Metro Requests Proposals to Build Regional Connector Project

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Metro took another step forward toward construction of the Regional Connector Project by issuing a Request for Proposals, or RFP, last week for the 1.9-mile underground light rail line through downtown Los Angeles.

The $1.367-billion project is partially funded with $160 million in Measure R money, and is considered one of the region’s most important transit projects. It will connect the Blue, Gold and Expo Lines in downtown and will create major north-south and east-west transit lines across Los Angeles County. Early utility relocation work officially began in December.

Contractors likely to bid on the project have already been pre-qualified by Metro during an earlier process completed in 2012.  Most are joint venture groups consisting of several construction-related firms. Click here to see a list.

As with the I-405 Sepulveda Pass Improvements Project and the Crenshaw/LAX Line, the Regional Connector will be built using a “design-build” delivery method. This method is also being using to build the first 3.9-mile segment of the Westside Subway Extension from Wilshire/Western to La Cienega.

Major advantages of design-build are a shortened project schedule and overall reduced project costs. The builder is able to start construction while the design is still being completed.

Project proposers will have until May 21 of this year to submit their bids. Metro anticipates selecting a contractor in late fall or following word from the Federal Transit Administration on the status of Metro’s Full Funding Grant Agreement that asks for a federal match to build the project. That could happen by September

The project’s scheduled completion date is 2019.

16 thoughts on “Metro Requests Proposals to Build Regional Connector Project

  1. Hi CJ;

    Where are you getting your numbers about coffee at Metro? Or are you writing hypothetically?

    Steve Hymon
    Editor, The Source

  2. It’s a hypothetical example, your guess is good as mine and perhaps you can chime me in on what goes on in the corporate culture at One Gateway Plaza.

    But it is to my assumption that Metro, as with any other companies, has wasteful spending in areas where it takes outside consultants to point out where they can make cut backs. And funds like these all being tax dollars, it’s much more important to do so.

    You know, things like using 1-ply toilet paper for the restroom instead of Charmin, installing low-flo toilets to save on water bills, inkjet printers and toners, coffee, etc. etc.

    Perhaps three people are doing redundant jobs when it can be done with one person. That can cut back labor costs by a third.

    All of these may not sound much, but a lot of companies do this because when added all up they save millions, if not billions per year so that funds can be re-focused towards more important projects. What can’t be seen with the back-and-forth reports between Metro Board and Metro is if any, cost savings measures like these are applied.

    If anything, these things or it could be others that are adding to the cost of projects done.

    It takes an outsider, a professional financial advisors and consultants to look into these things which neither the Metro Board or Metro has the time to do so. A budget can be made for 10 porta-pottys at construction sites when 2 is enough.

    For anyone knows, Metro could be issuing a budget for $50,000 premium coffee, the board could be rubber stamping it because it’s such a “low-figure”, and no one, even taxpayers, would be aware of it. Unless you can chime in what you guys use for coffee or toilet paper, etc.

    Since tax payers don’t know what’s the corporate culture is like at Metro, It takes outside consultants could point out that’s a place they can cut back on. If they are, that’s inexcusable because those expenses are in the end, all paid for with tax dollars.

  3. That’s fine. I just wanted to point out to readers that you were making up examples and that the numbers and examples you provide aren’t based in fact — it’s basically just idle speculation that the agency is somehow enormously wasteful.

    If you want to know what it’s like inside the Metro building, here goes: it’s your basic office environment with many cubicles, small-ish offices and very basic furniture. It’s neither spartan nor is it luxurious. The bathrooms are clean. Not sure about the TP situation but I’ll ask around. I do frequently take photos from the upper floors because of the great views of the region and I can tell you the windows are only rarely washed as a money-saving measure.

    I don’t believe Metro pays for coffee for employees; if so, I’ve been missing out. There is coffee and soda available in the cafeteria for $1.50 or so per cup.

    Steve Hymon
    Editor, The Source

  4. Thanks.

    It would be nice if you can start doing articles about working at One Gateway Plaza. That way you can close the distance gap between the readers (tax payers).

    Stuff like showing photos of how everyone is using their own coffee cups instead of styrofoam cups for coffee or what car they use to drive to work, how do you guys travel when you have to go to business meetings (surely you must use Amtrak if you have a conference in San Diego right?) goes a long way to show you guys really mean what you say. Pictures tell a lot of words than reports and words.

  5. Hi CJ;

    With all due respect, that’s ridiculous. I’m not wasting my time and your taxpayer money on taking photos of people bringing their own coffee cups to work — which you would then accuse of being staged. Have a pleasant evening,

    Steve Hymon
    Editor, The Source

  6. Wanderer mentioned the cost being high because of the difficulties of existing buildings etc. which I was going to mention but there is one other really major thing that needs to be mentioned in underground construction here in California…earthquake safety. They could take ten years to build this project just so long as I know the stuff overhead isn’t going to cave in on me when we start rocking and rolling.
    Cheers!

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