January 20, 2019

Notice to Bidder Requirements

Meet Your Notice to Bidder Requirements with the Help of the Construction Update Network

On March 23, 2016, Governor Terry E. Branstad signed SF 2170, which amends the Notice to Bidders process outlined Iowa Code Section 26.3.  Effective July 1, 2016, a Notice to Bidders shall be “posted” at least once, not less than 13 days and not more than 45 days before the date for the bid letting.  Previously, the timeframe was 4 days and 45 days.

 Previous law stated  that a public owner was required to “publish” its Notice to Bidders in a local newspaper of general circulation at least weekly in the same general area as the public improvement.  Under the new law, the public owner will now have the opportunity to expand the coverage of its Notice to Bidders via plan rooms and websites.  Rather than relying on a local newspaper of general circulation in the area in which the project is being built, the public owner will now be able to more effectively notify the bidder community through the use of contractor plan rooms and lead generating services, as well as public owner websites sponsored by statewide organizations representing public owners.  (All of the aforementioned distribution networks shall now be utilized in lieu of the newspaper ad.)

The Construction Update Network (CU Network) wants to help public owners and their representatives meet the new aforementioned Notice to Bidders guidelines at no expense to the public owner.  Also, pursuant to Iowa Code Chapter 26.3, the CU Network meets the definition of “a relevant contractor plan room service with statewide circulation” and “a relevant construction lead generating service with statewide circulation.”  In fact, the CU Network has been filling this role for over 30 years.  With nearly 2,000 subscribing contracting companies, the Construction Update Network is Iowa’s premier source for project information. The CU Network also partners with iSqFt in collecting and maintaining the most comprehensive database of bidding information on Iowa public improvements.

The CU Network is now posting the Notice to Bidders to its current subscriber base.  To utilize this free service, you are asked to please email your notice to bidder to:

As a part of this service to help ensure compliance, a confirmation-of-receipt reply email will be sent the very same date to the entity that submitted the Notice to Bidders.  The next business day, the respective required Notice to Bidders will be posted to all Construction Update Network subscribers via a member-wide email.  In addition, on the day the Notice to Bidders is posted, the owner or owner’s representative will be provided a copy of this notice for audit compliance.  To ensure a proper “paper trail,” the CU Network will also archive all notice to bidders submitted through our service for public owners and/or their representatives to access if needed.

Here is an example of a Notice to Bidders timeline:

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

1. Public Owner ABC submits/emails its Notice to Bidders to

2. The CU Network will issue a confirmation-of-receipt email back to Public Owner ABC.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

1. The CU Network posts the Notice to Bidders for the Public Owner ABC’s project in an email to the entire subscriber base of the CU Network.

2. A copy of the Notice to Bidders document will be emailed to Public Owner ABC.  This document will confirm Notice to Bidders compliance with Iowa Code Section 26.3.

The Construction Update Network is working cooperatively with various public owners groups to provide this Notice to Bidders service to at no cost, while creating a more efficient and effective means of notifying the bidding community. 

For more information, contact: