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Tue September 21 2021

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Bidders cleared to develop rival Californian rail plans

6 Aug The go-ahead has been given to two private-sector firms developing rival concepts for the multi-billion-dollar Sepulveda Transit Corridor in California, USA.

Los Angeles transport agency Metro has issued notices to proceed to the two teams to start pre-development work on concepts for a new, high-capacity transit line that will connect the San Fernando Valley with the Westside and eventually Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).

The pre-development agreement (PDA) contracts will allow Sepulveda Transit Corridor Partners – Bechtel to carry out further development of its proposed heavy rail transit concept and LA SkyRail Express to continue developing its proposed monorail concept. The teams had been chosen in February.

John Laing is a member of the Los Angeles SkyRail Express consortium alongside partners Skanska, BYD Transit Solutions, HDR Engineering, Alternate Concepts, M Arthur Gensler & Associates, and Innova Transportation. Anthony Phillips, co-head of public-private partnerships greenfield projects for John Laing, said: “We are delighted to be working hand-in-hand with LA Metro over the coming years to further develop and deliver the solution for the benefit of the communities of Los Angeles.”

Sepulveda Transit Corridor Partners comprises Bechtel, Meridiam Infrastructure and American Triple I Partners. “Our team is proud to partner with Metro on this transformational project, and we look forward to bringing energy and creativity to deliver a solution for Metro and the people of Los Angeles,” said Keith Hennessey, president of Bechtel Enterprises, the financing and development group at Bechtel. “A key to this solution will be providing a world-class transit experience that is accessible with easy connections and enhances the community experience.”

Bechtel will lead the engineering and ‘constructability’ of its transit concept with key engineering partners Mott MacDonald, TY Lin and Systra.

Metro is scheduled to begin its environmental review process for the project this autumn.  Alternatives for the project, including concepts from PDA partner teams, will be refined as part of this process and will include public feedback and technical analysis.

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If the Metro Board selects a PDA concept as the locally preferred alternative (LPA), the selected private sector team may have an opportunity to submit a proposal to build and potentially help finance the project.

Metro retains the right to pursue a different project and delivery path if required, giving it flexibility to build a project that meets its requirements.

Metro’s notices to proceed follow the Metro Board’s approval earlier this year of a US$69.9m contract award to Sepulveda Transit Corridor Partners – Bechtel and a US$63.6m contract award to LA SkyRail Express.

“With our partner teams now able to begin refining their concepts, Metro can begin preparing for the environmental phase — the first step in delivering a project that will address our notorious traffic problems in the Sepulveda Pass, 405 and neighbouring communities,” said Metro Board chair and chair of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, Hilda L Solis. “This project will offer a tremendous alternative to driving in the region and will bring new transit opportunities to a car-centric region that places transit riders at the forefront.”

“With all the agreements now in place, we are confident we will succeed in supporting a process that will benefit future transit riders in this crucial corridor,” said Metro CEO Stephanie Wiggins.
Five routes that will be studied for the Sepulveda Transit Corridor project.

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