Northgate Tunneling Contract
The highlight of the meeting was the approval of a $440 million contract for the tunneling from University of Washington Station to Northgate Station.
Before the meeting, there was some doubt that the Board would act on the contract, due to a protest from losing bidder Traylor/Frontier-Kemper. That all ended when ST CEO Joni Earl announced that she had received a letter from TFK the previous day that they would not pursue a rebid.
Despite TFK clearing the path, there was still protest from a couple truckers who had some harsh things to say about ST’s record on minority subcontracting. Elton Mason, owner of Washington State Trucking, complained that the winning bidder, JCM Northlink LLC, had used questionable and decertified subcontractors in its bid. Elton said he sent a letter to ST a week ago with his concerns, and has now filed a complaint with the Federal Transit Administration.
Eli Mason, Vice President of the Minority Contractors Association, echoed the concerns about decertified contractors.
Though it wasn’t mentioned by name, Grady Excavating, a prodigious recipient of contracts under the state’s Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) program, was kicked out of the minority-contracting program over a year ago.
When the item for the contract approval came up, staff went through how the subcontracting process was working for Northgate Link. In particular, no actual minority percentage goals have been set on the overall project, as agency rules required that the disparity study from University Link be completed first. That study is due to the Board in a few months. Minority contracting goals are then set for each contract, but can vary from contract to contract. Federal regulations call for an overall minority subcontracting goal for the project.
More after the jump.