The contract is recommended to be awarded to the lowest bidder, Walsh Construction Co. of Chicago, a heavy construction contractor whose unit handling the project is based in Walnut Creek, Calif. The ACE Construction Authority's largest single undertaking, the trench project will create almost 9,000 jobs over nearly five years of construction.
"This contract award represents a historic step toward eliminating emissions and congestion from idling vehicles blocked by passing trains, train noise and collision hazards at all four crossings in the city of San Gabriel," said ACE Board Chairman David Gutierrez, a city of San Gabriel Councilman.
"In addition to reducing congestion and improving air quality, this vital project is an important link in our regional strategy of moving cargo containers by train rather than in diesel trucks on our freeways," said Los Angeles County Supervisor, ACE Board Member and current MTA Board Chairman Michael Antonovich.
All six construction bids received in late June for the San Gabriel Trench grade separation project were below the ACE engineer's estimate of $266.8 million.
Construction of the project is funded from Prop 1B transportation bonds approved by California voters in 2006, with other project elements funded by MTA Measure R and other local and federal funds. The 2.2-mile project will result in the lowering of Union Pacific railroad track in a 65-foot-wide, 30-foot-deep, 1.4 mile-long trench through the city of San Gabriel.
The ACE program of 22 grade separations and safety improvements at 39 crossings in the San Gabriel Valley was initiated in 1998 along the ACE Trade Corridor, which accommodates 60 percent of the trade from the San Pedro Bay ports.