The New York State Thruway Authority and the New York State Department of Transportation today released the list of qualified competitive bidders for the new Tappan Zee Hudson River Crossing Project. The announcement marks a milestone in Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s plan to expedite the replacement of the aging and obsolete Tappan Zee Bridge, an effort that has been bogged down for over a decade.
Statements of Qualification were received from five design-build consortiums, and four internationally known groups were deemed qualified after a thorough multi-agency technical review. The qualified firms will have an opportunity to bid on the design and construction contract for the replacement bridge. A request for proposals for the redesigned Tappan Zee Bridge is expected to be issued to the bidders in the coming weeks.
The qualified consortiums include:
- Hudson River Bridge Constructors
(a group including Dragados USA, Inc., Flatiron Constructors, Inc., Samsung C&T, E&C Americas, Inc., and Yonkers Contracting Company, Inc.)
- Kiewit-Skanska-Weeks Joint Venture
(Kiewit Infrastructure Co., Skanska USA Civil Northeast Inc., and Weeks Marine, Inc.)
- Tappan Zee Bridge Partners, a Bechtel/Tutor Perini Joint Venture
(Bechtel Infrastructure Corporation and Tutor Perini Corporation)
- Tappan Zee Constructors
(Fluor Enterprises, Inc., American Bridge Company, Granite Construction Northeast, Inc., and Traylor Bros., Inc.)
After Design-Build proposals are submitted and reviewed, one of the four short-listed consortiums will be selected later this year to construct the new bridge.
New York State Thruway Authority Chairman Howard P. Milstein said, “New York can now begin the single largest bridge project in its modern history. The eventual contract awardee will be setting a national standard for similar mega-projects that are completed on an accelerated and environmentally sound schedule.”
State Department of Transportation Commissioner Joan McDonald, said “Today marks a significant milestone in Governor Cuomo’s push to make a new Tappan Zee Bridge a reality. Through an extensive review process, technical experts from the state Department of Transportation and the Thruway Authority recommended these qualified companies, which are ready to compete for the opportunity to design and construct the new bridge. With this achievement and last week’s release of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement, New York State is moving forward on this critical project after years of study and delay.”
Michael Davies of the Federal Highway Administration added, “The process the Thruway and State DOT followed during their review of the Statement of Qualifications was exceptional. Both agencies worked in a collaborative manner to review each team’s proposal, and the Federal partners believe the process New York followed is one of the best our agency has witnessed.”
Thruway Chief Engineer Ted Nadratowski, the Authority’s Selection Official, said “This selection of short-listed teams is an important part of the process, but due diligence of all teams and individual companies will continue as we move toward selection of the team who will actually build this bridge.” Nadratowski added, “It’s the most important procurement we’ve ever considered, and it must be completed with utmost care at every stage of the process.”
Under the “Design-Build” process authorized by the New York State legislature last year, the private sector competes to offer the most innovative, cost effective designs for the new bridge. Rather than the state mandating a specific bridge design and construction method, qualified firms compete to bring cutting edge ideas and technology for the replacement bridge. The design-build process permits an expedited construction schedule compared to traditional state contracting, and offers significant cost savings with less risk to state taxpayers of design changes and resulting cost overruns.
The evaluation of bidder qualifications was conducted by Technical Evaluation Teams drawn from the State Department of Transportation, the Thruway Authority, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and the Federal Highway Administration. Forty seven career technical experts in procurement, engineering, environmental analysis, law and finance analyzed the submissions according to criteria including:
* Experience in projects of this scale;
* Past performance with a record of quality and completion of projects within budget;
* Project understanding and ability to undertake specific risks related to design-build construction;
* Organization capabilities;
* Key personnel who have successfully managed all aspects of similar projects;
* Environmental compliance;
* Financial capability; and
* Bonding capacity.
Earlier concepts for the Tappan Zee Bridge project have been the subject of public discussion for nearly a decade, and there has been a focused and ongoing public participation process since the re-launch of the project late last year. Numerous public presentations and meetings have been conducted by project staff, and state and local officials in Rockland and Westchester Counties have been regularly consulted. Public participation will be heightened at the end of February during hearings on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement.
Tappan Zee Hudson River Crossing Project milestones include:
- October 10, 2011 – Governor Cuomo redefines and right-sizes the project goals
- October 11 – President Obama announces that Federal environmental review will go forward on an accelerated schedule
- December 9 – Legislation is passed in Albany providing for “Design-Build” government procurements for the first time in New York State
- December 28 – Letter of Intent for Federal funding participation is submitted
- January 10, 2012 – The deadline for Request For Qualifications submissions to identify a short list of proposers is successfully achieved
- January 19 – Draft Environmental Impact Statement submitted on time to the Federal Highway Administration
- February 7 – Tappan Zee Project Team selects four qualified proposers (short list), one of whom will be selected to build the project
Denise Richardson, Managing Director of the General Contractors Association of New York, said “The eminent qualifications of the selected teams will assure that the complex issues this project faces will be handled thoughtfully and expeditiously. Successfully building the new Tappan Zee Bridge will require an ongoing partnership among all of the stakeholders to address the logistical, environmental and risk factors involved. The GCA looks forward to being part of this effort. We congratulate the Governor, the Thruway Authority, and NYSDOT for their leadership in advancing this long delayed and critical infrastructure investment.”
Edward J. Malloy, President of the New York State Building and Construction Trades Council, AFL-CIO said “The Council is extremely pleased that with today’s announcement this important project continues to move forward under Governor Cuomo’s leadership. The project labor agreement used for the 1994 Tappan Zee project was a tremendous success, and we expect an equally successful agreement for this project.”
Marc Herbst, Executive Director of the Long Island Contractors Association, said “One cannot overstate the role of this Hudson River Crossing to our state’s economy, our transportation system and New York’s future. It has assumed a priority on the Governor’s agenda because he recognizes, as few have, that without a viable bridge crossing, our ability to move people and products will literally come to a screeching halt. Commerce, as we know it, will cease. After decades of planning, study and commentary, New York has no choice but to replace a span whose mission is irreplaceable.”
Ross J. Pepe, President of the Construction Industry Council of Westchester and Hudson Valley, Inc. said “By choosing the construction design-build teams, New York State has taken a major step forward to advance the replacement of the aging Tappan Zee Bridge with new iconic spans across the Hudson River. The design-build concept unites highly professional teams of engineers and contractors which will do the actual work to achieve maximum innovation and a streamlined process for faster delivery of this vital transportation facility. When complete this new crossing will kick-start our economic resurgence as well as serve the transportation needs of generations of commuters, freight haulers and other travelers.”
Edward Doyle, President of the Westchester Building Trades Council said, “We at the Council are fully in favor of moving ahead with this important project as quickly as possible. Today’s announcement is another step to putting men and women back to work in New York State. We thank the Governor and his team for their continued work on this project.”
Mike Elmendorf, President and CEO of the Associated General Contractors of New York State (AGC NYS), said “This announcement brings New Yorkers one step closer to the ultimate goal– a new Tappan Zee Bridge, a critical project that has been long discussed and lamented without action. We commend Governor Cuomo for his commitment not only to advancing this major project, but to investing in infrastructure throughout our state that will both create jobs and sustain our economy.”