Pre-bid meeting scheduled for 10 a.m. Jan. 26; sealed bids accepted until 2 p.m. Feb. 14, 2023
By RANDY PIERCE
Expansion of the MetroLink light rail transportation system from its current most easterly ending point near Scott Air Force Base to MidAmerica St. Louis Airport will take a major step forward when a pre-bid meeting with interested contractors takes place at 10 a.m. on Thursday, Jan. 26, 2023, at the St. Clair County Transit District Center, 718 Scheel Street, Belleville.
The transit district will be receiving sealed bids for this project until 2 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2023, at its office located at 27 North Illinois Street, Belleville. All bids will be publicly opened and read aloud at that time. Sealed bids must be delivered to and received by the St. Clair County Transit District before the bid deadline. Bids received after the bid deadline will be returned unopened.
The purpose of the pre-bid meeting in late January is to clarify details concerning this expansion and to allow bidders to ask questions concerning the scope of the project and/or the selection process.
The work will consist of excavation and embankment-related earth moving, the installation of drainage structures, necessary bridges including those over Silver Creek and Little Silver Creek, duct banks, conduits, other needed accouterments, and a passenger station at the airport site.
If all goes as planned, it is anticipated that construction on the expansion segment would begin in the spring of 2023 with a tentative completion within about two years.
The 5.2-mile extension from the Shiloh-Scott MetroLink Station to MAA is being paid for in large part by a $96 million “Rebuild Illinois” grant. It will include a 2.6-mile, double-track section along with a 2.6-mile single track. Upon completion, it will provide MetroLink with a line that connects MAA, which is located at the intersection of Interstate 64 and Illinois Route 4 in St. Clair County, with St. Louis Lambert International Airport.
The successful bidder will be required to comply with all applicable Equal Employment Opportunity and prevailing wage rate laws and regulations. No less than the prevailing rate of wages, as determined in accordance with the Illinois Prevailing Wage Act, shall be paid to all laborers, operators, teamsters, masons, plumbers, and any workers employed in the construction of this project.
Prequalification is required by the Illinois Department of Transportation for all contractors completing work within its right-of-way such as is the case here. Contractors completing work within IDOT right-of-way shall be prequalified by the state agency for the specific type of work to be performed.
It is the policy of the St. Clair County Transit District that Disadvantaged Business Enterprises shall have an equal opportunity to participate in the performance of contracts. St. Clair County Transit District has established a project goal of 25 percent of the awarded contract sum for DBE participation.
A guarantee in the amount of five percent of the bidder’s total bid price must accompany any bid to ensure that the bidder will honor its bid upon acceptance.
Bidders who wish to bid on this project must be registered with the Illinois Department of Human Rights (IDHR) by filing an employer report form with its public contracts unit.
The expansion project specifications and plans (excluding the bidding forms) are available for download at the St. Clair County Transit District website (www.scctd.org). The forms required for bid submittal will be provided to contractors upon request by sending an email to SCCTD-FST-BID@gocos.net.
Contractors submitting a bid on this project will be required to provide proof of work experience and financial capacity to complete the project. Additional information is provided on the transit district website, scctd.org/metrolink-expansion-in-illinois-is-on-track.
Designers, environmental planning and other construction engineering support services are provided by WSP of St. Louis while Gonzalez Companies of Belleville is the project and construction manager.
Ken Sharkey, a St. Clair County Board member whose district covers a large part of Fairview Heights, is manager of the transit district. Mackenzie Menn of Fairview Heights, a graduate of Grant Middle School and Belleville East High School who is employed by Citizens for Modern Transit of St. Louis, provided some of the information contained herein.