• Posts by Nancy C. Smith
    Partner

    Co-founder of Nossaman’s Infrastructure Group, Nancy Smith is nationally known for her expertise in use of design-build, public-private partnerships (P3s) and other innovative contracting methodologies for public ...

Financing for the Maryland Purple Line closed on Friday, June 17 – marking an important milestone for the Maryland Transit Administration’s (and Maryland Department of Transportation’s) plan to deliver a transit solution to ease travel between the Maryland suburbs and Washington, D.C.

Once the project reached commercial close in early April, the winning concessionaire, Purple Line Transit Partners LLC (PLTP), worked closely with the MTA/MDOT team to finalize the financing structure and various other issues. This culminated in a week of financial closings which allowed ...

Posted in Design-Build

Design liability and right-of-way risk allocation are topics addressed in a legal research digest recently published by the Transportation Research Board’s National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP).  The report, which can be downloaded here, discusses statutes, case law and contract language relevant to design liability, addresses how the right of way acquisition process interrelates with design-build projects, and analyzes how design-build contracts allocate the related risks.  The report was authored by Michael Loulakis (Capital Project Strategies ...

Expected to dramatically improve mobility in one of the more highly congested regions in Southern California, the Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority (Authority) completed the Foothill Gold Line from Pasadena to Azusa on September 23, 2015.  After achieving this milestone, the Authority turned the project over to the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) to complete testing and training and then operate the project.  Metro expects to announce a start date for passenger service within 30 days of turnover, and anticipates ...

At the dedication celebration for the Gold Line’s Arcadia Station last weekend, Phil Washington, the CEO of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, said he expects passenger service on the Gold Line to begin next spring. The exact date for start of service will be announced after the system is turned over to Metro for testing. Arcadia Mayor Gary Kovacic, who emceed the event, made a point of telling Mr. Washington (who recently moved to Los Angeles from Denver) that spring begins much earlier in Arcadia than in Denver, perhaps as early as December or January.

The ...

Posted in Design-Build, P3s

Experience with innovative procurements indicates that holding one-on-one meetings with proposers is beneficial whenever selection is based on a best value evaluation of competitive proposals—whether the procurement contemplates selection based on initial proposals or whether selection will be made following discussions and receipt of revised proposals.  Some agencies are unaccustomed to holding confidential meetings with proposers and we are often asked for information about best practices for these meetings.  This blog discusses the benefits of such meetings and ...

With the enactment of Senate Bill 785, the State of California has taken a major step forward in authorizing state and local agencies to use design-build.  Although many California agencies have the ability to use design-build without the need for specific enabling legislation, other agencies require specific design-build legislation in order to be able to use design-build effectively, either because they are precluded by law from using a best value selection process for design-build or do not have the ability to bundle design and construction into a single contract.

The new statute consolidates and amends existing laws allowing state and local agencies to use design-build, resolving various problems and inconsistencies with prior legislation.  The bill grants authority to the following agencies (and repeals their existing design-build authorization):

1. State agencies:  The Department of General Services and the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, for public works projects in excess of $1,000,000 (Public Contract Code 10187 et seq., article entitled State Agency Design-Build Projects).

2. Local agencies:

a) The following agencies, for public works projects in excess of $1,000,000 (Public Contract Code §22160 et seq., chapter entitled Local Agency Design-Build Projects):

(1) A city, county, or city and county.

(2) A special district that operates wastewater facilities, solid waste management facilities, water recycling facilities, or fire protection facilities.

(3) Any transit district, included transit district, municipal operator, included municipal operator, any consolidated agency, as described in Section 132353.1 of the Public Utilities Code, any joint powers authority formed to provide transit service, any county transportation commission created pursuant to Section 130050 of the Public Utilities Code, or any other local or regional agency, responsible for the construction of transit projects.  (Existing authorization remains effective until 2017 for solicitations already underway as of January 1, 2015.)

b) Sonoma Valley Health Care District and the Marin Healthcare District, for hospital or health facility buildings and related improvements (Health and Safety Code §32132.5).

c) San Diego Unified Port District, for buildings and related improvements in excess of $1,000,000 (SB 785 § 15).

The legislation specifically states that it does not affect affect, expand, alter, or limit any rights or remedies otherwise available at law—making it clear that agencies using design-build based on other authority will not be affected by passage of SB 785.

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Posted in P3s

Earlier this year the SHRP 2 Program and the Transportation Research Board issued a report entitled The Effect of Public-Private Partnerships and Non-Traditional Procurement Processes on Highway Planning, Environmental Review and Collaborative Decision Making, which is available on the TRB website.

Public-private partnerships (P3s) have become an important tool in developing and financing infrastructure improvements, and are being used by transportation agencies across the nation.  One issue faced by agencies wishing to explore the use of P3s concerns how P3 strategies ...

Posted in Policy

As we have previously reported,  the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and Federal Transit Administration (FTA) recently adopted policies requiring Buy America compliance for utility relocations for federally funded transportation projects in cases where the utility performs relocation work.  On June 28, 2013, the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), American Public Transportation Association (APTA), streetcar project sponsors, and associations representing electric, gas and broadband utilities sent a joint letter to the ...

Posted in Policy

State public records acts and the federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) were enacted to prevent favoritism and corruption, but have had unintended consequences on competition for public projects.  As discussed in a recent article, requests for information have become a vehicle for contractors to obtain valuable information about their competitors that might not otherwise be available.

In addition, requirements to disclose information about a project to the public, including information about proposals received, whether compelled by law, political pressure, or ...

As reported in our December 18 post, the New York State Thruway Authority unanimously approved award of the design-build contract for the Tappan Zee bridge replacement project to Tappan Zee Constructors, LLC.  All required approvals for contract award have now been obtained, and the Authority issued the notice to proceed on January 18, 2013.

On Friday, Dec. 9, 2011, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed historic design-build legislation into law, giving five state entities - the New York State Department of Transportation, the New York State Thruway Authority, the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, the Department of Environmental Conservation and the New York State Bridge Authority - general authorization to enter into design-build contracts for capital projects for physical infrastructure.  Previously, only public universities had legislative authorization to use design-build. 

The ...

We are pleased to report that AB 294--the bill that was the subject of our blog yesterday--is no longer in play.

A last-minute amendment to California Assembly Bill 294, if passed, would wreak havoc on Caltrans and local agency plans to use design-build for state highway projects (Public Contract Code section 6800 et seq.) and to enter into public-private partnerships (P3s) for highway projects (Streets and Highways Code section 143).

The language added to the bill would preclude local agencies from hiring consultants to work on the projects, stating that all work must be done through Caltrans employees or consultants under contract with Caltrans.  Project consultants are often hired well ...

Yesterday, the Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority awarded a $486 million design-build contract to a Kiewit/Parsons joint venture. The contract is for the 11.5 mile extension of the Metro Gold Line light rail from the Sierra Madre Villa station in the City of Pasadena to Citrus Avenue near the boundary of the City of Azusa and the City of Glendora.  The Authority previously awarded a separate design-build contract to Skanska for the Iconic Freeway Structure within the same alignment.

The Authority made the award decision for the Foothill Extension project using ...

Nossaman LLP’s 30-plus infrastructure attorneys offer clients, colleagues, strategic partners, and industry media a wealth of practical experience, insider insight, and thoughtful analysis here on Infra Insight. We blog about what we know best, from industry-leading procurements to local and national policy developments that affect the market and our clients.

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