top of page
  • Writer's pictureTristan Wilson

The Roulette of Roadwork - IDIQ Contracting

IDIQ contracting, also known as Indefinite Delivery, Indefinite Quantity, is a popular method for road maintenance and preservation work. It is a task order or maintenance contract that allows for an indefinite quantity of work to be performed by one or multiple contractors over a specified time period, usually 1-3 years with options for annual renewals. In this method, the government agency provides a bid form for contractors to fill out unit prices for each item of work that is expected to be included in the contract. The contractor with the lowest overall bid is generally awarded the contract.

How It Works

In road construction, this might look like a county putting out a bid for resurfacing work in a specific area for the next 2 years. Frank’s Paving, for example, would provide unit prices for each bid item and multiply that by the county's stated quantity to get a total extended price for each item. Their overall bid amount is the sum of all their extended prices. The county can then award the contract to Frank’s Paving or multiple vendors based on factors such as pricing, location, and availability.

Photo Credit:


The benefits of IDIQ contracting for government agencies include convenience and flexibility in uncertain funding situations, as well as the ability to quickly dispatch maintenance work without going through the process of advertising each project individually. For contractors, IDIQ contracts can provide consistent work and the opportunity to develop strong relationships with inspection staff and engineers over multiple years of working together in the same area.

Challenges and Mitigation Strategies

Maintenance contracts can be challenging for contractors to bid on due to the lack of specific information about the scope of work. Agencies may not provide a list of roads or areas where the work will be performed, making it difficult for contractors to accurately estimate the cost of the project. This can put contractors at a disadvantage, particularly if they are not the incumbent contractor and do not have prior knowledge of the type of work that is typically involved. Additionally, the lack of detailed information in the contract documents can lead to higher pricing for the agency.

One of the biggest challenges for contractors is figuring out which bid items will be used and what the average quantity or size of each task order will be. Without this information, contractors are forced to take a high level of risk and guesswork in order to win the bid. The strategy, skill, and risk involved with this high-stakes bidding match is not for the faint of heart. This can be particularly problematic for contracts with longer durations, as losing bidders may not have another opportunity to bid on the maintenance work for several years.

Photo Credit:

To mitigate these challenges, it is best for agencies to provide as much detail as possible about the expected work to be performed in the contract documents. This allows contractors to make more accurate bids and reduces the level of risk and guesswork involved. Additionally, regular communication and strong working relationships are essential in order to proactively address any issues that may arise throughout the duration of the contract.


In summary, IDIQ or maintenance contracts can be effective contracting methods when the contract documents include detailed information about the scope of work. Clear communication and strong working relationships are critical in order to ensure that the work is completed efficiently and effectively.

Thanks for reading our post. At Edgevanta, our proprietary SaaS platform enables highway contractors to track and forecast critical market dynamics and increase the predictability of the project acquisition process.


Tristan Wilson

CEO and Founder

Edgevanta, LLC


bottom of page