Request a Quote

We will get back to you as soon as possible.

Tour Our Datacenter

Tour Our Datacenter

Open Request for Proposals

Bluebird Network is seeking bids for a vendors to complete the Engineering Design and/or Environmental Assessment associated with our NTIA Middle Mile Grant award in Missouri and Oklahoma.  You are invited to submit a proposal in response to the RFP found in the link below.  RFP responses are due no later than April 4, 2024.

Note: The Bluebird Engineering Design Assessment and Project Management Middle Mile RFP response submission has been extended. The new deadline is April 10, 2024 at 11:59pm CT

Download RFP Template

Master Construction Agreement

Download KMZ Layer

Professional Services Agreement

Frequently Asked Questions

Bluebird Network will be updating a live FAQ with anonymized questions and answers from vendors across the country. Please submit a question below and a member of our team will notify you and respond promptly in the FAQ section.

Note: All questions submitted will be anonymized before posting to the FAQ

All questions and answers will be anonymized.

Live FAQ

Q: Can you please clarify the overall mileage for this project? The RFP states 330 miles in MO and 164 miles in OK, totaling 494 miles. The .KMZ segment descriptions add up to 13.73 miles of existing and 592.99 miles of new for a total of 600.72 miles.

A: The RFP language is incorrect, in that, the total Grant funded route miles should read 500.4 route miles to account for terrain and minor adjustments.  Non-Grant miles to be included in your bid proposal remains the same at 106.3 route miles. 

The total route miles that should be included in your proposal are 606.7 route miles inclusive of Grant and Non-Grant routes.  Please see worksheets below for further clarification that also mirrors the .KMZ file downloadable above.

Q. When is the RFP response due back to Bluebird?

A. The Bluebird RFP response is due back to Bluebird no later than April, 4, 2024 at 11:59 p.m. Central.

Q. What type of grant was Bluebird awarded?

A.  Bluebird Network, LLC. was awarded two (2) NTIA Middle Mile Grants in Missouri and Oklahoma respectively.

Q. Will the successful RFP respondent be able to work with NTIA regarding Engineering Design & Environmental Assessment during planning?

A. Yes, Bluebird and NTIA are working closely throughout the program cycle.  This collaboration will include selected respondents to this RFP.

Q. What duct package will be installed?

A. A final decision on the conduit package has not been selected but it will not exceed 4″ in diameter. Most likely options are as follows:

    • Three (3) x 1.25″
    • One (1) 6-way Future Path containing three (3) x 1.25″ and three (3) x 22/16 microducts
    • Two (2) x 1.25″ and one (1) 4-way micro-fiber containing 4 x 22/16 microducts

Q: About the 3 options for conduit package, when can we expect a definitive answer to work Prints and BOMs.

A: Bidders should expect a definitive answer to the 3 options for conduit package no later than April 30th.  There is an outside chance the conduit package could change following the definitive answer in April which would be represented in a change order from the original conduit package specified.

Q. Can engineering consultant services provide a bid for only portions of this RFP? Or is it all or nothing?

A. Yes. Qualified engineering consultants can submit for different aspects of this RFP. For example, you can just apply to perform the environmental services for the RFP. Or just the outside plant design, etc.

Q: How should construction management, oversight, and inspection be quoted since we don’t know what the proposed construction schedule will be?

 A: Bluebird would prefer to start 4 teams of construction crews upon permit approvals.  St. Louis, MO heading west (Team 1), Springfield, MO heading east and west (Teams 2 & 3), and Tulsa, OK heading east (Team 4).  We are expecting construction to take a maximum of 2 years and would prefer to shorten that timeframe.  We suggest building your management, oversight and inspection model based on this assumption.

Q: Can you better clarify the cost by route segment on the bid form? It is unclear if the requested breakouts are supposed to represent the proposed route in a continuous manner

A: The route segments on the bid form are identified to show how Bluebird broke out the routes for the NTIA application and our desire to buildout each segment.  When NTIA awarded the routes the award came as Missouri award from Jefferson City, MO to Carthage, MO and Oklahoma award from Joplin, MO to Tulsa, OK.  Bluebird would like to align with the segments for buildout.

Bluebird would prefer to start 4 teams of construction crews upon permit approvals.  St. Louis, MO heading west (Team 1), Springfield, MO heading east and west (Teams 2 & 3), and Tulsa, OK heading east (Team 4).  The Jefferson City route to be constructed following construction complete on other segments.

As you can see on the route maps there are segments in the RFP that are not grant funded (identified in Yellow on the map) in St’ Louis, Carthage and Joplin.  Those sections will be 100% Bluebird funded but tie into the grant funded routes for connectivity requirements.

Ultimately the breakouts are supposed to represent the proposed route in a continuous manner and you should bid the project in each state as a contiguous route.  However, as noted above, route construction will be by segments and construction crews from St. Louis to Springfield, MO and Springfield, MO to Tulsa, OK.  Construction beginning at both ends of the route and from Springfield, MO out in both directions.  Our underground data center is located in Springfield, MO which is why we plan to construct in both directions from that point being most efficient for the project.

We are expecting construction to take a maximum of 2 years and would prefer to shorten that timeframe.  We suggest building your management, oversight and inspection model based on this assumption.

Q: Is the documentation mentioned in Appendix C under Fair Labor Standards and Practices due with our proposal or only by the contractor selected after this RFP has been awarded?

 A: Within your application the winning bidder must attest to their ability to comply with each list item 1-4 of Appendix C and be able to provide the information, certification, disclosure and written plan listed in items 1-4 upon pre-award notification.

Q: Does Bluebird have an existing agreement for Route 44?

A: No, Bluebird does not have any special agreement or variance from either state DOT for utility installations on the I-44 corridor.  Utility design and installation must comply with state specific utility policy requirements.   We are allowed to parallel if there is an outer road but will need to find an alternate route if there is not an outer road that parallels the interstate.

Q: Is the route given a set route or can bidders deviate from the route that is given if it would benefit Bluebird Network?

A: As long as the goal of appearing at the sites shown on the .KMZ is met, the route can be varied.

Q: Do vendors need to be added as a Bluebird approved vendor before submitting a bid? 

A: You do not need to be an approved vendor prior to bid submission, evaluation or pre-award notification however a successful vendor should have needed documents ready upon final award.

Q: Will being awarded the engineering design and project management component of this RFP preclude the vendor from bid and award of the construction components of the assumed follow on RFP?

A:  No, awarded Engineering Design and Project Management components of this RFP does not preclude the successful vendor from bidding or award of future construction Request for Proposal (RFP).

Q: Can Bluebird please provide the “Contractor Safety Prequalification Form”?

A: Please click here.

Q: Can Bluebird please provide the “ACH Request Form”?

A: Please click here.

Q: Can Bluebird please provide a sample Certificate of Insurance (COI)?

A: You should be able to acquire a CIO for your organization from your insurance company.  Each insurance company will have a standard COI document for your organization.

Q: Permitting – per the RFP file, “Bluebird has received some guidance from MoDOT and can share this guidance upon request”.  Can Bluebird please provide this guidance?

A1: Ability to expand utility corridor from 6’ to 12’ will be considered on a case-by-case basis and can be addressed in a regularly scheduled meeting with MODOT’s coordinator – to be assigned

A2: Where solid rock is encountered MODOT will allow installation to shallow up to a minimum depth of 18” provided potholing is completed to verify the extent of the rock.  It is Bluebird’s desire to be installed at a minimum of 30” in all other instances as soon as solid rock is no longer present.

A3: MODOT is open to identifying potential right-of-way locations where our POP site could reside.

Q: Project Management / Construction Oversight – per the RFP file, “Construction includes the launch of the construction project, contractor and vendor management to meet established timelines agreed upon with Bluebird, on-site services to support Bluebird and the Contractor to ensure installation is completed per design/engineering plans, inspection of the work performed, establishing a regular communication structure to provide a continuous status report and challenges being faced in the field and mitigate issues as they arise with the selected Contractor and vendors”. 

A: The statement in the question above and also found referencing Project Management / Construction Oversight in the RFP identifies management and oversight examples, requirements and expectations.  It does not include to actual construction.  Only management and oversight of construction activities.  See addition clarification in sub-set Q&A below:

Q: Is this activity limited to construction management, coordination, on-site oversight and inspections? 

A: This RFP is limited to construction management, coordination, on-site oversight and inspection.

Q: Or is there an opportunity to bid on the actual construction portion of the project? 

A: Following this RFP for Engineering Design and Environmental Assessment Bluebird will issue a subsequent RFP for construction of the fiber route in both Missouri and Oklahoma.  We do not expect the future construction RFP to be released until Q4 2024.  Winning the contract for this Engineering Design / Environmental Assessment portion of the project does not preclude the winner from bidding on the future RFP for the actual construction.

Q: When will the RFP for construction be out?

A: Bluebird has a preliminary plan to release a subsequent construction Request For Proposal (RFP) 4Q 2024, if not sooner.  We will send out a vendor notification to all vendors communicated with on this RFP and issue a Public Relations (PR) notification as was the case with this RFP.

Q: Will there eventually be an RFP for the Network Equipment needed for this new fiber route?

A: Yes, following the Engineering Design & Environmental Assessment Request for Proposal (RFP) award, Bluebird will issue subsequent RFP for construction (route & site), equipment & materials and any addition detail deemed necessary to complete the project following Engineering Design and environmental assessment.  Our preliminary plan is to issue these subsequent RFPs in or near Q4 2024.

Q: How will we know when subsequent RFPs to this NTIA Middle Mile Grant award project are posted?

A: If you are not already on our list of possible vendors who received the Vendor Notification email, you will receive future RFP notices. Alternatively, by submitting a question here or reaching out to your Bluebird contact and asking to be included in future project RFPs, you will be included on our list of vendors for any project pertaining to this NTIA Middle Mile Grant project.

Q: Please add me to your notifications for future RFP’s, mainly construction. Thank you.

A: All RFP responders and those who ask questions regarding the RFP will be added to the distribution list of future RFP vendor notifications for the Bluebird NTIA Middle Mile project.

Q: Per the requirements of Bluebird’s onboarding, it says that we have to have 2 years of audited financials. Can this be reviewed financials?

A: Bluebird is willing to accept two years of reviewed financials for historical data and bid review purposes. However, we require that the selected bidder commits to obtaining audited financials prior to final award. This commitment is essential to ensure transparency, accuracy, and accountability throughout the project’s lifecycle.

Audited financial statements offer a higher level of assurance and reliability compared to reviewed financials. They undergo a thorough examination by an independent auditor, providing stakeholders with greater confidence in the financial information presented. This level of scrutiny becomes particularly crucial during the construction phase when financial management and reporting accuracy are paramount. As grant recipients we are required to monitor contractor’s compliance with grant requirements and audited financials will be necessary for our monitoring procedures.

We understand the additional effort and cost associated with obtaining audited financials, but we firmly believe that this investment is justified for the successful execution of the project and the maintenance of trust between all parties involved. Moreover, audited financials contribute significantly to risk management and compliance requirements, which are integral to the project’s overall success.

Therefore, we kindly request that your bid includes a commitment to providing audited financial statements prior to final award. This commitment will be a key factor in the evaluation process and will demonstrate your dedication to financial transparency and accountability.

Q: On page 13 of the RFP document, it states that within 10 days of the final purchase order, the firm shall obtain and maintain a bond- Can we get more specifics of the bond that is required?

A:  The short answer to your question is a Surety Bond. Below is a brief explanation of a Surety Bond.

A Surety Bond is a legally binding agreement that provides a guarantee that a company or individual will deliver on their obligations. Surety Bonds help to ensure a company or person will complete the duties it has promised to carry out in their RFP response.

Within (10) days of the final purchase order (PO) from Bluebird to the awarded bidder your company shall obtain and maintain a Surety Bond that must be licensed, authorized and admitted to doing business in the state of Missouri and/or Oklahoma respectively. The Surety Bond must be from a U.S. Treasury surety company. The bond must be in the same amount as the value of the Purchase Order (PO) under the RFP and remain in effect for at least (1) year after the final payment date from Bluebird.

There are always three parties involved in a surety bond:

Bidder to the RFP (Vendor): The party responsible for meeting an obligation purchases the Surety Bond to provide a guarantee for their work. Sometimes a “Bid Bond” is required at the time of submitting a proposal followed by a Surety Bond however in the case of the Bluebird Engineering Design and Environmental Assessment RFP a Surety Bond is required (10) days following payment of the PO.

Issuer of the RFP (Bluebird): The party that requires a Surety Bond to guarantee that the vendor will fulfill obligations.

The Surety Bond Company: The bond company that issues the bond to, in this case Bluebird, that vendor will fulfill their obligations. If vendor doesn’t meet their obligation, the surety will typically pay out a set amount to Bluebird.

Q: Does Bluebird have a preference in terms of awarding the engineering to one supplier or will you entertain breaking the 500 miles into segments with several suppliers contributing?

A. Bluebird will allow a single provider to bid on the whole route or a provider to split the routes into individual segments.

Please be aware, Bluebird would like to construct the routes beginning at both ends (Tulsa and St. Louis) and from Springfield, Missouri out in both directions for a total of (4) concurrent crews engaged in construction at the same time. With this concurrent activity during the construction phase, is is within the realm of consideration to have multiple Engineering Design and Environmental Assessment teams engaged as well.

All organizations are welcome to bid on the entire scope of the RFP or limited scope based on geographic locations or segments, area of expertise or resources. Please provide additional detailed information of justification when submitting your response.

Note: The total route with Grant match funding and Non-Grant match funding is 606.7 miles as noted in the table on the last page of the RFP and on the .KMZ map files. This information was not clearly stated in the RFP therefore an amendment to the RFP will be forthcoming.

Q: To confirm, if the current RFP for ‘Engineering, Design, Environmental Assessment and Project Management Services for Middle Mile Routes in Missouri and Oklahoma’ only for engineering services at this time or will project management be quoted?

A. The current RFP is open to bid on Engineering Design, Environmental Assessment and Project Management, all three together or any one or two of the tasks independently. We would like two encourage all vendors who intend to break up their proposal into one or two tasks or geographic sections clearly communicate coordination plans, practices and experience should be noted in your proposal.

Q: Multiple entities are showing for Bluebird, can you verify your Dun & Bradstreet number?

A. The appropriate Bluebird entity for the RFP is Missouri Network Alliance dab Bluebird Network, LLC with an associated Dun and Bradstreet number of 059642905.

Q: Are permit fees included in the bid price or are they a pass-through?

A.Permitting fees should be identified as pass-through.

Q: I am a 30-year PE in another state. Do I have to have my PE in MO and OK prior to submission or can it be obtained prior to plan submissions through reciprocity?

A. The short answer is yes. A Professional Engineer (PE) license in Missouri and Oklahoma is required to certify engineering documents in Missouri and Oklahoma.

Professional engineer (PE) will need to approve and stamp the plans. Each state has its own licensing requirements for engineers. Unfortunately. obtaining a professional engineering license in one state does not allow you to practice engineering in other states.

Below you will find the basic guidelines to acquire a Professional Engineer License (PE) in both states.

Many states allow an engineer licensed in another state to become registered through a process called comity or endorsement. Comity is not automatic. You must meet all of the state board’s requirements before you become licensed. This usually involves submitting an application that lists your education, work experience, examination scores, and references. The board will verify the information and issue a license if they are satisfied with the applicant’s credentials. It is analogous to a “mini” application.

Missouri PE License: registration by comity can be granted to professional engineers whose qualifications and registration, awarded by another state, territory, or possession in the United States or by another country, are deemed by the Board to equal to those set by Missouri at the time of registration. Missouri Revised Statutes 327.381. There are also specific options reciprocity at he state website here.

Oklahoma PE License: Registrants holding professional engineering certification from another jurisdiction may apply to register by comity in Oklahoma without further examination. The registration requirements include a certification and registration from their jurisdiction that is not in conflict with, and at least equal to Oklahoma’s, proof of good standing in their profession and five character-references. Oklahoma Statutes 59, 475.12&15. There are also specific options reciprocity at the state website here.

Q: Will the winning Engineering firm be excluded from bidding on the construction part of the project?

A. No, the winning bidder for the RFP will also be able to bid on the construction RFP that will be released in Q4. There will be discussion and notes in the Construction RFP regarding separation of groups where necessary, at the same time, we feel we will award two ethical bidder and have confidence in being able to keep Engineering Design, Environmental, Project Management and Construction working in their appropriate lane, as a team.

Q: Are these routes considered complete and final?

A. No, the routes are not considered complete and final. It is expected Engineering Design and Environmental Assessment completion will slightly change the final route and further expect paper design routes to, on occasion, need modification during construction.

The sites on the map are firmer in terms of location. We cannot go outside of 80km between POP locations identified on the .KMZ. Any changes to side location would require full collaboration, discussion and approval of our VP and Directors of Engineering.

Q: Will this be awarded to one single firm, or broken up among multiple firms?

A. This RFP could be award to a single firm or multiple firms.

Q: When will access to the additional MoDOT and ODOT information regard easements be provided?

A. MoDOT & ODOT has provided the guidelines below:

  1. A. Ability to expand utility corridor from 6′ to 12′ will be considered on a case-by-case basis and can be addressed in a regularly scheduled meeting MoDOT’s coordinator – to be assigned
  2. A. Where solid rock is encountered MoDOT will allow installation to shallow up to a minimum of 18″ provided potholing is completed to verify the extent of the rock. It is Bluebird’s desire to be installed at a minimum of 30″ in all other instances as soon as solid rock is no longer present.
  3. A. MoDOT is open to identifying potential right-of-way locations where our POP site could reside.

Q: Is the plan to stay within DOT easements or will there be private easements anticipated?

A. The plan is to stay in the public utility right-of-way.

Q: Are all areas containing wetlands / floodplains prepared to be constructed by directional bore?

A. Yes, wetlands / floodplains it would be required to be constructed by directional bore.

Q: With the short time window regarding environmental surveys, should they require more Tim, will additional time be given?

A. Yes we understand there are unknowns with the Environmental Assessment process and should they require more time, we will work with the successful bidder and NTIA to allocate additional time.

Q: If for any reason one or more sections of the route needs an Environmental Assessment over a CATEX will there be additional funding and/or time?

A. Yes, if Environmental Assessment over a CATEX is required we will work together to establish additional resources as needed.

Q: Can we assume that this not a BEAD funded project thus NTIA compliance rules will not be in effect?

A. The NTIA Middle Mile award is sanctioned by NTIA therefore on the gran awarded segments (approximately 500 miles) NTIA rules will be in effect. The Non-Grant segments, as noted on the .KMZ map, will not fall under NTIA rules however should be very closely aligned with NTIA compliance as NTIA rules are typically standard NIST business practices in Missouri and Oklahoma Engineering and Environmental.

Q: Based on the Deliverables section of the scope, can we price this assuming CATEX classification and then assume that follow up studies would be ass-ons?

A. CATEX is not certain. We will be going through right-of-way that has already been disturbed however we cannot assume CATEX until we submit. Therefore, it should be assumed CATEX classification for your proposal and required follow-up studies would be add-ons.

Q: Regarding the development of the Final Design Plans, the expected delivery date for each route is listed in the RFP as August 20th, 2024. What will the review process look like once the final design plans are turned into Bluebird? Does Bluebird expect MoDOT, ODOT, Tribal Governments, municipal governments, SHPO, and other stakeholders to review the final plans before the August 20th, 2024 deadline, or will they review the plans after that date?

  • A: The review process once final design is completed and submitted to Bluebird will be a collaborative review process with Bluebird’s Engineering team including leaders in the Engineering Outside Plant OSP team.
  • A: Bluebird Engineering and the successful bidder to this RFP will work with MoDOT, ODOT, Tribal Governments, municipal governments, SHPO, and other stakeholders to review the final plans as required by standard practices of planning and construction.  This activity can be started following Bluebird Engineering design approval and preliminary Environmental Assessment.  It is acceptable and expected that this review activity will happen following plan approval.  The August 20th deadline is to finalized Engineering Design submitted to Bluebird.  NTIA Environmental Specialists will have input on Environment Assessment approvals and will follow the August 20th date.


Q: Page 4 of the RFP under the “Permitting” section indicates that Bluebird has already received guidance from MoDOT to determine “congested corridors and shallow rock areas”. Can Bluebird share that information before the proposal deadline? Does that information include existing utility and geotechnical data? Has Bluebird confirmed that ODOT will provide similar information, or will the selected firm(s) be responsible for obtaining it?

    • A: As noted in the RFP Bluebird met with MoDOT and ODOT to collaborate and notify regarding the project.  We were welcomed by both groups and guidelines discussed.  The general response from MoDOT is listed below.  The information includes existing utility and geotechnical data as it is available. We have confirmed with ODOT similar information.  It is expected that the successful bidder will build relationships and continue to work with MoDOT and ODOT with follow-up and additional detail.
      • A: Ability to expand utility corridor from 6’ to 12’ will be considered on a case-by-case basis and can be addressed in a regularly scheduled meeting with MODOT’s coordinator – to be assigned.
      • A: Where solid rock is encountered MODOT will allow installation to shallow up to a minimum depth of 18” provided potholing is completed to verify the extent of the rock.  It is Bluebird’s desire to be installed at a minimum of 30” in all other instances as soon as solid rock is no longer present.
      • A: MODOT is open to identifying potential right-of-way locations where our POP site could reside.


Q: Page 6 of the RFP requests that the selected firm support Bluebird and the Contractor during installation. Is the chosen firm expected to provide daily on-site personnel during the entire duration of construction or do you intend to have us spot check the work and progress?

A: On-site personal inspection cadence during construction should be included in your bid response.

Q: Please verify your DUNS Number, is below the correct company since the Macquarie Acquisition?

  • A. Bluebird’s DUNS number is 059642905 under Missouri Network Alliance dba Bluebird Network, LLC
  • A. 4215 Philips Farm Road, Suite 103, Columbia, MO  65201

Q: What are the specific deliverables for each Engineering & Design Description?

  • Design Draft, Field Staking, & Route Cost Estimate
  • Final Design & Route Cost Estimate
  • Construction Ready Design & Route Cost Estimate

A. Deliverables for each item listed above should be components of your RFP response.  In terms of specific deliverables, it is the responsibility of each Engineering firm to respond to the RFP with specifics and approach.  Bluebird would like your deliverables to represent how your firm intends to provide these components.

Q: Under the Engineering and Design units will vendor be responsible for identifying specifically what areas have rock placement? If so in what method does Bluebird propose this is identified?

A. In experienced Engineering Design activities, it is commonly expected the Engineering firm will articulate to Bluebird anticipated soil elements.  There are various methods to identify rock and Bluebird looks to the successful Engineering firm to clearly understand and implement the appropriate identification technique as part of a complete RFP response.

Q: : Will you please also share the guidance you have received regarding MODOT permit submittals?

A. Guidance regarding MoDOT and ODOT is listed in the FAQ section at the Bluebird RFP website.  A summary of that information is below.

A. Ability to expand utility corridor from 6’ to 12’ will be considered on a case-by-case basis and can be addressed in a regularly scheduled meeting with MODOT’s coordinator – to be assigned

A. Where solid rock is encountered MODOT will allow installation to shallow up to a minimum depth of 18” provided potholing is completed to verify the extent of the rock.  It is Bluebird’s desire to be installed at a minimum of 30” in all other instances as soon as solid rock is no longer present.

A. MODOT is open to identifying potential right-of-way locations where our POP site could reside.

Q: Would you consider entering into or accepting agreements / pricing for traffic control services at this point or would that be something the construction management firm / GC would need to solicit pricing for?

A. Traffic control services will be part of the construction phase RFP to be released Q4 2024. You will receive vendor notification on the day the Construction RFP is released where specifics to traffic control will be included.

Q: The RFP states that Bluebird anticipates a CatEx for this project, will the project be broken into components or will one NEPA document cover the entire route?

A. We believe the best approach will be to separate into two components representing Missouri routes and Oklahoma routes however we are open to all recommendations.

Q: Appendix A – Proposed Project Cost of the RFP lists only the grant funded segments. Where do you enter pricing for non-grant segments?

A. The proposal for non-grant segments can be added on in the same format as the grant segments with appropriate “non-grant” label.

Q: Is the awarding firm required to secure Pole Attachment Agreements with pole owners, or only provide guidance to Bluebird, who will be responsible to obtain a PAA?

A. Award winning firm will provide guidance with Pole Attachment Agreements.

Q: Is the awarding firm required to secure private easements for POP locations?

A. Yes.

Q: Does Bluebird have an example set of Engineering prints that are required for construction? If yes, can an example be provided?

A. An example of Bluebird prints and specification sheets will be provided to winning engineering firm once selected.

Q: Please specify MoDOT guidance for permitting activity, that has currently been provided to Bluebird.

  • A. Ability to expand utility corridor from 6’ to 12’ will be considered on a case-by-case basis and can be addressed in a regularly scheduled meeting with MODOT’s coordinator – to be assigned
  • A. Where solid rock is encountered MODOT will allow installation to shallow up to a minimum depth of 18” provided potholing is completed to verify the extent of the rock.  It is Bluebird’s desire to be installed at a minimum of 30” in all other instances as soon as solid rock is no longer present.
  • A. MODOT is open to identifying potential right-of-way locations where our POP site could reside.

Q: Is inspection to assume 1 inspector per construction crew daily? If so, how many anticipated construction crews are forecasted to be working simultaneously?

A. We anticipate four (4) construction crews working simultaneously.  We would like to see one (1) inspector per construction crew daily but this criteria is open to the Engineering firm to articulate recommendations in their RFP response.

Q: Can Bluebird provide further information or a sample construction print and on the Level of Effort and detail required in a Staking Sheet or Construction print?

A. Once the new project is designed, construction Staking Sheets will cut the project into more detailed pieces. Staking Sheets should contain construction notes and details to complete the project as designed.  Staking Sheets are built over the map for existing and new designed plant, roads with rights-of-way and aerial backgrounds to assist with producing a Stake Sheet for construction and permitting.

Q: Can Bluebird indicate the software format and details required for “As-Built” documents?

A. An as-built record provides a detailed account of the final state of the project, reflecting any modifications, deviations, or changes made during the construction process.  Bluebird maintains “As-built” documentation in .SHP file and PDF format.  To accurately maintain “As Built” documentation Bluebird would like vendors to articulate their proposed “As Built” document details.

Q: A final design date of August 20, 2024 is noted; what information and documents are required at this date?

A. Engineering Design should be complete on August 20, 2024 ready for review and approval from Bluebird Engineering.  Following this date the Engineering firm will move forward with approval to develop final Engineering Design documents.

Q: For the possible aerial route from Jefferson City to Washington. We presume as part of the design phase, the Engineer will assist Bluebird in deciding whether to build new pole or attach to existing poles. Can you confirm this is the intent?

A. Yes, the award-winning firm will provide guidance with Pole Attachment Agreements.

Q: Can Bluebird provide an indication of the “level of effort” expected for inspection (i.e. does Bluebird require an inspector with each placement operation)?

A. We anticipate four (4) construction crews working simultaneously.  We would like to see one (1) inspector per construction crew daily at the same time, this criterion is open to the Engineering firm to articulate detailed recommendations in their RFP response.

Q: For post construction activities, what is the level of effort required of the Engineer for testing and facilitating the turn-up of the system?

A. Bluebird expects the Engineering Design team to be engaged throughout the duration of the project managing and ensuring the project completes as designed and on time. Please expect the level-of-effort to be high. ISP Engineering will turn up & balance Optical DWDM and Router-Router links in addition to getting all internal management established, documented and reported.

Q: Has Bluebird established a preliminary calendar date for completion of all fiber construction activities?

A. The NTIA Middle Mile grant requires completion of the project Q2 2028 however it is Bluebird’s plan to complete the project Q1 2027. Please plan on a two (2) year window to complete the project following construction start.

Q: Will a KMZ/Google Earth File and/or an ArcGIS Feature Dataset be an acceptable format for delivery of the final route design?

A. Yes.

Q: Is there a deadline for the Point-of-Presence site acquisitions and designs?

A. No there is not a specific deadline for acquisitions and design although time is of the essence, due to the downstream dependent project criterion.

Q: Could you provide the anticipated Cultural Resources Survey transect and shovel test protocol?

A. NTIA encourages the use of Secretary of the Interior-qualified archaeologists with state/regional experience to help set up the research and survey methodology for the Cultural Resources Survey. In general, we do not see 100% survey of road rights-of-way when the research design and development of the environmental and historic contexts are completed for the project route. Often, the review of the prior development with knowledge of the archaeological sensitivity/probability of the various portions of the project routing eliminates some parts of the project route from the need for survey. Portions of the route that warrant survey may possess varying sensitivity/probability for containing intact archaeological deposits/historic properties. The testing strategy to prove depth of prior disturbance might only consist of a single or a small number of shovel test pits (STPs) where a higher probability portion of the route may need to be subjected to testing at 50- or even 25-foot intervals. All that to say there is no one distance for transect or STP intervals. You can see state-specific guidance for both OK and MO at the links below.

Q: Are there any existing agreements with Pole owners?

A. No.

Note: The only segment where poles could be an option is on the route from Jefferson City to Washington, MO.  All other segments will be underground fiber construction.  Pole agreements could be with existing pole owners or new pole placement.

Q: What are the field staking requirements, does this include construction staking?

A. If there are areas in the field that the plans cannot show the level of detail required – those areas require staking .  If the plans show footages from right of way or other known objects identifiable in the field – otherwise physical staking is not required.

  • To avoid costly delays and mistakes, the more variables that can be identified and addressed the better.  Engineers canvas a project area making observations and taking measurements to determine the physical placement. This information is recorded on construction drawings (traditionally referred to as staking sheets), which provide a pictorial representation of the project for subsequent construction crews.  Once staking sheets are complete, a report is generated to tabulate all material from all the staking sheets to provide a total material list and total cost of the project.  Stake locations should be included in the construction plans and inspected as executed in the field to Engineering Design documents.
  • Construction staking guidelines can be found at the MoDOT Engineering Policy Guide 238.4 Construction Surveying – Engineering_Policy_Guide (  Construction stakes should be placed by experienced construction engineer by survey and inspected for accurate placement by Engineering Design firm.

Q: Will bridge attachments be considered?

A. Yes, bridge attachments will be considered.

Q: Are traffic control plans required as part of the permitting?

A. Yes, traffic control plans will be required as part of the permitting process.  We will also include information for Traffic Control operation as part of the Construction RFP to be released Q4 2024.

Q: What are general requirements and expectations of inspection process?

A. The inspection process is a critical part of ensuring construction is executed according to the approved Engineering Design.  We would expect the awarded Engineering Design firm to elaborate on their inspection process and best practices.  Experience plays a major role in knowing what potential issues could arise, what effects they may have, and how best to handle them. Communication is key to ensure that goals and deadlines are defined and achievable. Having said that, typically inspections would be executed on a regular frequent cadence and associated with particular construction activity daily.

Q: What is the anticipated release for information regarding the construction packages be issued? Is it anticipated that 100% plans and specs will be issued or will a type of alternative delivery be entertained? Happy to chat more on the potential options for construction if helpful?

A. In an effort to maintain equal communication with all vendors we will not be able to talk to individual vendors during this phase of the RFP process.  Construction packages have not been fully determined pending needs of potential customers actively engaged in sales solutions.  We do expect to have construction package specs in line prior to construction.  Minor design changes should be expected.

Q: Please provide the NTIA Environmental Guidance is its totality, as indicated in the RFP.

A. EHP Post Award Requirements:

  • EHP analysis will be required for all grant-funded actions.
  • The NIST Environmental Program Officer (EPO) will provide guidance and assistance to help you understand how to meet
  • your compliance obligations.
  • In coordination with NTIA, you will need to identify other federal agencies that may be impacted as early as possible, and develop and deliver an assessment of potential environmental impacts. NTIA will determine which level of NEPA analysis is required.
  • The three levels of NEPA analysis are:
    • Categorical Exclusion (CE) – Issued for defined actions that the agency has determined do not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the environment.
    • Environmental Assessment (EA) – Prepared for actions in which the significance of the environmental impact is not clearly established. Should environmental analysis find a project to have no significant impacts on the quality of the environment, a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) is issued.
    • Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) – Prepared for projects when the action will likely have a significant effect on the environment. This is the most comprehensive form of NEPA analysis. The final decision is documented in a Record of Decision (ROD), which codifies the final decision made, whether to approve the project or not, and the basis for that decision.
  • NTIA anticipates that most Middle Mile Grant Program recipients will require Environmental Assessments.

Additional detail:

  • EHP Consultations and Permitting Applicants are responsible for conducting all necessary consultations and permitting, at the CATEX, EA, and EIS level, as applicable. Applicants are responsible for identifying and obtaining applicable Federal, State and Local permits required to conduct their project; not all permits need to be done for the NEPA process to conclude. Depending upon the impact to resources, federal permits and approvals could be required including the following:
    • US Army Corps of Engineers Section 10/404 – Impacts to wetlands and waterways of the US
    • State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) and/or Tribal Historic Preservation Office (THPO) – Section 106 consultation
    • US Coastal Zone Management – For project located within the Coastal Zone prepare a Consistency Review
    • US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) – Section 7 Consultation
    • Hazardous Materials storage and transport (federal requirements for storage, marking, labeling under OSHA, and transportation under DOT)
    • Hazardous Waste – compliance with EPA 40 CFR requirements for generation, transport and disposal States have varying permitting requirements including:
    • State Environmental Quality or Protection Programs (EX: CEQA, MEPA, TCEQ)
    • Stormwater
    • Wetlands and Land Disturbing Permits
    • Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasure (SPCC) (federal requirement but must apply to a state level)
    • Hazardous Materials storage and transport (federal and state requirements may apply) Regional and Local Entities have permitting and approval processes including:
    • Regional Planning organizations
    • Local Noise and Idling ordinance Federal State Regional

IF CONSULTED PARTY(IES) request, NTIA will work with and support required consultation activities.

Q: How long is the permitting review process with feedback? On average, what is an approved permit timeframe?

A: The permitting process with feedback can take anywhere from a few days to a few months.  Typically permitting takes 30 to 90 days depending on the jurisdiction and permit request.

Q: Can one  General Contractor be considered to bid the entire project as a turn-key “Engineering & Construction” solution or will this project only be bid by separate phases?

A: Yes, one (1) General Contractor could be considered for the entire project.  You should submit a response to the current RFP proposing requested information.  Subsequently, you are welcome to articulate your organizations experience and further details of a possible turn-key Engineering & Construction solution.

Q: Can tax returns work in lieu of audited financials?

A: Audited financials are required to be awarded the RFP.  We understand audited financials can take a few weeks to complete.  Tax returns are acceptable for submission of your proposal for this RFP, given the timeline however audited financials will be required soon after for further consideration.  In addition, audited financials will always be required by Bluebird and by any business RFP utilizing Federal Grant match funding.

Q: Since we are only doing engineering work, do we need the contractor safety form filled out?

A: Yes, please complete this linked Contractor Safety Pre-Qualification form and submit with your proposal.  This document can also be found in the FAQ section of the Bluebird RFP website.

Q: Do you have a copy of an ACH form you want us to use? Are there any specific amounts for a COI?

A: Please see this linked ACH form to be completed.  This form can also be found as a link in the FAQ section of the Bluebird RFP website. 

We will provide an example of our recommended COI amounts in the coming days.  In the meantime, please provide your current COI for proposed work. You are welcome to articulate in your proposal that you are pending COI details from Bluebird.

Q: Where do we submit all this information?

A: You will find the submission information on page 8 of the RFP document. “Proposals are to be submitted in electronic format to [email protected]