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Media Relations Contact:
Morgan Lyons

April 23, 2004

Northwest/Southeast Rail Corridor Construction RFPs due June 23

DART to use innovative construction approach to save money, time on light rail extension

DART will use an innovative construction process designed to save money and time as it builds the Northwest and Southeast Corridor light rail extensions.

When complete, the 35-mile extensions will link key regional destinations including DFW International Airport, Dallas Love Field, six major medical centers, four regional entertainment destinations, major employment centers and growing residential communities in Pleasant Grove, South Dallas, Irving, Farmers Branch and Carrollton.

The agency has issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) for a construction manager/general contractor (CM/GC) at risk contract for the first elements of the extension. Responses to the RFP are due to the agency June 23. The contract is scheduled to be awarded in August.

In the CM/GC at risk process, the construction contractor guarantees a maximum fixed price and accepts risk should they exceed the price. The process emphasizes extensive pre-construction activities at the beginning of the project to eliminate questions, improve constructability and reduce changes that can push a project over budget and off schedule.

With previous rail projects, DART completed design, bid the construction and awarded the contract to the lowest responsible bidder. In the new scenario, the firm chosen by DART will perform pre-construction design review, construction planning and construction services.

In addition to staying within budget and on schedule, the CM/GC will be expected to surpass DART's safety record, minimize disruption to communities, continue to meet or exceed minority-contracting goals and encourage teaming and mentoring with small businesses.

"While used by many public agencies and extensively in the private sector, construction management /general contracting at risk is new for DART," said DART President/Executive Director Gary Thomas. "We already have an enviable record for completing complex projects on or under budget and ahead of schedule. This new process raises the bar as we expand light rail to more people and more cities in our service area. It also provides opportunities for many diverse businesses to join the team as we build a leading transit system."

The contract for construction management/general contractor at risk will cover the first element of the Northwest Corridor and Southeast Corridor project. The contract includes the entire 10-mile Southeast Corridor rail line connecting the Pleasant Grove area of Dallas with the existing Pearl Station in downtown Dallas.

The contract also includes a 2.3-mile section of the Northwest Corridor. In addition to the civil work required for the build-out of this section, the contract calls for facility construction, track work, utility relocations, light rail systems installation and traffic control elements.

When fully built out under subsequent contracts, the full 25-mile Northwest Corridor will comprise two branches. One will be an extension from the West End Station in downtown Dallas, north along Harry Hines Boulevard on the former path of the Union Pacific Railroad, through Dallas and Farmers Branch to Frankford Road in Carrollton. The other section will extend from the planned Bachman Station in Northwest Dallas to Las Colinas in Irving and, finally, to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.

Firms interested in this first construction management/general contractor at risk contract have until June 23 to submit competitive proposals in response to the RFP. For additional information please visit DART.org/Procurement or call 214-749-2701.

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