Mass Transit - 20

Rail Contractors:
Skills Honed to Help
Contracting companies tap into their specialized fields of
expertise to support their transit agency clients to deliver better
constructed projects and enhance maintenance practices.
By Mischa Wanek-Libman, executive editor

R

ail infrastructure can be
capital intensive to build
and maintain, but with the
American Public Transportation
Association
reporting in its 2020 Fact
Book that nearly half of all
transit trips are taken on
rail modes, the need to keep this
infrastructure in top shape is vital
to maintaining safety and service.
To assist with this critical work,
transit agencies can and do turn
to rail contracting companies.

New Construction

Sound Transit has one of the most
ambitious system expansion programs in North America. The
agency currently has six light
rail or commuter rail projects in
the construction phase, three in
the planning phase and four rail
extensions and new stations that
have been voter-approved with expected opening dates before 2040.
The program also includes operations and maintenance facilities,
parking and access projects and
bus rapid transit (BRT) projects.
" Contractors are vital for constructing and delivering Sound
Transit's extensive voter-approved
system expansion, " explained
Pat McCormick, deputy director,
Construction Management with
Sound Transit. " The ST3 Plan,
approved by voters in 2016, will

20 |

cost an estimated $53.85 billion in
capital and operating investments
over a 25-year period of construction. ST3 will support more than
223,000 direct and indirect jobs.
This 25-year program expands
the mass transit network to connect 16 cities with light rail, as
well as 30 cities with BRT and ST
Express bus service, and 12 cities
with commuter rail. "
McCormick says a program
the size of ST3 relies on tens of
thousands of skilled construction workers each year. He notes
Sound Transit uses an existing
project labor agreement to provide
the building trades and the agency with the certainty of available
highly skilled workers, as well as
apprenticeship opportunities.
Procurement of rail contracting and consultant services for the
program is evaluated on a project-by-project basis with Sound
Transit utilizing traditional designbid-build, construction manager/
general contractor (CM/GC) and
design-build methods of delivery.
" Project delivery is dependent
on scope of work, schedule and
budget. There is no single preferred
procurement method, and we seek
input from the contracting industry as to contract size and how best
to deliver a successful contract for
the contractor and the agency, "
said McCormick.

Mass Transit | MassTransitmag.com | DECEMBER 2020/JANUARY 2021

A recent example of success that
comes from the collaboration between client and contractor can be
found in Trinity Metro's TEXRail
project, which opened on time and
under budget in January 2019. Bob
Baulsir, Trinity Metro's CEO and
president, who served as senior vice
president of the project and was
responsible for overseeing its construction and management, says
collaboration between the agency
and its contractor was " absolutely
essential " to the successful delivery
of the 27-mile commuter rail line.
" The relationship we had
in place with Archer Western
Herzog was vital to the success
of the project, which was on an
aggressive schedule with a can'tmiss deadline. Jacobs, our prime
management oversight contractor, also played a vital role in
completing the project. As issues
arose, the contractor, owner's representatives and owner all worked
together as a team to find solutions, " said Baulsir.
Trinity Metro used a CM/GC
method to deliver TEXRail and
Baulsir notes the project created
a cooperative atmosphere.
" We were able to establish
clearly defined goals early while
empowering our contractor to look
for design efficiencies. Throughout
the project, we held planning sessions and status meetings and re-

" NRC

members
are highly
motivated from
both a financial
and company
reputation
perspective to
find the most
innovative
solutions to
deliver projects
for less cost
without
compromising
safety. "
-MATT
GINSBERG, TGA
Association
Management
Solutions LLC


http://www.MassTransitmag.com

Mass Transit

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Mass Transit

Editor's Notebook: Recap of the Year in Two Parts
Q&A with FTA Deputy Administrator K. Jane Williams
People & Places
Imagine How COVID-19 Could Shape Mobility for People who Rely on Transit
A Gateway to a Quality Life
Rail Contractors: Skills Honed to Help
Transit Supplier Directory - Company Listings A-Z
Transit Supplier Directory - Product Category Listings
Products
Mass Transit - 1
Mass Transit - 2
Mass Transit - 3
Mass Transit - 4
Mass Transit - 5
Mass Transit - Editor's Notebook: Recap of the Year in Two Parts
Mass Transit - 7
Mass Transit - Q&A with FTA Deputy Administrator K. Jane Williams
Mass Transit - 9
Mass Transit - People & Places
Mass Transit - 11
Mass Transit - Imagine How COVID-19 Could Shape Mobility for People who Rely on Transit
Mass Transit - 13
Mass Transit - 14
Mass Transit - 15
Mass Transit - A Gateway to a Quality Life
Mass Transit - 17
Mass Transit - 18
Mass Transit - 19
Mass Transit - Rail Contractors: Skills Honed to Help
Mass Transit - 21
Mass Transit - 22
Mass Transit - 23
Mass Transit - Transit Supplier Directory - Company Listings A-Z
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