The Idaho Transportation Board last week considered presentations by two prospective teams seeking to manage the state’s Connecting Idaho program. Board members scored both proposals and tentatively selected Washington Group International and CH2M HILL.
WGI/CH2M HILL scored higher than Parsons Brinckerhoff/HDR Engineering on all four of the prescribed criteria:
A formal vote is expected next week (Jan. 17) to award management responsibilities to Boise-Based WGI and CH2M HILL, whose headquarters are in Denver. ITD and representatives of the two firms will negotiate details of a management contract in the near future.
The board selected WGI/CH2M HILL in October, but the Federal Highway Administration asked the board to reopen the process and remove bid price and local ties from consideration.
“Because of their experience in our projects, they (Washington Group/CH2M HILL) have the ability to start this quicker,” board chairman Chuck Winder told a reporter for the Idaho Statesman. “From my perspective, there is a separation that occurs in their ability to take their experience and turn these projects over more quickly. They have a shorter ‘learning curve.’ ”
Preliminary work on the governor’s Connecting Idaho initiative likely will begin while contract details are being finalized. Connecting Idaho will use bonds backed by future federal funds to compress three decades of highway construction projects into about 10 years.
The transportation department plans to ask the 2006 Legislature to approve more than $220 million in Grant Anticipation Revenue Vehicle bonds to support Connecting Idaho projects in FY 2006 and FY2007.