Friday, September 06, 2013

For KC streetcar, discord over contract

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For KC streetcar, discord over contract Smartmoves/Mid-America Regional Council

Kansas City, Mo.'s City Council will vote on Sept. 12, 2013 on a construction contract for the city's 2.2-mile initial streetcar line, but approval reportedly is not assured.

The City Council's Transportation and Infrastructure Committee voted 3-1 on Thursday, Sept. 5, to award the contract to a joint venture of St. Joseph, Mo.-based Herzog Contracting Corp. and Alameda, Calif.-based Stacy and Witbeck. The latter company last July also landed Detroit's M1 streetcar project contract; the value of that contract was not disclosed.

But several City Council members are challenging the joint venture bid, suggesting the bid was not the lowest and best offer to the city. As well, the Heavy Constructors and Greater Kansas City Building and Trades Council are calling for a rebid, saying the selection process was subjective and could hurt local union workers chances' of getting jobs on the project.

Public Works Director Sherri McIntyre defended the committee's recommendation to award the contract to the Herzog-Stacy joint venture over rival bidder Kiewit-Clarkson Infrastructure Co. She told local media the process was open and known to all bidders, adding Herzog-Stacy has the best track record for building streetcar systems in a congested urban environment like downtown Kansas City.

The project this week was awarded $20 million in federal funding from the fifth round of TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) grants.