Wednesday, November 06, 2013

FasTracks North Metro contract awarded

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Denver's Regional Transportation District (RTD) on Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2013, awarded a $343 million contract to an engineering consortium led by Graham Contracting Ltd. for design and construction of RTD's FasTracks North Metro project.

Graham Contracting, part of Calgary, Alberta-based Graham Group Ltd., has as partners Balfour Beatty, Inc. and Denver-based Hamon Contractors, Inc.

The North Metro project is part of RTD's FasTracks transit network of expanded bus, light rail, and regional rail lines. North Metro is a proposed 18.4-mile electrified regional rail line, one of only two such U.S. lines currently being created west of the Mississippi River, that will connect Denver Union Station and Adams County points.

The consortium expects to complete work on most of the line by January 2018, according to RTD General Manager Phil Washington. "We'll negotiate with the team for a three- to four-year hold on the price of the option" to build the remaining portion of the line, between 124th and 162nd, in case more money becomes available, Washington told local media.

RTD plans to pay for the project by issuing $480 million worth of certificates of participation, which the agency can do because it owns the right of way for the line and can use that, as well as the line and rail cars, as collateral, Washington said.

"We want to give the notice to proceed in Denver and we want to break ground in January or February — we are FasTracking this," Washington said.

The Graham Group submitted an unsolicited proposal last February to build the line, which RTD found worth considering even as it asked for competing bids.