This another step forward for the 3.9-mile Purple Line Extension project and puts the subway addition closer to construction. Utility relocations and some other prep work have are already underway.
Three rail projects that are receiving Measure R funding are already under construction — the Crenshaw/LAX Line, the Expo Line Phase 2 and the Gold Line Foothill Extension. The Regional Connector is ramping up for construction after the awarding of a construction contract earlier this year.
There will be more details on the Purple Line Extension contract later in the month when the staff report is released. The Metro Board is scheduled to consider the contract at its meeting later this month.
The news release from Metro:
The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) staff today recommended awarding a $1.636 billion contract to design and build a 3.9-mile extension of the Metro Purple Line subway from Wilshire and Western to Wilshire and La Cienega to a joint venture composed of three of the world’s top construction companies.
At its July 24 meeting the Metro Board will consider the recommendation to award a contract to the firms of Skanska, Traylor Bros. and J.F. Shea, a Joint Venture (STS). The Metro Board’s Construction Committee will first review staff’s recommendation on July 17.
The procurement process has been extensive and altogether has taken nearly two years to reach the point where the Metro Board this month will consider a contract award for the first phase of the subway extension.
The contract calls for building twin subway tunnels on a 3.92-mile alignment that includes three new underground stations at Wilshire/La Brea, Wilshire/Fairfax and Wilshire/La Cienega. It also includes train control and signals, communications, traction power supply and distribution, and fare collection systems that will be integrated with the existing Metro Rail system. Construction activities could begin later this year depending on when the contract is awarded. The contract requires completion in October 2024. The contractors have proposed an early completion schedule saving 300 calendar days.
Combined, these three construction firms have more than 300 years of experience. Traylor Bros., Inc. has a track record that features more than 110 tunneling projects including the Metro Gold Line Eastside project that connects downtown Los Angeles with Boyle Heights and East Los Angeles. That project was completed in 2009 on time and within budget, and Traylor Bros. achieved 4.5 million work hours without incident and zero ground loss during construction.
Skanska is building the extension of the Expo light rail project from Culver City to Santa Monica, scheduled to open in early 2016. The project is on time and within budget. The company also worked on the Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension from Pasadena to Azusa, also scheduled to open in 2016 and is on time and within budget.
Skanska and Traylor Bros. are the team building the Regional Connector, a 1.9-mile underground light rail project in downtown Los Angeles that will connect the Metro Blue, Gold and Expo lines.
Shea is part of a joint venture building the Crenshaw/LAX Transit Project, which will connect the Metro Expo and Green light rail lines in the Crenshaw and Inglewood corridors.
Shea and Traylor worked on the large City of Los Angeles Northeast Interceptor Sewer tunnel.
The firms’ experience in working together on large transit and other infrastructure projects was cited as a major strength in a recommendation for the subway contract by an evaluation panel that included representatives from Metro and the City of Los Angeles. The four panelists combined have about 100 years’ experience in construction, engineering and operations.
Another plus for the STS team is its experience and skill in overseeing complex tunneling projects. The Purple Line subway extension will tunnel through tar sands and gassy soil conditions.
Among other strengths cited was the consortium’s very good experience in executing mitigation measures that address third party and community concerns, and strong participation for small and disadvantaged businesses in subcontracting for design and construction (20.25 and 17 percent).
Forty percent of the contract evaluation was based on price. STS was highest in this regard but scored higher in project management and technical approach than two other bidders – Westside Transit Partners WTP (Impregilo, S.p.A., Samsung E & C America Inc. and Salini USA Inc. and a bid by Dragados/Astaldi/Southland (DAS), a joint venture aka Dragados USA Inc. (DUSA), Astaldi Construction Corporation and Southland Contracting Inc.
Funding for this first phase of the subway extension to the Westside comes from federal grants and low-interest loans, monies from Measure R and the City of Los Angeles, and other existing local and federal funds.
Two other construction phases entailing separate future design/build contracts eventually will extend the Purple Line subway westward for nearly nine miles to just past UCLA and the Veterans Administration Hospital in Westwood with a total of seven new stations.
Metro is a multimodal transportation agency that is actually three companies in one: a major operator that transports about 1.5 million boarding passengers on an average weekday on a fleet of 2,000 clean air buses and six rail lines; a major construction agency that oversees many bus, rail, highway and other mobility-related building projects, and; the lead transportation planning and programming agency for Los Angeles County.
Overseeing one of the largest works programs in America, Metro is, literally, changing the urban landscape of the Los Angeles region. Dozens of transit, highway and other mobility projects, largely funded by Measure R, are under construction or in the planning stages. These include five new rail lines, the I-5 widening and other major projects.