San Francisco, CA ...The Toll Bridge Program Oversight Committee (TBPOC), consisting of Caltrans, the Bay Area Toll Authority (BATA) and the California Transportation Commission (CTC), named the contractor that will build the Self-Anchored Suspension (SAS) Bridge for the new East Span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge.
Less than 30 days since opening the two competing bids for the new span, the contract was awarded to the lowest bidder, Joint Venture American Bridge/Fluor Enterprises.
On the centennial of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, Caltrans Director Will Kempton signed the official award letter for the new signature span. The timing emphasized that the new East Span is first and foremost a seismic safety project.
A brief ceremony was held in San Francisco, overlooking the West Span of the Bay Bridge, and displaying a graphical rendering of the future signature element of the eastern span. The ceremony brought together the multiagency Oversight Committee, as well as executives from American Bridge, Fluor and Caltrans District 4 management. Among its many public works credentials, American Bridge played a major role in building the West Span — also a suspension bridge — back in the 1930s.
Caltrans Director Will Kempton said, “We now have all of the approvals that we need to move forward. The bridge's funding is secure and we have a good bid. We're able to start work.”
Robert Luffy, Chief Executive Officer for American Bridge, accepted the contract on behalf of the Joint Venture. "The increased cooperation with Caltrans really will bring big benefits to the State of California. It's a unique project on an unbelievable structure," he said.
On March 22, 2006, American Bridge/Fluor Enterprises, a Joint Venture, presented a bid for $1.43 billion, competing with a $1.68 billion bid submitted the same day by Kiewit/Koch Skanska/Manson, a Joint Venture. The winning bid was lower than the Caltrans engineers’ estimates for building the bridge, which was $1.45 billion. The review process, assessing the bids for responsiveness, began immediately.
“All great bridges set new standards for innovation. We are hoping that this bridge does the same,” said Steve Heminger, BATA executive director.
Since the contract was advertised in August 2005, the TBPOC has worked closely with the construction industry to identify and implement key contract enhancements to the SAS in order to improve competitive bidding. Amendments included extending the bid advertisement period, extending the contract by one year and enhancing incentives for contractor cost reduction.
The SAS is expected to be open to vehicle traffic in late 2013 and will be the world’s largest single tower self-anchored suspension bridge. Contractor incentives can potentially shorten the overall project construction by up to six months.
“We are looking forward to having a seismically safe bridge, a stunning addition to the region's skyline and a relatively quick commute across the bridge,” commented John Barna, Executive Director for the California Transportation Commission.
BATA is a unit of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission.