Last week, we wrote about the progress of the long-awaited commuter rail line slated to connect south Tacoma to Lakewood. Sound Transit officials briefed Tacoma City Council members, telling them the project likely will kick off early this fall.
But there was one hitch, Sound Transit officials said: Due to a protest to the bidding process, there was a delay in the formal award of the contract for the construction work on the so-called “D to M Street” project in Tacoma’s Dome District.
In all, Sound Transit received seven bids for the project, with the lowest — a $40.8 million bid from MidMountain– coming in well below the agency’s $66.4 million estimate for the project.
But ultimately, Sound Transit disqualified that bid — on the grounds that MidMountain did not properly submit all required paperwork. Officials for the regional transit agency have said its board plans to award the contract instead to the next lowest bidder, PCL Construction Services, which came in with a $41.6 million bid.
A recommendation to award the contract to PCL will go before the board for official authorization at its meeting on August 26, Sound Transit spokeswoman Kimberly Reason said today.
But MidMountain hasn’t given up the fight. The Kirkland-based firm is poised to file its second formal protest to Sound Transit tomorrow (the company lost in its first appeal bid filed to the agency last week). The company is also now working with Seattle public relations firm, Firmani + Associates, Inc., to make their case: That ultimately it’s the taxpayers who stand to lose — to the tune of $800,000 — due to what MidMountain complains is little more than a minor paperwork snafu.
According to a press release issued today by PR consultant Mark Firmani, MidMountain was 20 minutes late in providing Sound Transit officials with a required form that certifies the company didn’t (and won’t) use federal money to lobby for the bid.
Firmani also told me in a phone call today that the form actually had been prepared as part of the firm’s bid packet, but was overlooked by a company representative who submitted the paperwork.
“It’s really the nightmare for anyone who’s ever turned in a homework assignment late,” Firmani said. The company staffer who submitted the bid accidentally “failed to empty out the entire brief case, leaving one form inside,” Firmani added.
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