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Wed July 28, 2021 - West Edition #16
The Sepulveda Transit Corridor in Los Angeles and the University of California (UC) Merced have been recognized as models of excellence in innovative transportation leadership and finance, the American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) announced July 15.
The awards were presented during ARTBA's 33rd Annual Public Private Partnerships (P3s) in Transportation Conference, held virtually July 15 and 16.
This award spotlights an idea within a P3 project that demonstrates how the development and/or application of new, innovative and unique management concepts help provide value for users.
The Sepulveda megaproject is a planned 10-mi. fixed guideway through challenging geography. More than 400,000 people travel the I-405 freeway through the Sepulveda Pass daily to commute to work, school, and other destinations. The project's goal is to connect the San Fernando Valley with the Los Angeles Westside and eventually Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) via a high-speed, high-capacity public transit line.
Sepulveda Transit Corridor Partners (STCP) is led by Bechtel Development Company, Meridiam Sepulveda and American Triple I (ATI) as Equity Members, and Bechtel Infrastructure as the lead construction contractor and lead engineering firm.
The project's new "Office of Extraordinary Innovation" (OEI) includes the post of chief innovation officer, who reports directly to the CEO. This signals that the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) is going to thoughtfully develop and evaluate groundbreaking P3 projects.
In 2016, Metro established a new unsolicited proposal policy to invite innovative ideas for project delivery, and soon after received three unsolicited proposals for delivering the Sepulveda project. Metro worked within procurement regulations to understand the private sector proposers' ideas and assured them that their ideas were being taken seriously.
After a thorough evaluation of these proposals, Metro solicited bids with the intent of choosing up to two firms as partners. Metro now is contracting with Skyrail and Bechtel partnerships on two separate proposals that are in competition for the prize of designing, building, financing, operating, and maintaining this project once it gets through the environmental process.
This year's recipient demonstrates economic, philanthropic, or humanitarian benefit to the public and an improved quality of life for the community and/or users of the asset.
Washington, D.C. -based Nossaman LLP is advising UC on a $1.3 billion P3 project that doubled the size of the Merced campus with the addition of new facilities, including student housing, classrooms, recreational facilities and associated infrastructure. UC Merced is the most diverse university in the state system and is located in an underserved area of California with a large immigrant population.
The project serves as a model for future higher education capital projects, both within the UC system and nationally. It was completed on schedule and on budget in June 2020 and was awarded LEED platinum status, making it the first public research university to be certified as carbon neutral.
The project is accommodating growth of the university system's newest campus from the current 6,700 students to 10,000 students in 2020. Procured as an availability payment based P3, it adds approximately 790,000 assignable square feet of new facilities, including student housing, administrative and research space, classrooms and recreational centers and associated infrastructure.
For more information, visit www.artba.org.
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