Contractor-elect chosen to negotiate for Central Link light rail tunnel project

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Following an extensive evaluation process, the team of Modern Transit Constructors has been chosen as contractor-elect to design and build the 4.5-mile Central Link light rail tunnel from downtown Seattle to N.E. 45th Street. The next step in the process is for Sound Transit to negotiate with the team on the details of the construction methodology and approach, and costs for completing the project. Should those negotiations prove unsuccessful, Sound Transit could enter negotiations with the other proposing team, Puget Link Construction.

The details of both proposals will remain confidential until negotiations are complete, in keeping with federal and state guidelines and the Federal Transit Administration's best business practices for design/build procurements. The design/build approach combines the project's design and construction into one contract. The purpose is to save time and reduce costs by having one procurement process and avoiding delays by having those who design a project and those who build it work together from the outset.

"Maintaining confidentiality is absolutely essential to assuring a successful and legal negotiation for the best contract for the region and for the taxpayers," according to Sound Transit's executive director Bob White. "If cost or technical information should leak out during negotiations it would violate the legally prescribed negotiation process, and we could have to go back to ‘square one' and start the process all over at great expense."

Once an agreement has been reached through negotiation, the proposed contract and the details of the proposals will be made public and reviewed by the Sound Transit Board's Finance Committee, and ultimately must win approval of the full Sound Transit Board.

Modern Transit Constructors is a team of firms headed by Modern Continental Construction Co. Inc. of Pelzer, N. Carolina, and also includes S.A. Healy Co., Impregilo Group of Italy, Parsons Transportation Group Inc., Robison Construction, and Dumez-GTM of France.

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Sound Transit plans, builds and operates regional transit systems and services to improve mobility for Central Puget Sound.