Raimore Construction will handle pre-construction services for the project, which is still in need of federal funding

COURTESY: TRIMET - The Division Transit Project is expected to decrease travel times between downton Portland and Gresham by as much as 20 percent through the use of 60-foot-long articulated buses, 42 stations and new bus-priority signals.With the official award of a contract for pre-construction services, TriMet continues to move forward on a project to improve bus service along Division Street.

The Division Transit Project aims to make bus service along Division Street faster and more reliable through the use of 60-foot-long articulated buses, 42 stations and new bus-priority signals. When completed, the project is expected to reduce travel times through the 15-mile corridor between Gresham and downtown Portland by 20 percent.

As part of a $395,000 pre-construction contract awarded to Raimore Construction, the company will help TriMet make sure design plans mesh with scheduling, phasing and other parts of the actual construction of the project.

The contract is the result of a request for proposals for construction manager-general contractor (CM-GC) services for the project that TriMet issued in May. Out of 305 vendors contacted, only three — Raimore, Stacy and Witbeck, and Kiewit Infrastructure West — submitted proposals by the June 14 deadline.

Kiewit's proposal amount of $7,791,300 for CM-GC services was determined by TriMet to be too expensive, eliminating it from further consideration. Raimore's proposal total of $2.146 million and Stacy and Witbeck's proposal of a little more than $2.362 million were both within what TriMet considered an acceptable range.

Using a scoring system based on 200 points, the agency evaluated the two companies and their proposals. The two companies were neck-and-neck in the areas of project management and project approach, work plan and schedule.

However, while Stacy and Witbeck scored more points for experience and past performance, Raimore received higher scores for its contracting plan and a plan to involve companies certified as disadvantaged business enterprises. Raimore, which is a certified DBE, indicated it would make sure at least 36 percent of the companies hired to work on the project held similar certifications.

In the end, Raimore's proposal, which included the $395,000 fee for pre-construction services, scored 189.6 total points, almost 9 points higher than Stacy and Witbeck.

Although Raimore's proposal included $1.769 million for CM-GC services related to the construction portion of the project, that contract has yet to be formally awarded. TriMet will weigh Raimore's performance during the pre-construction portion of the project before determining whether to award the company that portion of the project.

However, Raimore's record of 20 years working on TriMet projects makes it "uniquely qualified" to handle construction of the Division project, according to the agency.

Pre-construction work for the project is expected to last into the fall. Construction is slated to begin in late 2019 and last for two years, with transit service planned to begin in 2022. The delivery timeline could be pushed back, though, due to a lack of federal funding.

TriMet estimates the total cost of the project will be $175 million, with final construction costs accounting for $65 million of that amount. The agency is looking for money from local, regional, state and federal sources to pay for the project. However, this past February, the project received a medium-high rating from the Federal Transportation Authority but didn't make the cut to earn a spot in President Donald Trump's budget, according to TriMet.

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