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City Council Report

 

City Council Meeting: December 13, 2011

Agenda Item: 8-B  

To:                   Mayor and City Council 

From:              Martin Pastucha, Director of Public Works

David Martin, Director of Planning & Community Development

                        Kathryn Vernez, Deputy City Manager for Special Projects

Subject:         Expo Light Rail Station Betterment Components at Bergamot/26th Street, Memorial Park/17th Street, and Downtown/4th Street Stations

 

Recommended Action

Staff recommends that the City Council:

1.   Authorize the City Manager to negotiate and execute such agreements, as may be appropriate, not-to-exceed $6,700,000 (includes a contingency and reserve) with the Exposition Metro Line Construction Authority to perform final engineering services and construction of betterments at Bergamot/26th Street Station.

2.   Authorize the City Manager to negotiate and execute such agreements, as may be appropriate, not-to-exceed $2,400,000 (includes a contingency and reserve) with the Exposition Metro Line Construction Authority to perform final engineering services and construction of betterments at Memorial Park/17th Street Station.

3.   Authorize the City Manager to negotiate and execute such agreements, as may be appropriate, not-to-exceed $450,000 with the Exposition Metro Line Construction Authority to perform preliminary engineering services at the Downtown/4th Street Station.

4.   Authorize budget changes, including appropriations, as outlined in the Financial Impact and Budget Actions Section of this report.

5.   Authorize the Director of Public Works to issue any necessary change orders to complete additional work within budget authority.

 

Executive Summary

On September 13, 2011, the City Council authorized the City Manager to negotiate with the Exposition Metro Line Construction Authority (Authority) for the station betterments at Memorial Park/17th Street Station and at Bergamot/26th Street Station, and return to Council with final commitment recommendations.  In addition, on September 13, 2011, City staff provided an alternate improved Downtown/4th Street Station alignment that increases train operating speeds and improves station pedestrian access.  The revised alignment softens the curvature of the tracks enabling faster train speeds across the intersection of 5th Street/Colorado Avenue, reducing the potential wheel noise, and improves the resulting opportunities for use of the remainder of the former Sears Automotive and adjacent City-owned sites, including preserving the 4th Street tunnel access.  

 

Preliminary engineering services were approved on June 28, 2011 and are now complete for the Memorial Park/17th Street Station and at Bergamot/26th Street Station.  The Authority obtained cost proposals from Skanska-Rados Joint Venture (SRJV) for the City requested betterments at these two stations.  An independent assessment of the cost of the betterment was performed by the Authority.  The City and the Authority have worked together to negotiate a reasonable cost for the construction of the betterments.  The Authority identified the re-design of the Downtown/4th Street Station as a partial betterment to be funded in part by the City.  Skanska-Rados Joint Venture prepared a cost estimate for the preliminary engineering.

 

Staff recommends authorization to execute an agreement with the Authority to perform final engineering services and construction of the betterments at the Memorial Park/17th Street Station, Bergamot/26th Street Station and preliminary engineering services at the Downtown/4th Street Station.  Staff is requesting an appropriation of General Funds in a not-to-exceed amount of $6,700,000 for Bergamot/26th Street Station, $2,400,000 for Memorial Park/Mid-City, and $450,000 for the Downtown/4th Street Station.  During the design phase, a 15% reserve of $862,000 would be budgeted by the City until final design is completed.  The reserve would be used for any unanticipated additional costs that are estimated as design progresses to final design.  Only changes authorized by the Director of Public Works would be approved for payment to the Authority.  Upon completion of final design, the reserve would be reduced to $0 and only a construction contingency would be paid to the Authority for unanticipated change orders required during construction.  The total cost of engineering design services and construction as outlined above is $9,550,000. 

 

With regards to Bergamot/26th Street and Memorial Park/Mid-City stations, Metro and Expo have agreed to assist in securing California Public Utility Commission (CPUC) approval for the required grade crossings at the second entrances to these stations.

 

Background

The Exposition Light Rail line will connect from Downtown Los Angeles to Downtown Santa Monica with stations in Santa Monica at Bergamot Arts Center (Olympic/26th Street), Memorial Park/17th Street Station (Colorado/17th Street) and Downtown (Colorado/4th Street).  The Expo line is projected to be one of the busiest light rail lines in the country, with estimated 64,000 daily boardings.  The Exposition Light Rail Construction Authority is designing and building the line, and it will be turned over to the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) for operation following completion and testing.  Phase 2 of the Expo Light Rail Line to Santa Monica is scheduled to be complete and ready for passenger service in 2016.

 

On July 13, 2010, the Council unanimously adopted a range of recommendations for elements to be incorporated into the City’s three Expo stations that included:

·         Bergamot/26th Street Station: separate station platforms for east and west bound trains (side-loaded) with full pedestrian track crossings at both ends of the station to integrate the station with the adjacent Bergamot Art Center and the large ridership pool north of Olympic Boulevard. 

·         Memorial Park/17th Street: a second entrance at the west end of the center platform with a full pedestrian track crossing and an off-street transfer area and bicycle facility.

 

The recommendations prioritize functionality, safety and access, and advance Santa Monica’s integrated land use and circulation priorities established in the General Plan. The proactive integration of the stations into Santa Monica is critical to encourage ridership and convenient connections to the stations by bicycle, walking, transit and drop-off.  The City has been working closely with the Construction Authority and Metro on these recommendations as the design process has proceeded, and to ensure coordination with public and private projects in the station areas.

 

On June 28, 2011, the City Council authorized funds for preliminary engineering design services to pursue the Bergamot/26th Street station side-loaded platforms, and the Memorial Park/17th Street station western entrance and crossing.  On September 13, 2011, the City Council authorized the City Manager to negotiate with the Authority and Skanska-Rados joint venture team for identified station betterments at Memorial Park/17th Street Station and at Bergamot/26th Street Station, and return to Council with final commitment recommendations.

 

The project is currently in the design/pre-construction phase.  SRJV has completed portions of the 60% designs and submitted partial packages to the City for review.  Staff is currently reviewing and providing feedback on the 60% design packages for work east of 17th Street.  SRJV has also completed utility and geotechnical explorations to aid the design process.  Remaining 60% design packages for work west of 17th Street areas are expected at the end of this year.

 

Discussion

The Authority has completed Preliminary Engineering for City requested betterments at the Bergamot/26th Street and the Memorial Park/17th Street stations.  The scope of work for the betterments would also include completion of final design documents and construction of improvements.  The additional construction at the Memorial Park /17th Street Station primarily includes a western station entrance and signalized crossing to anticipate surges in ridership.  High bicycle use is projected at this station due to proximity to Santa Monica College and a high volume of businesses in the area.  This western entrance also supports direct access to Memorial Park recreational facilities, and significantly improves access for future mixed-use housing and commercial development envisioned as part of the Memorial Park activity center outlined in the Land Use and Circulation Element.  The additional work at Bergamot/26th Street Station entails developing two side platforms instead of one platform to integrate the station into Bergamot Arts Center and Bergamot Transit Village district with signalized pedestrian crossings at both ends of the station.  The crossing is being coordinated with proposed improvements in the area, and is critical to providing the direct access that would encourage ridership and connections to pedestrian, bicycle and bus facilities.  This betterment price consists of:

·         Additional civil, structural, and architectural elements.

·         Train control and communications equipment for the two stations such as additional station platform concrete and reinforcing steel.

·         Station and ticketing area canopies, handrails, metal arches, gates, pavers, tile, lighting, trash receptacles, benches, and map cases.

 

In addition to construction, Ticket Vending machines (TVMs) would be procured by Metro as part of the Uniform Fair System bulk procurement cost, where the City would be the recipient of bulk prices for the additional TVMs requested.  If the TVM count is reduced, the City would obtain a credit from the Authority for such reduction.

 

Negotiations - Memorial Park/17th Street Station and Bergamot/26th Street Station

Exposition Construction Authority’s initial proposal for construction of the betterments was $7,462,312 for the Bergamot/26th Street Station and $3,340,226 for the Memorial Park/17th Street Station.  The City’s initial cost estimate was $4,843,923 and $2,366,548 for each station respectively.  After several negotiating sessions where the scope of work was clarified and differences in the estimates were resolved, it was agreed that a fair cost for the subject betterments was $6,700,000 and $2,400,000, including an allowance of $350,000 for additional road work and a City controlled design reserve of $862,000.  Staff would work with the Authority to reduce the final cost for the roadwork to the fullest extent possible.  The City controlled reserve would be reduced to zero dollars ($0) upon completion of final design documents and those unused funds would be utilized for a construction contingency.  With regards to Bergamot/26th Street and Memorial Park/Mid-City stations, Metro and Expo have agreed to assist in securing California Public Utility Commission (CPUC) approval for the required grade crossings at the second entrances to these stations.

 

Preliminary Engineering – Downtown/4th Street Station

The initial Preliminary Engineering concept (approximately 10-30% design) for the Downtown/4th Street Station utilized the majority of the former Sears Automotive site at 4th Street and Colorado Avenue for the station site.  This design would require trains to slow significantly as they navigate the turn with the potential for resulting wheel noise along the curvature and extended east-west signal phases at the 5th Street/Colorado intersection.  The City has worked closely with the Construction Authority to evaluate the proposed station with respect to train operations, pedestrian circulation, vehicle flow, noise and the resulting site design.  Through this process, the City and Authority identified an improved Downtown/4th Street Station alignment that reduces impact to traffic operation and improves station pedestrian access.  The position of the station on the site addresses visibility issues at the intersection of 5th/Colorado through Expo acquisition of the property at the southwest corner.  It also begins to integrate the station within the future Colorado Esplanade and create opportunities for clear pedestrian orientation and wayfinding to direct users to and from the Downtown, Civic Center and Pier.  The revised alignment softens the curvature of the tracks enabling faster egress across the intersection of 5th Street/Colorado Avenue, reducing the potential wheel noise, and improving the resulting opportunities for use of the remainder of the City-owned sites.  Preliminary engineering needs to be completed for the improved Downtown/4th Street Station alignment as soon as possible to avoid delay of the project schedule.  Through the design, the Authority would be establishing and presenting a bid price to the City for the construction cost of the requested enhancements.

 

The SRJV team provided proposals for preliminary engineering of the Downtown/4th Street Station revised alignment covering engineering, station design, landscape architecture, and systems design (traction power, overhead catenary system, track alignment, etc.).  Primary work proposed to be done under the agreements includes:

·         Revise the track alignment.

·         Prepare updated site plans that reflect revised configuration and rearrangement of ticketing areas, ramps, pedestrian crossings associated plan, section and elevation drawing.

·         Revise grading, drainage and composite utility plans.

·         Revise structural foundation and platform plans with longitudinal sections and structural sections and details.

 

The proposed preliminary engineering work modifies an estimated 15 sheets within the design set to match the work done as part of Stage A and form a basis for cost for the construction work.  Staff has reviewed the work tasks and preliminary engineering proposal, and provided comments back to the Authority and SRJV regarding scope refinements that remove errors and redundancies and are calibrated to the level of detail commensurate with the Stage A drawings.  Staff has negotiated a revised estimate of $450,000.  The Expo Construction Authority would submit to the City progress and final statements indicating actual work performed by their contractor during their normal billing period (with direct and indirect costs of the work directly associated with this City authorized work) within 120 days following the commencement of the subject work.  The City shall review all invoices and make appropriate payments within forty (40) days of receipt of such invoices.


 

Financial Impacts & Budget Actions

Costs for betterment construction would be paid to the Authority in an amount not-to-exceed $6,700,000 for Bergamot/26th Street Station and $2,400,000 for the Memorial Park/Mid-City Station.  In addition $450,000 would be paid to the Authority to cover the cost of preliminary engineering for Downtown/4th Street Station.  A City controlled reserve of 15% totaling $862,000 for the two stations will be budgeted by the City for any necessary changes to complete the work.  The total cost for Bergamot/26th Street Station and Memorial Park/Mid-City is $9,100,000.  It is recommended that $5,000,000 in the General Fund be appropriated to account C017065.589000.  Staff will return to Council with any further action after real estate negotiations with the Authority are complete.  Release $450,000 from Prop A Rail Reserve in account 20.341895 and appropriate $450,000 to account C207065.589000 Expo PE Downtown/4th Street Station, subject to Metro approval.

 

Prepared by:            Alex Nazarchuk, P.E., Civil Engineer

                                    Francie Stefan, Strategic & Transportation Planning Manager

 

 

Approved:

 

Approved:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kathryn Vernez

Deputy City Manager for Special Projects

 

David Martin

Director of Planning & Community Development

 

 

Approved:

 

Forwarded to Council:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Martin Pastucha

Director of Public Works

 

Rod Gould

City Manager