Except as otherwise provided in sections 39-2808 to 39-2823, when letting contracts for the construction, reconstruction, improvement, maintenance, or repair of roads, bridges, and their appurtenances, the department shall solicit bids as follows:
(1) For contracts with an estimated cost, as determined by the department, of greater than one hundred thousand dollars, the department shall advertise for sealed bids for not less than twenty days by publication of a notice thereof once a week for three consecutive weeks in the official county newspaper designated by the county board in the county where the work is to be done and in such additional newspaper or newspapers as may appear necessary to the department in order to give notice of the receiving of bids. Such advertisement shall state the place where the plans and specifications for the work may be inspected and shall designate the time when the bids shall be filed and opened. If through no fault of the department publication of such notice fails to appear in any newspaper or newspapers in the manner provided in this subdivision, the department shall be deemed to have fulfilled the requirements of this subdivision; and
(2) For contracts with an estimated cost, as determined by the department, of one hundred thousand dollars or less, the department, in its sole discretion, shall either:
(a) Follow the procedures given in subdivision (1) of this section; or
(b) Request bids from at least three potential bidders for such work. If the department requests bids under this subdivision, it shall designate a time when the bids shall be opened. The department may award a contract pursuant to this subdivision if it receives at least one responsive bid.