Help/Frequently asked questions

How do I download letting files?
Download files by clicking the "Download .zip file" button and chossing one of the following:
1) Select "Save" and the file will be downloaded to your default download location.
2) Select "Save As" and choose an alternate download location.

Why is this change being made?
This change was made in order to implement one of the savings measures identified in the Iowa Road Use Tax Fund Efficiency Report of January 2012.

Which projects have color plans?
The file name for color plans will end in “_C” or “_color."

What if I cannot download a file?
Please wait a moment and try again. If you continue to have issues, contact the Office of Contracts via the Comments/Questions page.

How can I get copies of plans from previous lettings?
Submit your request using the form found on the Request a prior letting document page.

How do I search and sort the letting table?
The table can be modified to help narrow your search.

Checkmark Sort items (ascending or descending) by clicking on a column title.
Checkmark Find a specific order by entering the proposal identification or project number into the search box.
Checkmark Narrow your search by entering a specific county into the search box.
Checkmark Reset the table by clearing the search box or refreshing the page.

Do I need to be authorized to bid as a prime contractor?
Yes. Contractors must be authorized to submit a bid as a prime by the Office of Contracts. Requests to be authorized to bid as a prime contractor on individual proposals must be submitted through the Bid Express website,

Opening zip folders

How do I open a .zip file using Windows 7, Windows XP or Windows Vista?
Double-click the .zip file you want to open, or right-click and choose "Extract all" and follow the directions.

How do I open a .zip file using Windows ME, Windows 2000, Windows 98 or Windows NT?
Third-party software is required to open .zip files in earlier versions of Windows. Many free programs are available online.

is free, easy to use, virus-free and contains no adware. Instructions:
    1) Download the 7-Zip exe file to your computer. Double-click the program icon and choose "Run."
    2) Choose a location on your hard drive and choose "install."
    3) Once complete, open 7-Zip and navigate to the .zip file you wish to open. Double-click to open.
    4) Drag contents to your desktop or other location.

How do I open a .zip file using a Mac?
1) Double-click on the .zip file you wish to open.
2) If the file contains multiple files, the Mac will create a new folder with the same name as the .zip file in the same location.
3) Double-click the folder to view contents.


What type of printing equipment will I need to print letting plans?
A printer that is capable of printing 8.5" x 11” and 11" x 17” in monochrome (black ink only) and 11x17” in color.

If the plans are in color, do I need to print in color?
Yes. Some of the color plans have lighter colors. If you print them from a monochrome (black ink only) printer, the images may not print out on the plan.

What if I do not have a color printer?
Save the file on a USB drive, or forward your email from your download request to a local printer who can download the link and print them for you.

What dpi resolution should I use to print files?
  • • Previously, letting plans and cross sections were printed by the Iowa DOT at 600 dpi. If you lower the resolution on line art, you may lose some text or lines. It is recommended you print these out at 600 dpi.
  • • Previously, specifications and proposals were printed by the Iowa DOT at 600 dpi. If the file is all text, you may consider lowering the resolution to 300 dpi.

What if I send a file to my printer and it will not print?
  • • Check the file size. Your processor may not be able to accommodate file size. You can try sending it over in sections, as this will reduce the file size to print.
  • • Check your Internet connection to make sure it can accommodate the file size.
  • • Find a local printer that can print the file for you.

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Not finding the help you need? Contact us directly with your questions or comments.

Office of Contracts


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