid was nonresponsive.

The contract sought the acquisition of a new truck scale, as well as the demolition of the old scale pit and construction of a new one. Specifically, the contract required that the new scale contain hydraulic compression and stainless steel load cells. Unibridge did not bid a hydraulic load cell system or stainless steel materials. Nevertheless, it objected to its bid’s elimination from the competition for nonresponsiveness. Unibridge presented two arguments.

‘Solicitation was more like purchase of a water heater’

First, it contended that the solicitation should have bee [...]

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