Sound Transit on May 30 opened six bids for the contract to mine 3.4 miles of twin light rail tunnels between Husky Stadium at the University of Washington and the Northgate Mall area in Seattle. The engineer’s estimate for the work was $594,803,500. The six bids ranged from $440 million to $517 million.
The apparent low bidder was JCM Northlink LLC, a joint venture formed by Jay Dee Contractors of Livonia, Mich.; Frank Collucio Construction Co. of Seattle; and Michaels Corp. of Brownsville, Wis., with a bid of $440,321,000. JCM recently completed work mining the light rail tunnels between downtown Seattle and Capitol Hill Station as part of the University Link project.
“We are very pleased with the competitive response from the contracting community on this important contract for the Agency that could save taxpayers millions of dollars,” said Ahmad Fazel, Sound Transit Executive Director of Design, Engineering and Construction Management.
The other bids included: Shea/Kenny, $443,565,000; Southland FCC, $464,700,000; Dragados, $464,840,980; TFK (Traylor, Frontier Kemper), $465,563,000; Healy, $517,000,000.
Sound Transit will now carefully evaluate the bids to determine the lowest responsive and responsible bidder. This process ensures that the low bidder meets all contract requirements. After that has been determined, staff will bring a recommendation to the Sound Transit Board to approve awarding the contract this summer.
The contract is the largest single piece of work on the $2.1 billion Northgate Link Extension project. In addition to the twin tunnels, it includes excavating the underground stations in the Roosevelt and U District neighborhoods.
Sound Transit set a goal of eight percent of the contract amount to be performed by small businesses and four percent to be performed by disadvantaged business enterprises (DBE).
The winning contractor will launch two tunnel boring machines from the Roosevelt Station site to excavate the tunnels to the U District Station and on to the University of Washington Station at Husky Stadium. A third tunnel boring machine will be launched from the Maple Leaf Portal near NE 94th Street and will bore two tunnels, one after the other, to the Roosevelt station. The work is scheduled to begin late this year and last just over four years.
Different Sound Transit contractors began preparing the Roosevelt Station site last summer and recently began demolition of existing buildings at the U District station site.
The Northgate Link project is scheduled to open in 2021 and will connect with the University Link tunnels to downtown Seattle. The University Link section is scheduled to open in 2016.
The Northgate Link Extension is a key part of the regional mass transit system approved by voters in 2008. The line will provide a fast, reliable option for commuters through one of the region’s most congested traffic areas.
Most of the line will be underground, with the track transitioning to the surface at a tunnel portal site along I-5 at about NE 94th Street. The above-ground light rail guideway will travel alongside I-5 before crossing over First Avenue NE, south of NE 100th Street, and connecting to the elevated Northgate Station.
When the Northgate Link Extension opens in 2021, it will be part of the 36 miles of new light rail lines running north, east and south from Seattle and is expected to add more than 60,000 daily boardings to the system by 2030. A ride from Northgate to downtown will take about 15 minutes.
For more information visit: www.soundtransit.org/Projects-and-Plans/Northgate-Link-Extension.