Monday, June 27, 2011

$233 MTA million tunneling contract


RE:  CENTRAL SUBWAY CONTRACTS FOR TUNNELING

MTA Board is proposing to approve a $233 Million Contract to a Montana construction company (with Italian affiliations) to buy 2 tunnel boring machines to bore an 8,240 foot long tunnel and cross tunnels.

DATE: MTA Board Meeting, Tuesday, June 28, 9 a.m., Item 12

AT: City Hall, room 408 (on TV, Comcast Channels 26 or 78).

ATTEND and testify and write to MTABoard@sfmta.com and Roberta.Boomer@sfmta.com .

OPPOSE the rush to award one of MTA’s largest construction contracts in history because:

Due diligence is required to analyze the bids for qualifications, bidding compliance etc., especially with relatively low Local/SBE participation and bid protests.

It is unwise to attempt to force Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) and political approvals of Federal New Starts Funding (not due until December 2011) and State Funding in light of other priorities.

Evaluate the possibility of “low-ball” bids with risks for high change orders, particularly since the FTA has fixed Federal Funding (if approved) and requires that all cost overruns be paid by the City and County of San Francisco, placing the City at extreme financial risk.

The Central Subway is arguably a flawed project that reduces existing and future transit levels of service, and the purchase of two tunnel boring machines is unwise---until and if federal funds are approved in December 2011.

Given Muni’s continued deferred infrastructure investments, the drain of local Prop K Funds would exacerbate Muni’s short-term decline.

Contracts should not be awarded until the Project Funding Plan is secure and the status of Federal, State and Local funds is clearly explained to the MTA Board, Board of Supervisors, Mayor and citizenry.

Project cost estimates need to be reevaluated and explained, delineating cost overruns in design, project management, construction management contracts, specific station design costs, specific construction cost estimates, contingency amounts and plans for worse-case-scenarios.

All large infrastructure projects have exceeded budgets, often in the extreme, and the taxpayers must not be liable.

Project and financial risks need to fully disclosed.

CONTRACT information

MTA BOARD AGENDA, see item 12

Regards,

Howard Wong for www.SaveMuni.com

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