A state agency is looking to the private sector for maintenance work to help generate cost savings.

The Texas Department of Transportation recently orchestrated a pilot project in Houston, where a private contractor bid a maintenance contract, and saved the state about $10 million, which is about 30 percent of what the work would cost using the traditional approach.

Due to the success of the program, TxDOT plans to expand opportunities to the private sector to perform routine maintenance on parts of Interstates 35 and 45 between Dallas and Houston and Dallas and San Antonio.

TxDOT plans to issue a Request for Information to interested businesses for performing routine maintenance that could yield cost savings. The state’s estimates show that moving that direction could save more than $90 million in maintenance contract work each year. It could also save the agency an estimated $120 million over five years.

According to a press release, TxDOT leaders say they “envision private sector businesses bidding for maintenance work including roadside mowing, litter removal, sign replacement, pothole patching, and minor resurfacing, to name a few.”

The pilot project in Houston was bid by a private contractor for approximately $26 million, and estimates using the TxDOT staff and contractors were around $36 million.