The Idaho Transportation Board today authorized a contract to manage the first phase of the $1.2 billion Connecting Idaho highway improvement program.
The partnership of Washington Group International/CH2M HILL will manage the engineering, design, construction and inspection of six highway corridors across the state during the next three years with the transportation department.
The Idaho Legislature approved in April the first sale of $200 million in bonds called GARVEE or Grant Anticipation Revenue Vehicles to improve U.S. 95 in northern Idaho, Interstate 84 in the Treasure Valley, and U.S. 30 east of McCammon. The bonds are financed with future federal highway funds that will be received by the state.
"This innovative contract is the first of its kind in Idaho and a major step in delivering much needed improvements to our highways now, rather than 10 years from now," Dave Ekern, Director of the Idaho Transportation Department, said.
The transportation department, Ekern said, could not add the potential $1.2 billion program to its existing budget and deliver it efficiently without the use of a program manager.
The partnership can more easily add resources the program requires. In addition, Ekern said, the partnership has worldwide experience in managing similar programs and a record of innovative thinking and rapid project delivery.
The partnership will be compensated up to $37 million for management and engineering services over three years. The fixed fee or profit negotiated is an estimated $6 million during the contract. There are incentives/disincentives that could change that amount by 30 percent depending on the partnerships performance. Those factors include timeliness, budget and quality management, public involvement, innovation and use of sub-consultants.
The contract negotiations began in April after the passage of the Connecting Idaho bill by the legislature.