Now that the city’s engineering selection board has chosen two program managers, CSRS and Stantec, to oversee the $1.1 billion MovEBR road improvements program, Mayor Sharon Weston Broome’s administration has to negotiate contracts with each—while also figuring out how to divide the work among the many firms partnering with them.
It won’t be easy. While the Requests for Qualifications was split between two program managers—one to oversee some $800 million in capacity improvements projects like road widenings, and one to oversee $350 million in road enhancement projects, like sidewalk construction—more than 10 firms collectively are involved on the two teams, including at least four that specialize in communications and outreach.
As a practical matter, how will that work?
“We will work out all those details in the negotiations,” says Fred Raiford, director of the transportation and development for the city-parish. “Whether there are two teams or not, I don’t want multiple types of programs out there. I don’t want different criteria for each. We’re going to make sure both of them work together and that they understand what the overall goals and objectives are for our parish.”
The engineering selection board Thursday night selected a team led by CSRS to oversee the $800 million in capacity improvement projects, and a team led by Stantec to oversee the $350 million in enhancement projects. Each contract will likely be worth between 5%-8% of the cost of the projects they’re managing.
The CSRS team includes HNTB, GOTECH, Franklin Associates and Civil Solutions. Stantec’s team includes Sigma Engineering and Constructors, Covalent Logic, Alpha Media, and Rannah Gray Media.
Both the CSRS and Stantec teams bid on both contracts. The CSRS team, however, put GOTECH, a DBE engineering firm, as the lead on its proposal for the enhancement program contract so it was not immediately apparent to the casual observer that it was the CSRS group vying for the work.
Raiford, who served on the engineering selection board, confirms he voted to award the enhancement program contract to the GOTECH/CSRS team. Had it won, he acknowledges structuring the overall program management for MoveBR could have been made a lot easier.
“But I’m just one vote on the board so I’m going to live with the decision that was made,” he says. “My job now is to figure out how to make these teams work together and keep the cost down and get these projects out as quickly as possible—and make sure people know we are not going to waste money.”
Raiford hopes to have contracts negotiated with both teams by June. The contracts will require Metro Council approval.