Mississippi Legislature Passes Historic Design-Build Legislation

Last week, the Mississippi legislature passed historic design-build transportation legislation dramatically expanding the Mississippi Transportation Commission’s design-build and alternative delivery authority. Historically, the Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) has been extremely limited in its ability to use design-build delivery, but the passage of Senate Bill 2645 (SB 2645) would give the Mississippi Transportation Commission arguably the broadest alternative delivery authority of any state transportation agency in America.

DBIA’s Director of State/Local Legislative Affairs Richard Thomas said the passage of SB 2645 “really moves the needle for transportation in Mississippi,” providing the space for the Mississippi Transportation Commission to deliver projects faster, more efficiently and cost effectively. Thomas called it the “biggest design-build win for the state of Mississippi,” adding this authority places the state ahead of most neighboring states and on track with others in the Southeastern United States.

SB 2645 permits any non-experimental alternative contract delivery method approved by the U.S. Department of Transportation (US DOT), including design-build, progressive design-build and construction manager/general contractor (CM/GC). Moreover, the bill allows any hybrid, combination or derivative of non-experimental alternative contract delivery methods allowable by the US DOT.

“There’s really nothing the Mississippi Transportation Commission can’t do with this kind of authority,” said Lisa Washington, DBIA Executive Director/CEO. “The decision to include any non-experimental alternative contract delivery method demonstrates that the Mississippi Transportation Commission is already thinking ahead, providing space to further expand design-build and other collaborative methods to quickly and efficiently improve the state’s infrastructure.”

The commission will have authority to promulgate any necessary rules to implement and administer the legislation. SB 2645 is awaiting Gov. Tate Reeves’ signature; it will take effect July 1, 2024.