UPDATE: City of Seattle opens the bidding for a new bridge design; Tunnel now part of the RFQ
UPDATE June 8
The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) has made an addendum to their original Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for replacement for the now damaged West Seattle Bridge. In the original RFQ the primary requirement was for companies applying to have ten years of bridge building experience. This requirement seemed to express an explicit bias for a bridge as the favored choice to cross the river, leaving other options unmentioned. Bob Ortblad, retired Civil Engineer whose concept for an immersed tube tunnel under the river has seen a substantial groundswell of support since it was first published in Westside Seattle, persisted in his efforts to get the tunnel and the potential for including light rail into the RFQ. SDOT on Monday said they were making the addendum to include just that.
It now reads:
REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS
20-018 - West Seattle High-Rise Bridge Replacement Design
- Purpose and Background to include the following statement:
Other replacement alternatives will be evaluated as part of the contract, and will include but may not be limited to tunnel and Sound Transit coordinated options.
The Seattle Department of Transportation has published on the City of Seattle Procurement site a "Request for Statement of Qualifications" regarding the design of a "West Seattle High-Rise Bridge Replacement Design."
The contract they estimate in the document is for a range of costs from $50 million to $150 milion and that it is "anticipated to be a multi-year phased contract, for approximately ten years," and that "it is anticipated that this contract will recieve federal funds."
SDOT said, "We are looking for designers who can commit to be available when we need them over the next decade, in case we are able to make short-term repairs now to reopen the bridge sooner, but then still need design support to replace the bridge a few years down the road."
SDOT shared their explanation for this action, see it below the RFQ.
Here's the RFQ
CITY OF SEATTLE
REQUEST FOR STATEMENT OF QUALIFICATIONS
Project: SDOT 20-018 West Seattle High-Rise Bridge Replacement Design
The City of Seattle, through Seattle Department of Transportation, requests Statements of Qualifications (SOQ) from qualified engineering firms for SDOT 20-018 West Seattle High-Rise Bridge Replacement Design .
This contract is estimated to be approximately $50 Million to $150 Million. This is anticipated to be a multi-year phased contract, for approximately ten years, as needed to deliver a partial or full replacement of the bridge. More detail to the schedule will be developed during the course of 2020 as scope direction is confirmed and, in an attempt, to accelerate the design and construction to the greatest extent practicable. It is anticipated that this contract will receive federal funds and therefore will proceed under this assumption.
On March 23, 2020, the West Seattle High-Rise Bridge was closed to vehicle traffic. This bridge is the City’s top arterial by volume, typically carrying an average of over 100,000 cars, trucks and buses every week. The bridge’s deterioration at an accelerated rate required a full closure for the safety of all users. Since that time, SDOT has continued to inspect and monitor the structure. There is a currently a design and construction team under contract working on the necessary steps to stabilize the structure and reduce the risk of failure. Next steps are to separately investigate a repair to the bridge for opening to traffic and to develop a replacement design. This solicitation is to obtain a comprehensive engineering team(s) to design a replacement of the West Seattle High-Rise Bridge. Core functions include: Alternatives/Analysis/Planning, Structural Bridge, Civil Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Architecture, Marine Design, Environmental and Permitting including Army Corps of Engineer and Tribes, Right-of-Way services, Survey, Planning and Traffic Analysis, Geotechnical Engineering, Project Management, Communications, Grant Writing Services, Construction Phasing, Constructability and Real Property Services. This work will require extensive coordination and coordination with stakeholders, partners (such as the Sound Transit and the Port), and elected officials, including a project specific Technical Advisory Panel, and other consultants and contractors.
An online Pre-submittal meeting is planned for Tuesday, June 9th at 1:00 p.m. Additional meeting details to follow.
Interested qualified consultants request the Request for Qualifications packet at the following address: https://www.seattle.procureware.com
NOTE: YOU MUST FORMALLY REGISTER AT PROCUREWARE IF YOU WISH TO RECEIVE ADDENDUMS.
The Request for SOQ’s packet includes a more detailed Scope of Work, administrative requirements such as sub-consulting, insurance, selection process, schedule, etc.
Electronic SOQ’s must be received by the Seattle Department of Transportation, Attention: Pamela Garcia – DOT_CCU@seattle.gov, by 2:00 p.m., June 30, 2020.
Any questions regarding this Request for SOQ’s may be submitted via Procureware. Response to questions will be provided via Procureware.
The City of Seattle in accordance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 78 Stat. 252, 42 U.S.C. 2000d to 2000d-4 and Title 49, Code of Federal Regulations, Department of Transportation, subtitle A, Office of the Secretary, Part 21, nondiscrimination in federally assisted programs of the Department of Transportation issued pursuant to such Act, hereby notifies all bidders that it will affirmatively ensure that in any contract entered into pursuant to this advertisement, disadvantaged business enterprises as defined at 49 CFR Part 26 will be afforded full opportunity to submit bids in response to this invitation and will not be discriminated against on the grounds of race, color, national origin, or sex in consideration for an award.
SDOT begins search for a team to design a potential replacement of the West Seattle High-Rise Bridge if we cannot repair it
The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) is continuing to urgently move forward with all options to reopen the West Seattle High-Rise Bridge as quickly as possible.
While we are making rapid progress on our efforts to stabilize and repair the bridge – an initial set of actions we must take no matter what, to preserve public safety – we need to have all pieces in place to quickly pivot if it becomes clear that fixing the bridge is no longer an option due to continued deterioration.
That is why today, June 2, we posted a Request for Qualifications (RFQ), marking the start of our search for a team to design a potential replacement bridge while we simultaneously continue working towards a possible repair.
Responding to a monumental challenge on multiple fronts at once:
We have taken action on the bridge, on the ground, and in the community every single day since cracks suddenly began growing exponentially forcing us to immediately close the city’s most used road which carried over 125,000 people a day:
- • Conducted in-person inspections of the bridge every day since March 20.
- • Installed an intelligent monitoring system and created an emergency plan for the worst-case scenario.
- • Completed over 80 projects in the communities affected by this closure to mitigate traffic, improve safety, and keep people moving.
- • Convened a task force of community leaders and advocates to help guide our path forward.
We continue to write flexibility into all our contracts and plans. Moving forward with this dual-track approach of repair and replacement is critical.
The Request for Qualifications (RFQ), invites design teams to show us how their experience makes them the best fit to design the replacement of the bridge. This step will allow us to make sure that we are selecting the most highly qualified team, while also giving us flexibility to adapt to changing circumstances before a contract is signed. We will look for the most creative teams, with a track record of delivering highly complex projects.
We have structured the West Seattle High-Rise Bridge design RFQ to allow maximum flexibility in terms of cost, length of the contract, and opportunities for federal investment so that we are able to be nimble, adapt to, and leverage all possible scenarios.
To be clear, at this time we are requesting qualifications for design teams to replace the West Seattle High-Rise Bridge because we want to ensure all pathways are primed to enable the fastest possible execution once our data and analysis indicates which – repair or replace – is most prudent.
If the moment comes when we can no longer pursue repair, this announcement ensures we will not lose valuable time hiring a design team to begin the rebuilding process.
This flexibility and keeping all options open is not new. Since March, we have written flexibility into all our West Seattle High-Rise Bridge contracts.
In April, we used emergency contracting authority to fast-track the selection of a contractor to help stabilize the bridge. While we still hope that our broader repair efforts will be successful, some level of repair will continue no matter what, as we diligently work to preclude any worst-case scenarios.
In that contract, we included provisions that enable the City to move nimbly and avoid being locked in to a single path forward if the situation changed. Similarly, we are again building in flexibility to pursue all options at once by having a team ready to begin designing a replacement bridge if needed.
Preliminary work on the potential replacement approach will also inform the relative costs and benefits of repair vs replacement of the structure.
Eventually we will reach a critical decision point to repair or replace the bridge
We expect to complete our analysis on the structural stability of the West Seattle High-Rise Bridge later this summer, thanks to all the systems put in place over the past few weeks and months to gather more information. This information is critical to understanding whether repairs to the bridge are still possible or if we must instead immediately pursue some method of replacement for the high-rise span of the West Seattle Bridge.
In May, we activated an intelligent monitoring system made up of over 75 movement sensors, crack monitors, and cameras to help us listen to and understand the bridge’s movement.
We have also been conducting non-destructive testing using ground penetrating radar to create an internal image of the bridge concrete and identify whether there are any voids or corrosion around the steel support tendons.
As we continue to gather data points daily, we are getting a better understanding of how the bridge is doing and if repairs seem feasible.
In considering this data and associated analysis, we will work closely with elected leaders and diverse community advocates through our just-announced West Seattle Bridge Community Task Force and our Technical Advisory Panel to ensure community voices and the leading experts in their field are not only heard, but at the table and engaged.
We will share more about upcoming decision points in the coming weeks.
In the mean time, planning for all trajectories simultaneously allows us to be nimble at every step of the way. At this time we must continue to prepare for all paths, but if at any time we realize that stabilization work is not the best way forward, we will be able to quickly pivot towards a bridge replacement because that process is already underway, with no time lost.
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- • Peek the frequently asked questions.
- • Check out the inspection reports.
- • Find links to other West Seattle Bridge blog articles.
Has SDOT pursued a combined approach with ST regarding the bridge. Environmental review is underway for ST and could shorten the length of time to get a new bridge.
SDOT unsupportive of an immersed tube tunnel?
The first minimum requirement in the SDOT Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for the prime consultant for a West Seattle Bridge replacement rules out any firm that is offering anything other than a bridge.
"1. The prime consultant firm must have a minimum of 10 years of experience in bridge planning, design and construction in a seismic zone 4 urban, marine environment."
So if it's up to SDOT, we won't be having any discussion of an Immersed Tube Tunnel as a viable replacement alternative.
replace with tunnel and include enough width for light rail