Construction management for Northgate LRT Nov 2012
Peter Kenyon, TunnelTalk
North Star, a joint venture of Jacobs Consultancy and CH2M Hill, is awarded the construction management contract for Seattle's US$2.1 billion Northgate Link LRT extension.
The 4.2 mile (7km) light rail extension, which includes 3.6 miles (5.8km) of twin running tunnels, two cut-and-cover stations at Roosevelt and Brooklyn and a 0.9 mile (1.4km) guideway that transitions from tunnel to an elevated structure and an elevated station at NE 103rd Street, will link the University of Washington to the urban village of Northgate (Fig 1).
Fig 1. Sound Transit's LRT route north

Fig 1. Sound Transit's LRT route north

Jacobs/ CH2M Hill are already working together on Sound Transit's well-advanced University Link project that connects downtown Seattle and the University of Washington. Tunneling on this 3.1 mile (4.9km) section is completed ahead of schedule.
"There were no bids for the Northgate extension contract. The process for services contracts like these are different than those for traditional design-bid-build contracts. We put out the RFQ and heard back from the four teams. From there we narrowed it down to two finalists and selected North Star based on the strength of their team and their experience," a Sound Transit spokesman told TunnelTalk.
"We received proposals from North Link Partners (URS/ EPC Consultants); North Link QMT (Tetratech); Hill International; and North Star (CH2M Hill/Jacobs). North Link Partners and North Star were the two finalists."
The contract is for US$75.48 million with a 10% contingency of US$7.55 million over 7 years with two one-year options to extend.
Before construction contract documents are finalized for bidding, comprehensive design, constructability and bidability reviews by the construction management consultant are crucial to ensure that contract documents are well developed and promote a highly competitive bid process.
Project owner, Sound Transit, says it is well on course to complete final designs before the end of this year (2012) and expects to call bids in the first quarter of 2013 with award of a single tunneling contract expected by the end of 2013 for completion by 2020.
"We are very pleased to be selected for this important extension project, and to have the opportunity to continue leveraging our resources to deliver high quality construction management services for Sound Transit," said Jacobs Group Vice President Kevin McMahon.
Tunneling on the U-Link extension was recently completed by Traylor Brothers/Frontier Kemper using two Herrenknecht EPBMs to excavate 2 miles (3.2km) of twin-running tunnel, and Jay Dee/Coluccio/Michaels using a Hitachi Zosen EPBM to complete twin drives of 3,800ft (1.1km).
Seattle pushes on with LRT extensions - TunnelTalk, August 2012
Success in Seattle as TBM holes through - TunnelTalk, March 2012
Seattle LRT breakthroughs - TunnelTalk, November 2011
Owner's approach to Seattle's U-Link extension - TunnelTalk, July 2010

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