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San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge

Bay Bridge Seismic Safety

Contacts:
Bart Ney, Caltrans 510.224.6499
Randy Rentschler, BATA 510.817.5780
Stephen Maller, CTC 916.654.4245

New Bay Bridge SAS Contract Modified

Toll Bridge Program Oversight Committee Promotes Competition

Oakland, CA, Jan. 19, 2006 – The Toll Bridge Program Oversight Committee (TBPOC) consisting of Caltrans, the Bay Area Toll Authority and the California Transportation Commission has approved modifications to the advertised Self Anchored Suspension (SAS) Bridge contract for the new Bay Bridge in an effort to promote competition and to help reduce overall project costs by improving conditions for potential bidders.

Through value engineering and bidder outreach efforts, many contract enhancements to the SAS have been made by addenda in order to minimize risks to the construction schedule and to improve competitive bidding.

The bid opening date of February 1, 2006 has been extended at the request of SAS contract bidders to allow them more time to better prepare bids and develop their construction teams. The new bid opening date will be March 22, 2006. To help mitigate some of this extended time Caltrans will reduce its bid review process from 60 days to 30 days for awarding the contract. The award date will then be April 21, 2006 with an overall delay of only 20 days.

The TBPOC sponsored 3 contract bidder outreach meetings to improve communication and foster competitive bidding for the SAS in the months of September, October and November. As a result of these meetings and recent bidder inquiries, enhancements will be made to the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge SAS contract.

Through contract addendum 180 days has been added back to the current SAS contract to accommodate for the time bidders have requested to produce and approve engineering drawings, full scale models and to address steel market concerns. A six month, $50,000 per day incentive clause is being added to the contract to reward and encourage the contractor to save time.

An enhancement was also made to the existing Cost Reduction Incentive Program that would give a greater return to the contractor in the event that they found more cost effective methods for doing the work. These changes should decrease overall project costs and expedite the work.

Caltrans Director Will Kempton states, “The TBPOC has determined that one of the biggest risks to the cost of the project is the potential of not having competition from multiple bidders.” The stipend offered to contractors submitting responsive bids has been raised to $5 million, which will be awarded individually to the top three submissions. This makes submitting a bid more inviting by compensating contractors for their preliminary work.

Throughout the SAS advertising period the TBPOC has worked closely with the construction industry to identify key challenges and mitigate problems. Increased competition between potential bidders means a lower price for the project. The changes made to the SAS contract will benefit the project and show a strong spirit of partnership that will be carried forward into construction.