Washington’s Governor Chris Gregoire held a press conference in Seattle yesterday, October 29, to deliver the news that both bids for the Alaskan Way Viaduct Bored Tunnel Replacement on Highway 99 came in within the state’s $1.1 billion price target. “We are very fortunate to have two bids on the project. Competition is our friend,” said Transportation Secretary Paula Hammond.
Seattle Tunneling Group (which includes SA Healy, FCC Construction, SA Parsons Transportation Group and Halcrow) and Seattle Tunnel Partners (which comprises Dragados-USA and HNTB) submitted their bids on Thursday in state capital Olympia.
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Project leaders say they haven’t looked yet at actual bid prices. Instead, each construction team signed a one-page document attesting it is at or below $1.09 billion for the basic contract. WSDOT will now conduct a technical evaluation of both proposals, awarding technical credits for commitments that add benefit to WSDOT above and beyond the RFP requirements. Credits can also be earned by reducing, mitigating, or transferring project risks to the benefit of WSDOT.
In mid-December after the evaluation is complete, the bidders’ prices will be reduced by the amount of technical credits they receive. The successful bidder will have the lowest apparent best value score and be awarded the contract.
The 56ft (17m) diameter single bore tunnel will replace the aging and seismically deficient Alaskan Way Viaduct, which was built in 1953. A new four-lane roadway will stretch from Sodo to South Lake Union, to depths as much as 200ft (60m) below the surface. Assuming the environmental-impact statement is approved by the federal government next summer cut and cover excavation at the south tunnel entrance will begin later next year. Tunnel boring, using what will be the world’s largest machine, could start in early 2013.
DOT project administrator Ron Paananen said the tunnel remains on track to meet its $1.96 billion budget, part of the broader $3.1 billion Highway 99 corridor that includes two major interchanges.