In any case where a contract for work and materials shall be let as a result of competitive bidding, the successful bidder shall promptly and within twenty days after notice of award execute a formal contract to be approved as to its form, terms and conditions by the commissioner, and shall also execute and deliver to the commissioner a good and sufficient surety or collateral bond, payable to the State of West Virginia, to be approved by the commissioner, in such amount as the commissioner may require, but not to exceed the contract price, conditioned that such contractor shall well and truly perform his contract and shall pay in full to the persons entitled thereto for all material, gas, oil, repairs, supplies, tires, equipment, rental charges for equipment and charges for the use of equipment, and labor used by him in and about the performance of such contract, or which reasonably appeared, at the time of delivery or performance, would be substantially consumed in and about the performance of such contract. An action either at law or in equity, may be maintained upon such bond for breach thereof by any person for whose benefit the same was executed or by his assignee. The bidder who has the contract awarded to him and who fails within twenty days after notice of the award to execute the required contract and bond shall forfeit such check or bond, and the check or bond shall be taken and considered as liquidated damages and not as a penalty for failure of such bidder to execute such contract and bond. Upon the execution of such contract and bond by the successful bidder his check or bond shall be returned to him The checks or bonds of the unsuccessful bidders shall be returned to them promptly after the bids are opened and the contract awarded to the successful bidder. A duplicate copy of such contract and bond shall be furnished by the commissioner of highways in loose-leaf form, to the clerk of the county court of the county in which such contract is to be performed and it shall be the duty of the clerk to bind and preserve the same in his office, and index the same in the name of the commissioner and of the contractor.