L.A. Metro Board awards nearly $70M pre-development contract for rail transit solution

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The L.A. County Metro Board awarded Sepulveda Transit Corridor Partners – Bechtel (STCP) a $69.9 million pre-development contract to create a rail transit solution running from the San Fernando Valley to West Los Angeles.

The high-speed, high-capacity rail proposal aims to alleviate congestion along one of the country’s most congested freeway corridors, I-405.

In a statement, the board said STCP’s proposal stood out because of its direct connections to new and proposed Metro transit lines and key destinations, as well as because of its pleasant and convenient stations, higher passenger capacity, and higher speeds. The proposal could reduce air pollution and carbon gas emissions, create thousands of good-paying jobs and create lasting economic consequences by creating a way for those without a car to reach jobs.

“Bechtel’s proposal included well thought out stations siting, configuration and connections/transfers and stations were sized for some amount of growth in train consists,” Metro staff wrote when recommending the proposal. “The team proposed a single-bore tunnel design to address significant challenges with tunneling and demonstrated a good understanding of geotechnical issues. The proposal highlighted detailed plans to completing the PDA work, including consideration for third parties, FTA, and the environmental process. During the interview, the Bechtel team demonstrated cohesion and coordination and their commitment to the Project. The financial proposal highlighted deep global financing experience across a range of project types and extensive experience with projects of similar size and complexity. The team’s financial capacity appeared quite strong, and they depicted an appropriate financial structure with a diversity of sources.”

STCP is comprised of the 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. STCP is supported by Mott Macdonald, T.Y. Lin, and Systra engineering firms. Investment firm Meridiam has a successful track record of developing complicated public-private partnerships, while ATI is a 100 percent minority- and woman-owned, managed, and controlled investor and developer.

STCP will have the opportunity to enter into an Implementation Agreement for project delivery if STCP’s solution is selected by the Metro Board as the locally preferred alternative. Metro plans to begin the environmental review process this fall, where concept designs for these and other alternatives will be advanced and/or refined through public feedback, technical investigation, and analysis.

“We are excited to partner with Metro and the community to refine our PDA proposal to potentially ease congestion between the Valley and the Westside with a transit solution that offers fast travel times, a superior passenger experience and complete connections to Metro’s growing system,” said Keith Hennessey, President, Bechtel Enterprises. “Our proposed heavy rail solution seeks to promote economic opportunity and sustainability within the Sepulveda Corridor and throughout the Los Angeles region.”