November 6, 2013

Denver RTD selects FasTracks construction team

Denver Regional Transportation District (RTD) staff recommended that its board of directors move forward with a proposal from Graham, Balfour Beatty, Hamon Constructors (GBBH) to design and build the North Metro Rail Line to 124th Avenue.

The proposal commits to completing construction of the line to 124th by January 2018.  

“We had four sound proposals, but after thorough evaluation, the GBBH proposal provides the best value and allows us to make great strides toward completing another FasTracks project,” said RTD GM Phil Washington.

The GBBH team includes Stantec Consulting Services and Parsons Brinckerhoff on design, Zann and Associates as the DBE lead, Communications Connections Consulting heading up public information, Transit Safety & Security Solutions leading system safety and Systems Consulting LLC taking the lead on quality assurance, among others.

Highlights of the GBBH proposal and the proposals submitted by the other three competing teams of Bechtel/Herzog, North Metro Transit Solutions, and URS were shared with the RTD board and the public at a FasTracks Monitoring Committee meeting. The public will also have an opportunity to provide comment at a special FasTracks committee meeting on Nov. 14. The board is expected to take formal action on a contract award at the regular RTD board meeting on Nov. 26.

Completion of the North Metro Rail Line from Denver Union Station to 124th Avenue, through Commerce City, Northglenn and Thornton, will provide an essential link to job and entertainment centers for the northern suburbs.

GBBH’s cost proposal to build the line to 124th is $343 million, which RTD will finance by issuing Certificates of Participation (COPs). Building North Metro to 124th as a first phase makes it affordable for RTD to utilize its own financing opportunities to fund the project.

“This demonstrates RTD’s commitment to making investments in the northern suburbs as we keep FasTracks moving forward,” said Washington.

In February, GBBH approached RTD with an unsolicited proposal. After reviewing the initial proposal, RTD staff determined it was consistent with the agency’s Unsolicited Proposals Policy and worthy of moving forward to a competitive procurement process. On Sept. 23, RTD received four competitive proposals for the North Metro Rail project — one from GBBH Contractors; Bechtel/Herzog joint venture; North Metro Transit Solutions, a Kiewit/Stacy and Witbeck joint venture; and another from URS Energy and Construction Inc.

Over the past couple of years, RTD has publicized the agency’s desire to seek out innovations to complete the FasTracks program as soon as possible, enhance the customer experience and reduce the cost of operations. This was the premise behind RTD’s first industry forum called, Transformation Through Transportation, which was held Sept. 27, 2011.

Design and construction on the North Metro Line are expected to begin in 2014. The line up to 124th would open to the public in 2018.

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