Friday, December 4, 2009

Sound Transit Bid Process
Alternative Design Bid Wording Request

December 3, 2009
The Honorable Mayor and City Councilmembers
City of Tacoma
747 Market Street
Tacoma, WA 98402-3766

Re: Alternative Design-Build Proposals
Sounder Train Extension, East C Street to South C Street (Part of D to M Extension)

Dear Mayor and City Councilmembers:

The Sounder Train Extension west from Freighthouse Square has been the focus of many discussions the past few years regarding route, budget, and design issues. The central point of contention has boiled down to a “berm” solution verses a “post and beam” solution from East C Street to South C Street. Granted some compromises have been incorporated in the “berm alternative”, however, the Dome District Association, along with many supporters from throughout the City, believes there may be a solution that will solve the group’s concerns while accomplishing the goals of the City and Sound Transit.

The requested process is an approach that is used extensively by the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) in many of their construction projects. This process would require:

1. adding the words “alternative design-build proposals will be accepted” to the bid specifications.

2. a clear delineation of the project criteria for decision making.

3. a modification to the bid evaluation process to include a step to assess the responsiveness to the project criteria of design-build proposals before the actual cost bid proposals are opened. (WSDOT has a simple application for this step.)

This proposal would:

1. not require a re-design by the Sound Transit project design team.

2. not extend the bidding and construction schedule.

3. likely save millions of dollars in construction cost.

4. maintain all of the design criteria of the project including rail alignment, grade, and connections.

5. give the opportunity for more competitive bid proposals for the bid package bids as well as any design-build proposals.

This approach may well give our City an acceptable solution for all parties while saving dollars and time for the project.

Please consider this approach and request Sound Transit to incorporate it into the bidding specifications.

Thank you.


Keith Stone
President, Dome District Association

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