City Council Meeting: June 25, 2013

Agenda Item: 3-T

To:                   Mayor and City Council 

From:              Martin Pastucha, Director of Public Works

Subject:         Award Construction and Construction Management Contracts for the Bus Shelter Redevelopment Program


Recommended Action

Staff recommends that City Council:

  1. Authorize the City Manager to negotiate and execute a contract with West Valley Investment Group, Inc., a California-based corporation, in an amount not to exceed $6,680,909 (includes a 10% contingency) for construction of the Big Blue Bus Shelter Redevelopment Program.
  2. Authorize the City Manager to negotiate and execute a professional service agreement with Arcadis US, a Colorado-based corporation, in an amount not to exceed $621,500 (includes a 10% contingency) for construction management and inspection services for the Big Blue Bus - Bus Shelter Redevelopment Program.
  3. Authorize the Director of Public Works to issue any necessary change orders to complete additional work within budget authority.
  4. Appropriate the budget increases as outlined in the Fiscal Impact & Budget Actions section of this report.


Executive Summary

The Big Blue Bus – Bus Shelter Redevelopment Program consists of the demolition and reconstruction of approximately 313 bus shelters and 1,244 extended network signs with a custom design developed for the City of Santa Monica.


Staff recommends West Valley Investment Group, Inc. as the best bidder for the project for an amount not to exceed $6,680,909.


Arcadis US is recommended as the best firm to provide construction management services for the project for an amount not to exceed $621,500.


Due to underfunding, the total number of shelters and extended network signs to be constructed would be finalized by Big Blue Bus and Public Works staff and implemented in two phases based on available funding.



On March 3, 2009, Council authorized a professional services agreement with Lorcan O’Herlihy Architects (LOHA) for the bus shelters design services. LOHA developed the shelter design based on input received at outreach meetings with three Big Blue Bus-related groups: riders, drivers and maintenance staff. The design was reviewed by the Cultural Affairs Art Commission, and the Architecture Review Board for review and comments. On January 19, 2010, the final design was presented to Council. LOHA presented the final design at numerous Big Blue Bus public outreach events including the business improvement districts, neighborhood associations, business groups, the Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, key boards and commissions such as the Commission for the Senior Community and Disabilities Commission, and transit riders.


In September 2011, the City solicited bids for the construction of the Big Blue Bus - Bus Shelter Redevelopment Program. Three bids were received; however, all three bids were found to be non-responsive.  Two bidders provided incomplete bids and one bidder did not demonstrate a good faith effort in meeting the Underutilized Disadvantaged Business Enterprise goal, a requirement in utilizing federal funds. On January 10, 2012 Council rejected all the bids due to incomplete submittals and/or insufficient documentation.


The bidding process revealed questions regarding the reliability of the solar panels. The project team implemented a testing program for the proposed solar panel system to determine if it would produce enough power to reliably power the real time signs (RTS). The RTS are a key feature to improve bus rider experience by displaying a maximum of three lines of text with estimated arrival times of incoming buses. Test results indicated insufficient power to consistently supply signs in suboptimal weather.  


Staff is not confident that the originally proposed system would be reliable. The project scope was revised to use solar panels to only power lights at high and medium volume stops. Power for the RTS would instead use Power over the Ethernet (POE) with new infrastructure to install POE connections. POE utilizes existing line voltage for traffic control devices and converts it to low voltage suitable to run the RTS.


The scope was also modified to upgrade shelters along the Expo Rail route to serve as transfer points from rail to bus. Additionally, bid documents were revised to simplify the bidding process. The revised project scope was rebid on December 17, 2012.



The Big Blue Bus – Bus Shelter Redevelopment Program consists of constructing approximately 313 bus shelters custom designed for the City of Santa Monica, and installation of 1,244 extended network signs at bus stops outside of Santa Monica. The Big Blue Bus – Bus Stop Shelter Redevelopment Program would incorporate photovoltaic and custom design elements to increase sustainable and aesthetic functionality. The improvements would comply with all current City codes and standards, including but not limited to the Americans with Disabilities Act and Guidelines (ADA&G) and the Santa Monica City Municipal Code. The project would be constructed using sustainable building practices or materials. Materials would be easy to maintain in a coastal environment, highly durable and graffiti, weather and vandal resistant. Additionally, the Urban Forester issued approval for the design at locations that were within the tree protection zone and assisted in developing an approach sensitive to trees for the installation of shelters in areas adjacent to existing trees.


Contractor Selection for Construction

On December 17, 2012 a Notice Inviting Bids for general contracting services for the construction of the federally-funded Big Blue Bus - Bus Shelter Redevelopment Program was posted on the City’s online biding site and advertised in the Santa Monica Daily Press in accordance with City Charter and Municipal code provisions. Seventy-three prospective bidders registered on the City’s online bidding site. Ten bids were received and publicly opened on February 12, 2013. The engineers estimate was $6,500,000. Bid results are as follows:

            Bidder                                                                        Total Bid Amount    

            West Valley Investment Group, Inc.         $  6,986,000

            G2K Construction, Inc.                               $  7,277,777

            AWI Builders , Inc.                                        $  7,327,300

            Angeles Contractor, Inc.                             $  7,776,000

            Mallcraft, Inc.                                                            $  8,100,000

            AMG and Associates, Inc.                          $  8,106,000

            Environmental Coast, Inc.                         $  8,726,995

            USS Cal Builders                                        $  8,728,000

            Icon West, Inc.                                              $  9,057,572

            Ian Thomas Group                                      $10,219,807


Staff from Public Works, Big Blue Bus, the design consultant, and construction management firm made up the bid evaluation committee. Bids were evaluated on price, understanding of the project scope, approach to the work, direct experience on similar projects, public sector work experience, quality of proposed staff, scheduling of project activities, responsiveness to City requirements and experience with federal requirements with an emphasis on good faith efforts to reach out to Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBE).  References listed in the bid packages for the two lowest prime contractors were contacted and included: public agencies and (for the solar panel assemblies “Or Equal” substitute) facilities managers for transit authorities in Olympia, Washington; Orange, California; and Seattle, Washington. Staff visited the steel fabrication sub-contractors facilities, bus shelters (Orange, California) with the solar panel assemblies “Or Equal” substitute and also performed interviews with West Valley Investment Group and G2K Construction.


Staff also verified with the California State License Board that West Valley Investment Group, Inc. (WVIG) and all subcontractor licenses are current, active, and in good standing.  WVIG demonstrated a superior understanding of the project requirements and ability to successfully complete the project based on the following criteria: approach to public relations and project schedule, a proven track record of delivering high quality projects, sub-contractors that specialize in essential project scopes, the highest DBE participation and lowest bid price.  Based on the foregoing, staff recommends WVIG as the best bidder to provide construction services in accordance with City specifications.


Staff received a protest from the second low bidder regarding the “Or Equal” process regarding the solar panel assemblies. Staff reviewed the protest and responded that bidding documents requirements were met.


Consultant Selection for Construction Management

In January 2010, the City issued a Request for Qualifications for construction management and inspection services. Construction management includes inspection of the contractor’s work during construction, verifying and controlling field changes and unforeseen conditions, monitoring and mitigating impacts as a result of the construction activities, attending contractor’s safety meetings, attending periodic progress meetings, and maintaining all necessary inspection documentation relevant to the work conducted during construction. Twenty-six firms responded and five were short listed. Public Works staff interviewed the five shortlisted firms. Staff recommends Arcadis, US, Inc. as the best firm to provide construction management services for the project based on its experience with overseeing streetscape improvement projects and the qualifications of the staff assigned to this project.  Arcadis US, Inc. provided similar services for streetscape projects in Santa Monica; Los Angeles; Gilbert, AZ; and Tucson, AZ. Staff verified references and all respondents reported that Arcadis US, Inc. provided quality services.


Project Timeline

This project would be completed in two phases as available funding is not sufficient to cover the entire project scope as bid. In phase 1, staff from BBB and Public Works would remove bus stops and extended network signs to reduce the scope to be within the existing budget. At this time, project locations identified for removal include 1,244 extended network signs outside Santa Monica, ten shelters on Colorado Boulevard along the Expo Light Rail route, and bus shelters potentially eligible for funding as part of a development agreement. Staff anticipates completing 303 of the 313 planned bus shelters and none of the 1,244 planned extended network signs. Actual project savings would depend on the type and location of eliminated bus shelters.


Phase 2 would occur when additional funds are identified (approximately $1,005,000 including contingency). Staff would return to Council to request authorization to enhance the budget so that remaining bus shelters and extended network signs could be added back into the scope of work to complete the second phase of the project.


Public Outreach

Public outreach for the construction portion of this project would be provided by the Big Blue Bus Government and Community Relations staff, general contractor, and construction manager. Public outreach would include notifications distributed to adjacent properties and the surrounding community on the scope of the project, potential impacts and schedule with additional periodic updates on the City’s “Know Before You Go” (aka KBUG) and “Be Excited! Be prepared!” websites.


Construction Schedule

Construction would be rolled out in phases in order to minimize disruption and inconvenience to the community. Shop drawings and a fully functioning mockup must be developed prior to construction. Following approval of the mockup, the contractor would manufacture and store the bus shelters before installation on the street could begin. Installation of shelters is anticipated to begin in January 2014 and be completed by spring 2015.



Financial Impacts & Budget Actions

The contract to be awarded to West Valley Investment Group is for an amount not to exceed $6,680,909 (includes a 10% contingency). The professional services agreement to be awarded to Arcadis US, Inc. is for an amount not to exceed $621,500 (includes a 10% contingency). Funds in the amount of $6,581,263 are available in the FY 2012-13 budget in the following accounts: 

C200397.589080     $ 1,500,000 

C410114.589000     $ 5,081,263

Total                           $ 6,581,263


Award of contract and professional service agreement require an additional appropriation of $721,146 of Federal Sec 5307 1% Associated Transit Improvement (ATI) funds awarded to Big Blue Bus on April 16, 2013. ATI funds are allocated for transit enhancement capital projects such as improvements to bus stops. The additional appropriation will be posted to accounts:

C410114.589000     $    99,646 

C410114.589300     $   621,500  

Total                           $   721,146


The contracts for phase 1 would be charged to the following accounts:

C200397.589080     $1,500,000   (West Valley Investment Group)

C410114.589000     $5,180,909   (West Valley Investment Group)

C410114.589300     $   621,500   (Arcadis US)

Total                           $7,302,409


Additional funds in the amount of $1,005,000 (includes 10% contingency) would be necessary to complete phase 2 of the project to install the remaining ten originally planned bus stop shelters and 1,244 extended network signs. If this additional funding is not identified over the course of phase 1 then the project would be completed with 303 bus shelters in Santa Monica and none of the 1244 extended network signs planned for outside of the city.


Prepared by: Alex Parry, Senior Architect




Forwarded to Council:







Martin Pastucha

Director of Public Works


Rod Gould

City Manager