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Three firms make first cut in bridge bidding

May 10 2012

Three firms have been short-listed to evaluate the city's design for the new Johnson Street Bridge and submit proposals to build it.

The teams that qualified from eight that expressed an interest are:

? PCL Constructors Westcoast Inc., (and) Hardesty & Hanover, Thurber Engineering, Tensor Engineering, Robert J. Connor & Associates and D.L.

McQuaid & Associates Inc.

? Peter Kiewit Infrastructure Co. (Kiewit), (and) EC Driver & Associates Inc., Shannon & Wilson Inc. and Urban Systems

? WCC Construction Canada, ULC, (and) Collins Engineers, Somerset Engineering/KWH Constructors and Farmer Construction Company.

"Interest was very high. We had eight really strong candidates come forward and we've short-listed to three," Mayor Dean Fortin said.

Each team now will be invited to participate in a detailed engineering review of the designs and submit an indicative price - essentially a preliminary estimate - to the city in six weeks.

They will also review the city's design and suggest any alterations or adjustments that will, keeping the design in mind, deliver the project on time and on budget.

"So by the end of June these three firms will come back and provide us with indicative pricing," Fortin said.

"Without really knowing what they would build the bridge for, they will come back and say: the budget is sufficient to build this with this design."

The three firms will then submit a fixed-price proposal to replace the Johnson Street Bridge.

Evaluation of the proposals will be completed in October. That will be followed by a report to council recommending the award of the contract.

Fortin said he is confident the process will result in the best competitive pricing and that the bridge can be built within the $92.8-million budget.

"If, in six weeks, all three come back and say, 'No, with the design you have or the timeline, or the design, or the budget, we can't do this,' then council has some heavy lifting to do," Fortin said.

"But we're fairly confident we're going to get three green lights from these people and we'll be able to move forward."

City-appointed independent fairness monitor Jamie Cassels oversaw the short-listing process and reported that the selection of the three candidates was fair in all respects.

"I observed the deliberations of the evaluation team, their communications with advisers, meetings with proponents and final decision-making process," Cassels wrote in his report.

"The process was carried out as indicated in the RFQ [Request for Qualifications]. It was fair and professional throughout, and I observed no fairness defects."

bcleverley@timescolonist.com

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