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Puget Sound Transportation 2003

September 11, 2003

Monorail project seeks out small contractors

  • Enticements include weekly payments, bonding and insurance support
    Seattle Monorail Project

    Photo courtesy of the Seattle Monorail Project
    Local geotechnical and field survey contractors have been working all summer along the Green Line route to gather information for engineering and design. The final environmental impact statement is expected to be ready by the end of the year.

    Work to build the new 14-mile Seattle Monorail Green Line is under way, with significant opportunities for local contractors just around the corner.

    In 2004, the Green Line alignment and station locations will be approved, and construction contractors will be selected. The project breaks ground in 2005 and the first segment opens in 2007.

    Seattle ranks among the top 10 cities in the nation for transportation — the most congested and most expensive. Each Seattle household spends an average of over $9,000 a year, or 20 percent of the average family budget, just trying to get around the city. Yet our transit options lag behind other cities.

    Using state-of-the-art technology, the monorail will provide an alternative to congestion, saving people time and money. It will restore Seattle’s position as a forward-thinking city with the transportation infrastructure in place to foster both economic growth and a high quality of life.

    The Seattle Monorail Project is the largest public works project in Seattle’s history. The Green Line will provide tremendous benefits to the local economy by directly contributing over 1,500 construction jobs for each year of construction. This equals $156.84 million a year in total labor income that will be circulated back into the local economy.

    Other governments such as the city of Seattle and Seattle Public Schools will also benefit from as much as $120 million in new tax collections, based on increased property values along the Green Line. This new revenue could fund critical social programs, expand educational opportunities or help fund other transportation needs, in turn creating more jobs.

    A new approach

    The Green Line will be built through an approach called design, build, operate and maintain (DBOM). DBOM is an innovative contracting method that reduces the time and owner risks associated with delivering major projects. The DBOM process will also allow for collaboration and flexibility not typical in the traditional bid process to enhance participation by small and local businesses over a longer period of time.

    The Seattle Monorail Project will hold a networking session for disadvantaged, women- and minority-owned business enterprises interested in pursuing Green Line work.

    Sept. 17
    6-9 p.m.
    Seattle Central Community College,
    Rooms 1110-1111
    1701 Broadway
    For info: (206) 382-1220

    Two teams, Team Monorail and Cascadia Monorail Co., are currently vying to build the Green Line using the DBOM process. The teams are composed of the leading vehicle suppliers and construction companies in the world. When the competition ends next year, the winner will have demonstrated that it can provide the best quality at the best price and deliver the Green Line on time.

    The final request for proposals for the DBOM contract will be issued in the first quarter of 2004, followed by the selection of a winning team in the fall. Local contractors and labor will be tapped by the winning team to do a substantial amount of the work building the Green Line.

    Sustainable local economy

    As the first step toward making sure Seattle’s tax dollars contribute to a sustainable local economic infrastructure, the SMP board of directors called for workforce diversity. The SMP is committed to providing business opportunities for minority-owned, women-owned, and small businesses in the procurement of construction, equipment, materials, supplies and services for the project.

    The SMP will play a leadership role in integrating diversity into its business culture and establishing the same clear expectations of its contractors. A weekly payment system was adopted to encourage work with small businesses through the timely delivery of payments. The SMP has also simplified necessary paperwork and requirements, and is working on providing bonding and insurance support for small contractors.

    Contracting opportunities

    On Sept. 17, the SMP will hold a networking session for persons and firms interested in pursuing contracting opportunities to build the Green Line.

    The Green Line will contribute over 1,500 construction jobs for each year of construction.

    Participants will learn about the project and the DBOM process, how to register as a vendor with SMP and what key resources are available to assist small and diverse businesses and workers.

    Representatives from the proposing teams will provide information on becoming part of their teams. Resource organizations assisting small businesses will also be present to answer questions. Look for additional networking opportunities over the coming months.

    The environmental impact statement is on schedule to be completed within 12 months of launching the project. (The national average for a major transportation project is five years.)

    Local geotechnical and field survey contractors have been working all summer along the Green Line route to gather information for engineering and design. And the leading architectural firms in the city have been hired to design stations.

    Seattle is on its way to an affordable alternative to congestion and pollution.

    Tom Horkan, director of construction for the Seattle Monorail Project, has extensive experience managing large-scale transportation projects and programs. He most recently managed the project development for the Tacoma Narrows Bridge, the first major transportation design-build project in Washington.

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