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Cross-Country Design-Build Picks Up Steam

Cross-Country Design-Build Picks Up Steam

Fall 2011

By Evan Caplicki

America’s infrastructure is in need of attention. Whether projects address decaying existing infrastructure or supply access to expanding areas, there is a strong demand for transportation investment. Public entities around the country continue to turn to design-build for all manner of these projects, from small rehabilitation projects to significant extensions of existing infrastructure to massive overhauls and replacement of decades-old infrastructure. Here are six recent examples from around the country:

1.    The Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (SCVTA) received four proposals from prequalified proposers for its Silicon Valley Berryessa Extension project, the 10-mile first phase of the Bay Area Rapid Transit system into San Jose, Calif. The SCVTA board will most likely award the design-build contract in December.

2.    The Washington State Department of Transportation has a long-standing design-build program and recently awarded two major design-build projects in the Seattle area: the $1.96 million SR-99 tunnel to replace the aging Alaska Way Viaduct and the $586.5 million SR-520 floating bridge replacement.

3.    The California Department of Transportation is proceeding apace with its design-build program, having already awarded its first contract (Madera 99), with five other projects under active procurement: I-15/I-215 Interchange Improvements (Devore), Fresno 180, San Mateo 101, Los Angeles 10/605 and San Diego 805 North.

4.    The New York State Department of Transportation (NYDOT) has started using design-build based on emergency authority. The NYDOT and New York State Thruway Authority have issued a statement that they plan to seek legislation to use design-build for a $5.2 billion replacement of the Tappan Zee Bridge in Rockland County.

5.    The Knik Arm Bridge and Toll Authority received statements of qualifications from six proposers and short-listed three of them as part of its Knik Arm Crossing Project. This $750 million project to design, build, finance, operate and maintain a tolled bridge and associated roadways adds a critical finance component to the project and will significantly shorten the travel time between Anchorage, Alaska, and the rapidly growing Mat-Su Borough.

6.    Transportation agencies in a number of other states, including Florida, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, North Carolina and Virginia, have implemented design-build programs as a means of accelerating critical projects.

With these undertakings, we can see that design-build is being sought out as a solution to transportation infrastructure problems facing the country today.

Evan Caplicki is an attorney with Nossaman LLP. As part of the firm’s Infrastructure Practice Group, he focuses on public contract law and construction litigation. He advises project owners on innovative contracting methods and public-private partnerships for large public infrastructure projects around the country.

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