Michigan Engineers' Resource Library (MERL) is a software suite that helps transportation engineers create road and bridge project estimates, enter and analyze bids for local jobs, and track daily postings and payment estimates. In addition, MERL provides engineers with access to various Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) resource documents. It was created by the Center for Technology & Training (CTT) at Michigan Technological University.


Project Estimator

The Project Estimator includes a searchable list of Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) Pay Item Codes for 2012, 2003, 1996, and 1990. It also includes the MDOT Aeronautic Pay Item Codes for 2005 and average unit prices for items let through the MDOT Bid Letting system. Using the Project Estimator, you can:

  • Create an estimate with pay items, quantities and costs.
  • Separate items by category (funding, function, etc.), plan sheet, station, etc.
  • Print estimate reports or export to PDF.
  • Create user-defined Pay Item Codes for use in local jobs.
  • Transport data between users via import/export including:
    • MERL Contract Files
    • MERL Estimate Files
    • Comma Separated Values (CSV)
    • MDOT's Trns*Port Project Management System
    • Field Manager

Bid Entry & Analysis Utility

Using the Bid Entry & Analysis Utility, you can enter and analyze bids for local contracts, including:

  • Compare bids in total or item-by-item
  • Rank bidders from low to high bidder
  • View high bid, low bid, average bid, and std. deviation for each item

Resource Library

The Resource Library is a fully indexed and searchable library of MDOT documents, including:

  • 2012 Spec Book including frequently used Supplemental Specs and Special Provisions
  • Bridge Design Manual
  • Density Testing and Inspection Manual
  • Materials Source Guide
  • Road Design Manual
  • Soil Erosion and Sedimentation Control Manual

Local Job Manager

The Local Job Manager will help you manage local jobs, including:

  • Entering and tracking daily postings of items
  • Entering and tracking payment estimates
  • Contract Modifications
  • Monitoring job progress according to items posted and payments made

Network or Stand-Alone

You can install MERL to be run on a single workstation or connected to a shared Microsoft SQL Server database.

MERL is free of charge to Michigan local agencies and their consultants. Visit our Downloads page to download or update MERL.