The Federal Transit
Administration has awarded contracts to 17 engineering firms
to oversee major capital projects, including new starts and
rail modernization work. The contracts, announced March 20,
could total up to $300 million over five years, the agency says.
They constitute the fourth cycle of the program.
Jennifer L. Dorn, FTA's administrator,
notes that the agency has about 125 projects in the pipeline,
with a total cost of $87 billion. The firms, which were selected
from about 35 contenders, will "serve as an extra pair of
eyes" for the agency, she says. "We are enthusiastic about
the collective experience that we will now have at our disposal."
(Photo courtesy of FTA)
Each will be assigned to multiple
projects and be responsible for monitoring whether the work
is holding to schedule and budget. They also will provide
technical assistance. Dorn says selection criteria included
"broad and deep experience in...the magnitude of capital infrastructure"
and "diverse experience across projects and cities."
The group of awards represents
the fourth cycle of contracts for the project management oversight
program. "We're making some changes in the program," Dorn
says. "We're moving beyond the monitoring kind of approach.
We're seeking to be more proactive in terms of the technical
More specifically, she says, the
firms will be engaged in "trend analyses" and focus more on
factors such as environmental reviews, environmental mitigation
and real estate acquisition that have proved to be "cost drivers"
for major projects.
Dorn says that most FTA-funded
projects have been completed on time and within their budgets.
But there have been a couple of exceptions. In 2002, Transportation
Secretary Norman Mineta temporarily withheld funds from Seattle's
light rail project, whose cost estimate had climbed by $1.7
billion or more than 60%. That project has since been reconfigured.
The firms chosen and the locations
of the offices to be involved in the program are:
- Booz, Allen & Hamilton Inc. McLean, Va.
- Carter & Burgess, Washington, D.C.
- David Evans and Associates Inc., Portland, Ore.
- Earth Tech, Baltimore
- Fluor Daniel, Greenville S.C.
- Gannett Fleming, San Francisco
- Heery International, Landover, Md.
- Hill International Inc., Marlton, N.J.
- Jacobs, St. Louis
- KJM and Associates, Bellevue, Wash.
- Parsons Brinckerhoff Quade & Douglas Inc. Herndon,
- Parsons Transportation Group, San Francisco
- PGH Wong Engineering Inc., San Francisco
- Stone & Webster Inc., Cherry Hill, N.J.
- STV Group Inc., New York City
- Urban Engineers Inc., Philadelphia
FTA notes that KJM and Associates
is the first woman-owned firm to be picked for the oversight