CORRECTION: Five groups have already begun assembling teams to propose bids, not four as initially reported. All five teams are listed at the bottom of the story.
Initial story: Hundreds of people representing contractors and subcontractors hoping to be part of the winning bid to construct the second phase of the Metro’s Silver Line to Dulles Airport and Ashburn attended a conference Thursday to learn more about the process and meet construction teams planning to bid on the project.
At least five groups have already begun assembling teams to bid on the $1.4 billiion to $1.5 billion “Package A” of the construction project, which includes everything except the rail yard and the five parking garages that may never go to bid. If all goes as planned, the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, the entity in charge of the project, hope to have select up to five bidders by Oct. 15 to move forward.
MWAA anticipates selecting the winning bid by May 2013 and estimated construction will take five years the time the winning contractor is given permission to proceed.
The information submitted by the bidders will not be available for public review, according to Eric Carey, a contracts manager with MWAA.
“We consider that to be confidential,” he said. “We do not share that.”
He also urged anyone with questions about the process to contact him directly or submit questions through MWAA’s website. The winning bidder will have to obtain insurance for their work and place bonds on the project until MWAA approves the work.
Quite simply, once qualified bidders are selected, Carey said MWAA would be looking for the best deal.
“We’re looking for the lowest price … the lowest responsive, responsible price,” he said.
The work on Package A includes 11.4 miles of track and six stations, including the rail and supporting infrastructure, aerial structures through the airport and to the rail yard, and all rail systems, including power, train control and communications.
At some point in the future Package B, which includes the rail yard and maintenance facility, will go to bid.
It’s uncertain whether Package C, including five parking garages will ever go to bid. That’s because a cost-cutting agreement between those paying for the project—MWAA and Loudoun and Fairfax counties—put the responsibility for those decks on Loudoun and Fairfax with the hope of finding developers to build them, most likely in exchange for beneficial rezonings.
While Fairfax plans to cover the cost of the Route 28 as part of the cost-cutting agreement, the station remains part of the bid, according to representatives for MWAA, because it must comply with the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority’s Metro standards and requirements. Whereas developers are permitted to construct parking garages customized to their development, the stations themselves must meet certain standards that MWAA will oversee.
Fairfax must still try to find a way to pay for the project, likely through proffers from redevelopment proposals. If it does not, like the five garages, the costs go back into the project and are shared by the MWAA, Fairfax and Loudoun.
It was not clear when the bidding process would begin for Package B, the rail yard, while the garages in Package C may never go to bid if localities are successful in having developers fund them. If Package C goes to bid, it will likely not occur 12 months or so.
“It’s way off in the future,” said Pat Nowakowski, the project engineer. “At least a year, I’d say.”
As planned, construction should begin just trains are rolling on phase one in 2013.
Here are the names of four groups planning bid, and their partners:
- The Walsh Group
- Walsh Construction
- Archer Western
- Clark Construction Group
- Parsons Transportation Group
- Kiewit Infrastructure Group
Silver Line Constructors
- Granite Construction
- Gannett Fleming
- JMT (Johnson, Mirmiran &Thompson)