July 27, 2011

Phoenix Metro taps design-build method for rail extension

Phoenix-based Metro light rail will take advantage of the competitive market and gain the early insight of a contractor with a design-build delivery method for its 3.1-mile Central Mesa extension, the agency announced.

The decision is a departure from Metro's typical project delivery approach of design-bid-build, but it works in favor of building a quality product in this economy and in such a way that is supportive of the local business community.

"The challenging economy presents us with an opportunity to think creatively about how we move projects forward," said Metro CEO Steve Banta. "A quality design/builder can help us navigate towards a successful project that will best serve the neighboring community and the public dollar. It will also benefit the project's timeline."

A strong benefit of the design-build approach is that the construction contractor will come on board early to work directly with the designer to build plans that are workable for both parties. Contractor expertise will also help to build a construction schedule that meets the needs of the agency, project and community.

The Central Mesa project team is now finalizing preliminary engineering. These plans will be delivered to a design/build team for further development in spring 2012. A Request for Qualifications, to initiate the design-build procurement, has been issued as of Sunday, July 24.

Future project milestones remain intact. Utility relocation will begin in spring 2012 with the project to be complete in 2016.

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