Alice provides price proposal suggestionBy Alice Barnes
As you have probably heard, this grade sep contract has been driving me crazier for months now and therefore I may have been driving your staff crazy as well. I retired from the Navy where I spent years as a contracting officer, even teaching contracting for DOD and other agencies. I was known for solving some insolvable problems and I have a wall of awards to prove it. So when I woke up during the night I put on my thinking cap and addressed the Caltrain problem at hand.
First, I admit I have not yet studied every page, especially those that have been modified so some of my points below may already been addressed. In addendum 1 verbiage was changed as follows:
"Grand Total Bid Price for all the required work under the above Contract, including the furnishing of all labor, materials, tools, equipment, and incidentals and for doing all the work complete in place as shown on the plans, and specified in the Contract documents. This includes both the Main Contract portion and the Option 1 portion of the Work.
___________________$ Grand Total Bid Price
The Grand Total Bid Price, as increased or decreased pursuant to the provisions of the Contract Documents, shall be the full and sole compensation for the performance of the Work."
Let's see if first I understand what we want to have built. Caltrain wants to build a two-track grade sep through San Bruno with an elevated station extending above San Bruno Ave to San Mateo Ave. San Bruno does not wish to have construction restarted should High Speed Rail come through with a need for four tracks? As a result the portion for the station will go up with a four-track structure and an extended platform on the east side. If HSR comes in they will need a four-track config with the difference paid for by HSR? Alice has been saying for months that if we don't get a HSR approval in time the two-track config will be completed and then some of that effort will have to be demolished for four tracks? I understand staff told the San Mateo County Transportation Authority "IF demolition is required to make way for high speed rail, it would only be on the eastbound tracks in the station area and would be paid for and done by the High Speed Rail Authority." ?
For all THAT effort, next Tuesday bidders will submit one "Grand Total Bid Price." From my experience, I can foresee many late nights for your contracts folks and engineers negotiating the details. IT NEED NOT BE THIS COMPLICATED AND RESOURCE CONSUMING!!!
Let's say I plan to do the two-track work for $100 million and extending it to four tracks adds another $50 million. Next week you see Alice submitting a 150 million $ Grand Total Bid Price. I love to haggle and know when I am your sole source contractor I will have you over a barrel-caching! Caching! And caching, caching for years to come.
You can NOW put bidder Alice over a barrel and save many, many of those dollars you already lack. Here's how using line items.
Line Item 1 is to build a two-track elevated system as desired by Caltrain.
Line Item 2 is option one to extending it to four tracks.
Line Item 3 is option two for the additional cost for any demolition necessitated by a delay in a HSR decision.
Line Item 4 is option three for monthly costs incurred by the contractor because of a delay by HSR. $_______ per month times 24 months is
It would look like this:
Item 1-basic two-track and station.......................$_________
Item 2-option one for four tracks..........................$_________
Item 3-option two for any additional demolition....$_________
Item 4-option three $____/mo times 24 months....$_________
Line items 1, 2, 3, and 4.. Grand Total Bid Price............$_________
Look at the benefits of this arrangement.
Item 1-I bid $100 million knowing I will have that four-track width to the station. Right away you know how much money must be obligated by you for this basic contract.
Item 2-I bid $50 million to add the two tracks and when/if HSR comes through they are the ones who will have to put the $50 million on the line BEFORE Caltrain can obligate the funds to pick up option one.
Item 3-If I bid no dollars for demolition and it becomes necessary well, I eat it. If I put in a number there will be no negotiating on a demolition price and when/if HSR comes through they are the ones who will have to put the money on the line BEFORE Caltrain can obligate the funds to pick up option two.
Item 4-Heaven forbid that there is a delay HSR knows in advance exactly how much they will be on the hook for.
You evaluate the bidders and award based on the total price but award only the basic contract.
My little engine is running out of steam up here but I am willing to speak with anyone down there needing clarification. I realize that the solicitation is not clearly written for this setup but it is a much better pricing format than you have now and could work. I realize time is of the essence. This should be passed by legal and finance as well as by contracts and engineering. It is the best I can do with the clock nearing midnight
Copyright ©2010 San Bruno B.A.R.T.. Published 05/11/2010.