333 S. Meridian, Puyallup, WA 98371 - 253-841-4321

City of Puyallup

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SS- 3657   4.    
City Council Study Session
Meeting Date: 04/23/2013  
Subject:    2nd St NE Railroad Crossing Upgrade
Presenter: Mark Palmer
Department: Public Works  

Recommended Action
Approve a contract in the amount of $95,360 with Salinas Construction, Inc. for the 2nd Street NE railroad crossing upgrades.
The railroad crossing upgrades project was listed as #5 on the short list for Tier II funding in the 2013 budget. At the beginning of the year, no funds were available for any Tier II projects. On April 9th, 2013, Council approved the use of $150,000 of LIFT Grant funds for the railroad crossing project. The Council also approved the designation of $212,000 of funds from 2012 to Tier II projects within the Street Fund.

In anticipation of these actions, staff initiated contact with BNSF in early March. During this initial contact it was discovered that BNSF was being directed to correct the condition of crossings in Puyallup by the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (UTC) beginning no later than March 31. Additionally, BNSF indicated a strong desire to install longer-lasting repairs to the crossing which would require close coordination and cooperation with the City. Staff indicated a willingness to move forward with the project, however the March 31st deadline was untenable. A date of April 12-15 was set for the first crossing repair on Meridian. A schedule of a crossing every two weeks was established for six crossings in Puyallup. The second crossing to be repaired is 2nd Street NE (aka the bypass) on the weekend of April 26-29.

Bid documents were prepared for the 2nd Street NE crossing immediately following the Meridian crossing construction, issued for bid on Tuesday, April 16th, and opened on Thursday, April 18th. The MSRC roster was used to notify interested contractors for this work. Five bids were received for the project, with the low bidder being Salinas Construction, Inc. at $93,360.
Previous Actions (Discussions/Presentations)
The Railroad Crossings project was approved by the Council for the 2013 budget but was not funded in the initial budget.

April 9th, 2013: Council approved use of $150,000 of LIFT Grant funds for the Railroad Crossing project. The eligible crossings for this funding are Meridian, 2nd St NE and 5th St NW. $212,000 of 2012 General Fund was also directed to the Street Fund for Tier II projects.

April 9th, 2013: Contract with Global Contractors for $26,275 was executed for construction of the Meridian Railroad crossing.

April 18th, 2013: bids were opened for the 2nd St NE crossing, apparent low bidder was Salinas Construction, Inc.
Summary of Proposal
Consideration of construction contract for Salinas Construction, Inc. for $95,360 for the 2nd St NE railroad crossing project.
No Action:

Council could elect to not approve the construction contract. BNSF's response to this action is unknown at this time, but it could include correction of the crossing using the current design. This design has proven to be short term at best. Projected higher rail traffic will only shorten this lift span. BNSF may also be willing to delay the project if there is an indication that we could proceed with the improved design at a later date. This later date would likely be measured in weeks instead of months.

Approve Contract:

The engineer's estimate based on the three bids received on the Meridian crossing and WSDOT bid analysis data indicated $70,072.30. The bids were higher than the estimate, however all five bids received were within a reasonably tight range. This probably indicates the common level of risk that the contractors felt were commensurate with the job conditions (narrow time windows for concrete pour, specialty fast setting concrete, night and weekend work, crowded work site, etc.) The bidders were also only provided two days to produce bid proposals, which may have also contributed to the higher prices. However, staff does not feel that substantial savings could be produced by rejecting the bids and re-advertising the project, particularly considering the tight grouping of the bids received. This project, along with the 4 subsequent crossing projects, represent a one time opportunity to work in concert with BNSF to produce an extended life crossing that will reduce the frequency of work required by both BNSF and City crews or contractors in the future. The number of citizen complaints should also be greatly reduced as well.

Approve Contract but request scope change:

Staff could present a change order to the contractor reducing the size of the concrete area to be placed, and consequently the cost of the project. Generally speaking, change orders are not a cost efficient way to obtain cost reductions since there is some room for negotiation by the contractor on the amount of credit applied for a reduction of scope. Further, the plans have extended the concrete to at least past the railroad's right-of-way since work within that right-of-way at any other time than working with BNSF is difficult to coordinate. Extending the concrete apron to and just beyond this point reduces the future need for lengthy and extensive coordination with BNSF to complete any work in this area.

Staff Recommendation: 

Staff recommends approving the current construction contract as presented as being in the long term interest of the City and a rare opportunity to work with BNSF within their right-of-way concurrently.

Fiscal Impact
Amount Budgeted: 362,000
Bid Amount: 95,360
City Funding Needed for Project: 0
Funds from Other Sources: 150,000
Ongoing Staff Costs: 0
Fiscal Impacts:
This project is within the LIFT grant area and will utilize a portion of the $150,000 of LIFT grant funds set aside by the Council for this project.
The completion of this project will reduce maintenance by both BNSF and City crews by creating a more durable and easily repairable crossing.
Bid Tab
Corporation Check
Construction Contract
Exclusion Check

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