Bids for Capitol Hill light rail tunneling come in below estimate

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Apparent low bid is $20.7 million below engineer’s estimate

Sound Transit opened bids today for work that will get underway next year to bore light rail tunnels connecting Capitol Hill and the existing Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel.

The apparent low bid was submitted by JCM U-Link Joint Venture, formed by Jay Dee Contractors of Livonia, Mich.; Frank Collucio Construction Company of Seattle; and Michaels Corporation of Brownsville, Wis. Its bid of $153,556,000 came in 12 percent, or $20.7 million, below the Sound Transit engineer’s estimate of $174,304,700.

“The bids we opened today show that Puget Sound taxpayers will continue to benefit from the current favorable construction market,” said Sound Transit Link Light Rail Executive Director Ahmad Fazel. “University Link light rail construction is well underway and late next year we will reach the exciting milestone of launching a tunnel boring machine from the Capitol Hill Station.”

Sound Transit will review the apparent low bid to ensure it meets all project requirements and prepare a motion for review by the Sound Transit Board this fall. Sound Transit set a goal of 9 percent of the contract award to be performed by small businesses subcontractors.  The apparent low bid set a 9.67 percent small business goal.

The second bid received was very close to the lowest, at $154,139,000. It was submitted by Kenny/Shea Joint Venture, formed by Kenny Construction of Northbrook, Ill. and J.F. Shea Construction of Walnut, Calif.

University Link construction is currently underway at the locations where underground stations will serve Capitol Hill, located east of Broadway next to Seattle Central Community College, and University of Washington’s Husky Stadium. Crews are also currently working along Interstate 5 at the Olive Way exit to prepare the structures beneath the freeway for the tunnel boring machines to pass through.

The $1.9 billion University Link extension, located entirely underground, is expected to open in 2016, adding more than 70,000 riders a day to the system. With the Sound Transit 2 package that voters approved on Nov. 4, daily light rail ridership across a 55-mile regional light rail system is projected to total more than 286,000 by 2030.