ExpressLanes project to go design-build

This is one of those things that probably won’t cause too much excitement although it’s seemingly good news in a wonky kind of way.

Caltrans has received permission from the state to construct two projects — widening of the 91 freeway and the ExpressLanes toll lanes on the 10 and 110 freeways — using the design-build method. It’s an approach that has curried favor in transportation circles as a way to save money and speed projects by allowing construction to begin while later stages of projects are still being designed.

The press release from Caltrans is after the jump.

NEWS RELEASE

Today’s Date: April 8, 2010
District: Headquarters – Sacramento
Contact: Mark DeSio

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
State of California • Department of Transportation

California Transportation Commission Unanimously Authorizes First

Local Projects Under the State’s new Design-Build Program
On Wednesday, the California Transportation Commission (CTC) took historic action and authorized two regional projects to move forward under the state’s new Design-Build Program.  The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LA Metro)/Department of Transportation (Caltrans) ExpressLane Project (I-10 and I-110) and the Riverside County Transportation Commission (RCTC) SR-91 Corridor Improvement Project are the first local design-build projects authorized by the CTC under the landmark legislation (Senate Bill 4, SBX2 4) signed in 2009 by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.  The CTC had previously authorized three Caltrans projects at their February 2010 meeting.

“The Commission’s action represents the start of a new era for highway construction in California and is a welcome addition to the state’s public contracting toolbox,” said Caltrans Director Randy Iwasaki. “Both projects are excellent design-build procurement candidates that have the potential for achieving improved delivery efficiency and significant job creation.”

The LA Metro/Caltrans ExpressLane Project is a joint state/local project slated for implementation by Caltrans on the state highway system utilizing one of the ten slots allocated to Caltrans.  The LA Metro ExpressLane Project will take existing carpool lanes on the Interstates 10 and 110 Harbor Transitway and convert them to high-occupancy toll (HOT) lanes, or ExpressLanes, scheduled to open in 2012.  The project will provide commuters with new and better travel options along two of LA County’s most congested corridors and create 2,400 construction-related jobs.

The RCTC SR-91 Corridor Improvement Project is a local transportation entity project slated for implementation by a regional entity on the state highway system.  The Commission’s decision provides an important approval for RCTC to move forward with a $1.3 billion plan to widen State Route 91 through Corona with the addition of new freeway lanes, toll/express lanes, expanded freeway-to-freeway connectors and better access to and from the freeway at congested locations.  The project is expected to create 20,000 jobs.

The passage of SBX2 4 in February 2009 created a mechanism to address innovative contracting methods like design-build. The legislation provided for a pilot program for design-build contracting, providing authority to Caltrans and local transportation agencies for up to 15 design-build transportation projects. The statute authorizes use of the design-build method of procurement by regional transportation agencies for up to five projects, and by Caltrans for up to 10 projects, subject to authorization by the CTC. The design-build portion of the bill will sunset on January 1, 2014. SBX2 4 also permits design-build for certain other types of public projects and allows the use of public-private partnerships for transportation projects.

For more information on the projects visit:   http://www.catc.ca.gov/programs/DB-P3/DB/DB_Proposed_Projects.pdf

(Please note: This is the CTC project listing where applications are electronically linked by the project title).

Categories: Policy & Funding, Projects

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