Before construction is started on any project, the corporation shall advertise for sealed bids once each week for three consecutive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation in the county in which the project or undertaking is to be located. The corporation may also advertise in such other publications as it may deem advisable. Such notices shall state that plans and specifications for the project are on file in the office of the corporation and the time and place in which bids will be received and opened. All bids shall be opened publicly at the advertised time and place.
The contract shall be awarded to the lowest responsible bidder complying with the conditions of the invitations for bids, unless the corporation finds that his bid is unreasonable or that it is not to the interest of the corporation to accept it. The bidder to whom the award is made shall be notified by telegram or letter at the earliest possible date. Should the successful bidder fail or refuse to sign the contract or make bond, the corporation may award the contract to the second lowest responsible bidder. Should the second lowest bidder fail or refuse to sign the contract or make bond, the authority may award the contract to the third lowest responsible bidder.
Should no bids be received at the time stated in the advertisement for bids, the corporation may advertise for and seek other competitive bids or the corporation may direct that the work shall be done by negotiated contracts under its direction and control. If the corporation finds that all bids received are unreasonable and that it is not to the interest of the corporation to accept any of the bids, the corporation may direct that the work shall be done by negotiated contracts under its direction and control. On any construction project which the corporation has determined to do by negotiated contract, the corporation shall file plans and specifications and an itemized estimate of cost with the Department of Examiners of Public Accounts; and, upon completion of the project by the corporation, the final total cost together with an itemized list of cost of any and all changes made in the original plans and specifications shall be submitted to the Department of Examiners of Public Accounts for its permanent record. Upon approval of the corporation, its duly authorized officer or officers may, when proceeding on the basis of negotiated contracts, let any subdivision or unit of work by contract on receiving sealed bids in accordance with this section. This section shall not apply to routine maintenance or repair jobs done by maintenance men who are regular employees of the corporation.