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

City of Puyallup

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AI- 3745   9.    
City Council Agenda
Meeting Date: 06/04/2013  
Subject:    5th St NW and 5th St SE Railroad Crossing Rehabilitation
Presenter: Mark Palmer
Department: Public Works  

Recommended Action
Approve a contract in the amount of $104,980 with Nor Tec Construction for construction of the 12th Street NW and 15th Street SE Railroad Crossing Rehabilitation Project.
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. 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, 2013. Additionally, BNSF indicated a strong desire to install longer-lasting repairs to the crossings 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. The second crossing to be repaired was 2nd Street NE (aka the bypass) on the weekend of May 10-13.

5th Street SE is scheduled for construction beginning June 3rd and 5th Street NW is scheduled for construction beginning July 15th.

Bid documents were prepared for the 12th Street NW and 15th Street SE crossings immediately following the completion of the 5th Street NW and 5th Street SE crossings.
Previous Actions (Discussions/Presentations)
The Railroad Crossings project was approved by 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 monies were also directed to the Street Fund for Tier II projects.

April 9th, 2013: A 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; the apparent low bidder was Salinas Construction, Inc.

April 23rd, 2013: Council approved the contract for $95,360 with Salinas Construction, Inc.

May 14th, 2013: Bids were opened for the 5th St NW and 5th St SE crossings; the apparent low bidder was Quigg Bros., Inc.
Summary of Proposal
Staff recommends approval of a construction contract with Nor Tec Construction for $104,980 for the 12th Street NW and 15th Street SE railroad crossings 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 crossings using the current asphalt approach design, which 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 the City indicates it could proceed with the improved design at a later date. This later date would likely be measured in weeks rather than months.

Approve Contract:

The engineer's estimate based on the bids received on the previous crossings bid analysis data indicating an estimate of $122,720.80. The bids were less than the estimate; however, all five bids received were within a reasonably tight range. This 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.) This project represents a one-time opportunity to work in concert with BNSF to produce an extended life crossing that will reduce the frequency of future work required by both BNSF and City crews or contractors. The bids received reflect that performing the work during weekdaysreduces the contract cost to the City.

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 potential to engage in lengthy and extensive coordination with BNSF to complete any work in this area in the future.

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 concurrently with BNSF within its right-of-way.

Fiscal Impact
Amount Budgeted: $362,000.00
Bid Amount: $104,980.00
City Funding Needed for Project: $104,980.00
Funds from Other Sources: None
Ongoing Staff Costs:
Fiscal Impacts:
The Railroad Crossings Project has a budget of $362,000 consisting of $150,000 of LIFT grant funding and $212,000 of Tier II General Fund funding. The crossings at Meridian, 2nd St NE, and 5th St NW are in the LIFT area and are eligible for Lift Grant funding. To date, rehabilitation under this project has been completed for the railroad crossings at Meridian and 2nd St NE. The Meridian crossing expenditure was approximately $41,911.27 including construction cost, survey, materials, materials testing, and costs for police personnel. The 2nd St NE crossing expenditure was approximately $96,888.00 for construction cost and materials testing. These values are calculated as near as possible with the understanding that both have been recently completed and invoices are in various stages of receipt and processing. Total estimated cost for the crossings rehabilitated to date is approximately $138,799.27. This does not include a pending reimbursement from BNSF for the center portion of pavement between the tracks on the 2nd St NE crossing, which they have agreed to. Both of the completed crossings are within the LIFT grant area so presently there is approximately $11,200.73 remaining of the budgeted LIFT grant funds for the project and all of the budgeted $212,000 Tier II funds remain.

On May 21st, Council approved a contract for $96,230.00 with Quigg Brothers, Inc. for rehabilitation of the 5th St NW and 5th St SE crossings. These crossings will be constructed in July and June respectively.

If this contract is exercised, $104,980.00 of Budgeted Tier II funds will be used. Additional costs would include an estimated $5,000 for materials testing . This would leave approximately $11,990.73 budgeted Tier II funds for unforseen expenses incurred during completion of the 12th St NW and 15th St SE crossings. BNSF has agreed to reimburse the City $10,000 for the center section of pavement between the tracks at each of these crossings as well. Also, BNSF has agreed to reimburse the City for the center pavement sections of 2nd St NE, 5th St NW, and 5th St SE.

These crossings are being designed in collaboration with BNSF to minimize the impacts of rail maintenance on the road surface. The current asphalt surfacing must be cut and patched each time BNSF performs maintenance. The use of concrete pavement will allow BNSF to perform its required track maintenance without disturbing the roads at the crossings. This will minimize future costs by reducing maintenance required by City staff and will also lead to an increased level of service to the public by minimizing road closure time and preserving the integrity of the road.
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