DBE Contracting Opportunities

Seattle Tunnel Partners - DBE contracting opportunities

Construction projects that receive federal funding must hire certified disadvantaged business enterprises (DBE) to complete a portion of the work within their contract. Because the work they are performing is partially funded by federal dollars, Seattle Tunnel Partners (STP), the contracting team responsible for building the SR 99 tunnel, is required to award a minimum of eight percent – or $91 million – to certified disadvantaged businesses.  

Why design-build matters

WSDOT signed a design-build contract with STP in January 2011 for $1.35 billion. Unlike more traditional design-bid-build contracts, which ask contractors to build a design completed in advance by the owner, design-build projects combine design and construction in a single contract. WSDOT is increasingly using this contracting method as a way to minimize risk and build projects more efficiently.

Design-build projects differ from design-bid-build projects in the way they award work to DBE firms. Rather than requiring contractors to identify the DBE firms that will be utilized to meet the goal prior to signing the contract, design-builders can make contracting opportunities available throughout design and construction of the project. As a result, STP has until the end of their design-build contract to achieve the DBE contract goal.


To learn about upcoming opportunities, receive information about STP’s procurement process, obtain a list of subcontractors, or request any other information or assistance, please contact the following coordinators:

Small and large businesses that are not woman- or minority-owned should contact STP at 206-971-8701 or info@stp-jv.com.

Additional resources

Progress to date

Through July 2014, Seattle Tunnel Partners reported $79 million in contracts to 84 certified DBE firms. Of this amount, $41 million is being counted toward the DBE contract requirement.


Taking action to improve DBE utilization

DBE participation under the STP contract has long been an issue of concern for WSDOT. We have taken a number of additional steps to address STP’s lack of success in meeting the project’s DBE goal, and we will continue to work with them to maximize the utilization of disadvantaged business enterprises throughout the remainder of this project.