City Council Meeting: September 11, 2012

Agenda Item: 3-I

To:                   Mayor and City Council 

From:              Martin Pastucha, Director of Public Works

Subject:          Professional Services Agreement for Pier Bridge Replacement Project



Recommended Action

Staff recommends that the City Council authorize the City Manager to negotiate and execute a professional services agreement with T.Y.LIN International, a California-based company, in an amount not to exceed $850,000 to provide public outreach, conceptual design, and environmental documentation services for the Pier Bridge Replacement Project.


Executive Summary

The Pier Bridge is an existing concrete structure connecting Ocean Avenue to the Santa Monica Pier.  Constructed in 1939, the bridge is structurally and functionally deficient.  The Pier Bridge Replacement Project (Project) is intended to replace the existing structure to improve pedestrian, bicycle, and vehicular access to the Pier utilizing federal transportation grant funds. 


In March 2012 the City issued a Request for Qualifications for bridge engineering and associated services.  Staff recommends T.Y.LIN International to provide public outreach, conceptual design, and environmental documentation services for the Pier Bridge Replacement Project in an amount not to exceed $850,000.



On August 20, 2010, Council authorized staff to proceed with initiation of a project to replace the Pier Bridge and prepare and submit an application for federal transportation funding.  Subsequently, the proposed bridge replacement project was determined to be eligible for Federal funding under the Highway Bridge Program. 



The Pier Bridge is an existing concrete structure connecting Ocean Avenue to the Santa Monica Pier.  The bridge was built in 1939 and is nearing the end of its useful life.  The bridge is considered to be structurally deficient as it is potentially vulnerable to damage from a significant seismic event.  Additionally, the bridge is considered functionally obsolete as it has very narrow sidewalks, tall curbs, and a steep slope.  The Project is anticipated to provide a wider, multi-modal bridge, in compliance with current design and seismic standards.  Two major objectives of the Project are: 1) to create a safe and innovative structure suitable to the coastal environment and the City’s dynamic urban culture while protecting iconic and historical values of surrounding elements; and 2) to provide improved pedestrian and bicycle access to the Pier. 


Following the federal project application process, staff requested authorization from Caltrans for the preliminary engineering phase of the Project which includes design, public outreach, and environmental review and clearance.  The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and Caltrans have authorized this phase to begin and a funding reimbursement agreement for all preliminary engineering services between the City and Caltrans (on behalf of FHWA) has been executed in an amount not to exceed $1,250,000. Preliminary Engineering services costs will be reimbursed under this authorization. Preliminary Engineering services include concept design, preliminary studies, environmental clearance, and final design. The Federal Highway Bridge Program typically reimburses 88.53% of the cost of the project with a local match requirement of 11.47%.  For this project, Caltrans has authorized the use of “Toll Credits,” which covers the 11.47% in lieu of local funds to meet the grant match requirement; therefore, this Project is 100% federally funded for federal participating costs.  Although the Project is 100% reimbursable by federal funds, $50,000 is budgeted for services that are considered not federally participating. Unusual architectural treatments are generally not participating costs.


Currently, federal funds for the construction of the Project are programmed with Caltrans for FY 2015-16.  A request for authorization of federal funds for the construction phase will be submitted once the final design is complete.  It is anticipated that the federal participating construction cost of the Project will be 100% reimbursed as well. 


In accordance with federal funding requirements, the implementation of the Project must comply with the applicable federal, state, and local laws including compliance with environmental law.  The professional services recommended in this report are essential to the implementation of the Pier Bridge Replacement Project.  Staff will return to Council upon completion of the environmental review phase to request project approval and additional budget authority for the final design and preparation of construction documents for the Project. 


Consultant Selection

On March 26, 2012, a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) was posted on the City’s online bidding site for professional services to provide complete environmental, engineering, and design services for the replacement of the Pier Bridge.  Seven consulting firms obtained the RFQ.  On April 19, 2012, three proposals were received from the following firms: Moffat & Nichol, URS Corporation, and T.Y.LIN International.  A selection committee consisting of staff from the Planning and Community Development Department, the Public Works Department, and the Office of Pier Management reviewed the statements of qualifications.


On May 15, 2012, the selection committee conducted interviews with all three firms.  The selection process followed the consultant selection guidelines set forth by Caltrans and FHWA for federally funded projects.  Caltrans’ guidelines for professional services require that services agreements be awarded based on demonstrated competence and professional qualifications.  Federal guidelines prohibit the cost of services to be used as selection criteria.  Therefore, the selection criteria included the following: understanding of the project’s scope, experience on similar projects, qualifications of the proposed staff, familiarity with State and Federal procedures, capability of developing innovative or advance techniques, and demonstrated technical ability.


Based on the selection criteria, T.Y.LIN International is recommended as the most qualified company for the Project in accordance with Caltrans and FHWA specifications.  During the selection process, T.Y.LIN International demonstrated that it was the best firm for proposing the most qualified project team with the best relevant project management experience on similar bridge projects.  T.Y.LIN International demonstrated that its in-house project design team was the most cohesive and multi-disciplined.  T.Y.LIN International will provide public outreach, conceptual design, and environmental documentation services for the Project. 


Financial Impacts and Budget Actions

The contract to be awarded to T.Y.LIN International will not exceed $850,000. Funds will be reimbursed as authorized through Caltrans.  Funds in the amount of $850,000 are included in the FY 2012-14 Capital Improvement Plan budget in the following accounts:


FY 2012-13

FY 2013-14


$  50,000









Prepared by:  Selim Eren, Civil Engineer




Forwarded to Council:







Martin Pastucha

Director of Public Works


Rod Gould

City Manager