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MBTA to terminate several Green Line Extension contracts


The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) is ending current contracts with several firms working on its Green Line Extension project as it searches for ways to trim costs, General Manager Frank DePaola announced late last week.

He informed the companies of the decision following a joint meeting between the agency's Fiscal and Management Control Board (FMCB) and the Massachusetts Department of Transportation's (MassDOT) board.

The boards had been briefed on a review that identified flaws in the implementation of the construction manager/general contractor (CM/GC) project delivery method. The review found that the project's "unrealistic" schedule demands drove decision-making and costs, MassDOT officials said in a press release.

The agency will cut ties with its general contractor White-Skanska-Kiewit, project and construction manager HDR/Gilbane, independent cost estimator Stanton Constructability Services and final designer AECOM/HNTB Corp, MassDOT officials said.

The project, also known as GLX, is expected to exceed previous budget estimates by as much as $700 million to $1 billion, The Boston Globe reported in August. The 4.7-mile extension project was initially expected to cost $1.99 billion.

If the GLX project is to be built, the MBTA must reduce the cost of the remainder of the project by "aggressively" adjusting its design, accurately determining a budget and finding the best means to procure and deliver the design and construction of the project, MassDOT officials said.

Additionally, the agency must ensure sufficient funding by engaging multiple funding sources, MassDOT officials said.

The current CM/GC project delivery method has proven to be "impracticable to complete a redesigned and affordable" project, they said.

Accordingly, the FMCB needed to recommend a full break from the CM/GC and the associated contracts for this project.

Over the next 90 days, FMCB must now approve all GLX contracts and actions regardless of value as the agency moves forward with cost reduction, accurate budgeting and reprocurement efforts, MassDOT officials said.

The MassDOT board and the FMCB will continue their consideration of options for the GLX project at a joint meeting later today.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 12/14/2015