The contractor who could build the Tropicana Avenue / Interstate 15 interchange was selected last week, but not without some controversy.
At the State Board of Transportation meeting, Kiewit Infrastructure West was chosen as the obviously best value for the project, beating Ames Construction. And that despite the fact that Kiewit’s proposal was priced at $ 305 million – $ 41 million more than Ames’ bid of $ 264 million.
Earlier this year, the Nevada Department of Transportation estimated the project would cost around $ 270 million, up from initial cost estimates of $ 230 million. Lynnette Russell, NDOT Assistant Project Manager, said the increase was mainly due to the expansion of paving work on I-15 between Warm Springs Road and Hacienda Avenue, as well as rising construction costs. This paving work was already in progress, but was included in the scope of the project.
NDOT and Kiewit will meet next and confirm the contract before its final approval at next month’s transport committee meeting.
The scope of the project includes I-15 between Russell and Flamingo Streets and Tropicana between Las Vegas Boulevard and Valley View Boulevard.
Tropicana over I-15 is deteriorating due to unexpected traffic, so capacity needs to be increased on the freeway entrances and the bridge over the interstate, Russell said.
The plans envisage reconstructing the junction, creating a diamond-shaped entrance and exit configuration and an overpass at Tropicana.
Dean Martin Drive will be reconfigured to pass under the Tropicana Freeway driveways and remove a traffic light at the intersection near the In-N-Out restaurant. Ring roads are added to maintain access to the northwest and southwest quadrants.
The sidewalks on Tropicana over I-15 will be widened from 1.50 m to 3.50 m, and a new pedestrian walkway will be built from the north side of Tropicana down to Frank Sinatra Drive to provide access to the T-Mobile Arena.
There are also plans to add high-traffic drop lanes to and from Harmon Avenue, which would be on the south side of the bridge.
Mitigation measures have been taken with I-15 and Tropicana, which lead to the south end of the Strip, T-Mobile Arena, and Allegiant Stadium, to ensure traffic can travel in and out of the area during construction .
The evaluation process
Each company that was eligible for the project was rated in two areas: price, which was 60 out of 100 available points; and technical bid evaluation, or how the company would conduct the 40-point project.
Ames received 24.4 out of 40 points in the assessment of the technical offer, while Kiev received 38.28.
In terms of price, Ames’ cheaper cost scored a perfect 60, while Kiewets scored a 51.9. As a result, Kiewet scored an overall score of 90.18, beating Ames’ 84.4.
The outgoing Lt. Gov. Kate Marshall asked how Ames, a company that has been used by NDOT in the past, could be this low on the technical side, pointing out the sharp cost differences between the two proposals.
“We’re talking about real money here, and I was the state treasurer, so I think that’s real money,” Marshall said during the meeting. âIt seems to me that you had to weigh Ames’ proposal very, very, very low in technical terms in order to win Kiewet as the first bidder, and it surprises me. It surprises me because Ames is a reputable company here in Nevada that has done design-build projects in the past. “
Nick Johnson, NDOT project manager, noted that Ames has worked a lot with the department and has done a good job on these cases. But this proposal is not as strong as Kiewit’s, he said.
“I can’t go into the details as they are confidential at the moment, but separately we worked with our team to go through this (selection process),” Johnson said during the meeting. âIt’s your proposal that you put in, and that’s the results that came out. But I think another great company in the case of Kiewit, and the team rated it highly. “
Las Vegas Paving was disqualified as a contender for the contract prior to the final stage of the review process.
“During this process … it was determined that LVP’s proposal did not meet Request for Proposal (RFP) requirements, technical regulations, and failed at least one of the pass / fail criteria,” Russell said in an email. “As a result, they have been told that they have been excluded from further review and will not be eligible for the contract.”
Bill Wellman, executive director of Las Vegas Paving, spoke during a public comment, questioning the price associated with Kievet’s offer.
“This is not about our disqualification,” Wellman said during the meeting. “This is about spending an extra $ 80 million in taxpayers’ money.”