Metro staff recommends Tutor Perini/O & G to build section two of Purple Line Extension project

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With $1.6 billion in federal funding secured to extend the Metro Purple Line subway to Century City, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) is now poised to recommend the international construction firm Tutor Perini/O & G, a joint venture, to build the $2.4-billion segment.

Metro’s staff recommendation will be presented to the Metro Board of Director’s Construction Committee on January 19 and is based on the firm’s competitive proposal of $1.37 billion, which is approximately one-half billion dollars lower than other competitor bids. The full Metro Board is scheduled to consider the recommendation at its January 26 meeting.

Metro made its recommendation after a thorough and extensive competitive bidding process. The Tutor Perini team was ultimately deemed to have the best value proposal through a combination of technical, project management and price components. All three proposals submitted were comparable on their technical merits. 

The recommendation is expected to keep the Purple Line Extension on schedule and on budget for Los Angeles County residents. Metro has approached its procurement in a fair and open process that has ensured equal opportunities for all bidders.

Tutor was involved in construction of the original Metro Red Line. The contractor built segments 2 and 3. The contractor experienced construction challenges on the second section, which led to schedule delays and cost overruns in the mid-1990s. Litigation between Tutor and Metro has since been resolved. The contractor did complete the third and final section of subway to North Hollywood six months ahead of schedule and within the project’s budget.

“We can and must redefine our relationships with the contracting community to build Los Angeles County’s transportation future,” said Metro CEO Phillip A. Washington. “With their modern history of delivering successful tunneling projects throughout the world, Metro is confident that this contractor will play a critical role in helping us build the world-class public transportation system we have promised to voters.”

Tutor Perini/O&G and their major subcontractors have delivered subway tunnel projects for the Central Subway project in San Francisco, the University Link in Seattle and the East Side Access project in New York.

Another large project the contractor successfully helped construct is the World Trade Center – Greenwich Street Corridor project for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

Metro intends to implement a strong oversight plan with experienced staff to ensure the project is completed as intended and remains on time and on budget. That includes ‘executive partnering’ between Metro and the contractor up to the CEO level to resolve project claims and changes. Metro will also pursue a collaborative approach to third-party issues.

Metro is now building the first section of the Purple Line Extension between the current subway terminus at Wilshire/Western and Wilshire/La Cienega with three new stations. The second section will add another 2.6 miles to the project with one station at Wilshire/Rodeo in downtown Beverly Hills and a station in the heart of Century City.

Completion of the second subway section is anticipated no later than 2026 per a funding agreement with the Federal Transit Administration and Metro is aiming to possibly finish the project at an earlier date. A third and final section will extend the subway to the Westwood/VA Hospital. Construction of this last section is planned to begin as early as 2019.

9 replies

  1. Tutor- Saliba experienced more than minor problems and have been banned from bidding on future Metro projects. The tunnel walls in the first section and perhaps beyond were found to be several inches thinner than designed. I don’t believe a remedy was ever found to fix the problem since it would have delayed it by years. It was also this contractor that delayed the project for over a year when the tunnals collapsed at Hollywood and Vermont closing Hollywood Bl for a year in both directions.

    • That is incorrect. They were not banned. Also, a different contractor was responsible for the sinkhole.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

  2. It was obvious Tutor Perini were gonna get the WS2 extension award ever since Metro invited them to bid. Skanska or Walsh should’ve gotten it.
    Despite what the Editor is saying Metro is shooting themselves in the foot with this one – Tutor Perini will sue Metro into kingdom come.

  3. How does the $1.37 billion bid correspond with the $2.4 billion estimate project cost? Especially if the second lowest bid was half a billion more? Are there significant cost savings that may be achieved? Where would the extra money from cost savings go?

    • Okay, looking at the Funding/Expenditure plan, the estimated project cost had a $1.4 billion for construction, so this is only a potential savings of $30 million… not very much in terms of savings, I guess.

  4. Is the contract for a 2024 completion or 2026? With Section 3 now being billed to finish in 2024 in time for the Olympics, this needs to also be online at the same time.

  5. I believe that the Seattle project was completed months early and under budget. That’s good. Although, as is the case with these things, the initial budget was greatly increased due to “unforseen issues” and the project was slow to start, I would guess that these things happened before the contractor was selected.

    Some other projects listed give me a bad feeling. I hope somebody in the press looks more into what their role was in each. The Central Subway in SF is over-budget, though that is hardly surprising, and probably is due to the routing. The route was decided by which city officials owed favors to which, and the studies filled in around that– it was always an overrun waiting to happen. The Red Line tunnel under the hills to NoHo had issues with water. Lots of water. I seem to recall that expensive grouting was required as an emergency measure. The rest of the Red Line through Hollywood is the sort of tale that civil engineering students are told late at night around camp fires.

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