September 21, 2006
(For Board: October 13, 2006)

 

REPORT OF THE BUILDING AND OPERATING COMMITTEE/
COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE

 

Honorable Board of Directors
Golden Gate Bridge, Highway
  and Transportation District

Honorable Members:

A meeting of the Building and Operating Committee/Committee of the Whole was held in the Board Room, Administration Building, Toll Plaza, San Francisco, California, on Thursday, September 21, 2006, at 10:00 a.m., Chair Eddie presiding.

Committee Members Present (7): Chair Eddie; Vice Chair Reilly; Directors Hernández, Martini, Moylan and Stroeh; President Middlebrook (Ex Officio)
Committee Members Absent (2): Directors Ammiano and Boro
Other Directors Present (4): Directors Cochran, Dufty, Grosboll and Newhouse Segal

Committee of the Whole Members Present (11): Directors Cochran, Dufty, Eddie, Grosboll, Hernández, Martini, Newhouse Segal, Reilly and Stroeh; First Vice President Moylan; President Middlebrook
Committee of the Whole Members Absent (8): Directors Ammiano, Brown, Kerns, McGoldrick, Murray, Pahre and Sandoval; Second Vice President Boro

Staff Present: General Manager Celia G. Kupersmith; District Engineer Denis J. Mulligan; Auditor-Controller Joseph M. Wire; Secretary of the District Janet S. Tarantino; Attorney David J. Miller; Deputy General Manager/Bus Division Susan C. Chiaroni; Deputy General Manager/Ferry Division James P. Swindler; Public Affairs Director Mary C. Currie; Executive Assistant to the General Manager Amorette Ko; Assistant Clerk of the Board Patsy Whala

Visitors Present: John Vidaurri, San Francisco Suicide Prevention, Inc.

 

     
1.
Authorize Execution of a Professional Services Agreement with DMJM Harris, Inc., Relative to Request for Proposals (RFP) No. 2006-B-17, Environmental Studies and Preliminary Design for a Suicide Deterrent System on the Golden Gate Bridge
     
 

In a memorandum to Committee, Deputy District Engineer Ewa Bauer, District Engineer Denis Mulligan and General Manager Celia Kupersmith reported on staff’s recommendation to authorize execution of a Professional Services Agreement with DMJM Harris, Inc., to prepare environmental documents, as well as to perform preliminary design, wind tunnel testing and public outreach, for a suicide deterrent on the Golden Gate Bridge.

The report stated that the Board of Directors, by Resolution No. 2005-015 at its meeting of March 11, 2005, approved proceeding with environmental studies and preliminary design work for development of a physical suicide deterrent system on the Golden Gate Bridge and established a set of assumptions and conditions to govern project development. Subsequently, the Board of Directors, by Resolution Nos. 2006-020 and 2006-027 at its meetings of March 10 and March 24, 2006, respectively, approved the scope of work and the issuance of a Request for Proposals (RFP) No. 2006-B-17, Environmental Studies and Preliminary Design for a Suicide Deterrent System on the Golden Gate Bridge. The approved scope of work, divided into two phases, includes: 1) Phase One, the development of conceptual designs for a physical suicide deterrent system, conducting initial wind stability testing and analysis; and, 2) Phase Two, a detailed preliminary engineering and environmental analysis, including visual analysis, historical preservation evaluation, and preparation of detailed cost estimates.

The report also stated that, on June 28, 2006, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) passed a resolution providing $1,850,000 towards this project, and accordingly the District issued an RFP to consulting engineering, planning and architectural firms for preliminary design and environmental studies for a physical suicide deterrent system on the Golden Gate Bridge. On August 1, 2006, the Office of the District Secretary received four proposals that were found to be responsive. The District’s selection panel, which consisted of District staff and a representative from MTC, evaluated and ranked all the consultants based on qualifications, experience, as well as their project understanding and methodology of providing the scope of services for this project. The selection panel agreed that the top-ranked consultant, DMJM Harris, Inc., is best qualified to perform these services and staff recommends authorization of a professional services agreement with DMJM Harris, Inc., in an amount not to exceed $1,780,550. DMJM Harris, Inc., has complied with the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) requirements applicable to this project, and, although no specific DBE goal was established, the District anticipates a 2% DBE participation.

The report further stated that the sources of the funds are as follows: MTC is providing $1,850,000, the City and County of San Francisco has provided $100,000, the County of Marin has provided $25,000, and the public and private citizen groups have provided $28,700. Funds in the amount of $2,000,000 for consultant costs, contingencies, staff support costs and miscellaneous costs, are available in the FY 06/07 Bridge Division Capital Budget. A copy of the report is available from the Office of the District Secretary and on the District’s web site. At the meeting, Denis Mulligan summarized the staff report and stated that the four firms that submitted proposals were ranked according to the qualifications of the firms and the individual consultant team members. He stated that the ranking criteria also included evaluating each firm’s experience with respect to long span bridges subject to wind excitation, state and federal environmental regulations, parklands protection and historic preservation. The firms were also evaluated according to each firm’s understanding of the project guidelines, as well as the ability to develop creative alternatives. Mr. Mulligan noted that the team for DMJM Harris, Inc., includes the following consultants: CirclePoint, a local firm that specializes in environmental and communication management solutions; JRP Consultants, consulting historians; MacDonald Architects, an architect that worked on the Public Safety Railing on the Golden Gate Bridge; and, West Wind Laboratories, a wind tunnel testing firm that has worked on countless bridges throughout the world, including some Bay Area bridges.

     
 

Public Comment:

     
 

John Vidaurri, on behalf of the suicide victims and their friends and families, expressed gratitude to the District for proceeding with the suicide deterrent studies.  He expressed interest in reviewing the proposal submitted by DMJM Harris, Inc., in order to understand how the funding will be allocated.  He emphasized the necessity of carefully monitoring the allocation of funds for each line item in the project budget to ensure that the funds are spent wisely.  He commended District staff for clearly communicating the process of the suicide deterrent studies, and expressed his appreciation to Director Ammiano for his efforts in obtaining funds from the MTC.

Discussion ensued, including the following:
     
 
  • Director Grosboll made the following comments and inquiries:
    • He inquired as to the timetable for completion of the project. In response, Mr. Mulligan stated that the environmental studies and preliminary design work are contemplated to take two years from the commencement date. He further stated that Phase One, which includes the wind tunnel testing, is estimated to take six months.
    • He inquired as what role CirclePoint will have in the project. In response, Mr. Mulligan stated that in accordance with state and federal environmental regulations, CirclePoint will undertake a public awareness campaign and prepare the environmental documents for public comment.
    • He inquired if formal protests were received from any of the other three firms that submitted proposals. In response, Mr. Mulligan stated that no protests were received objecting to staff’s selection of DMJM Harris, Inc., as the top-ranked firm. He noted that following the selection committee’s evaluation, a briefing was provided to all of the participating firms and that they were satisfied with the overall scoring and ranking results.
    • He inquired as what role DMJM Harris, Inc., has had on projects for other Bay Area bridges. In response, Mr. Mulligan stated that the team architect worked on the design for the Oakland-San Francisco Bay Bridge and that the wind tunnel testing firm provided testing services for both the Oakland-San Francisco Bay Bridge and the Carquinez Bridge.
    • He inquired as to when staff will be able to present initial findings to the Board of Directors from the suicide deterrent studies. In response, Mr. Mulligan stated that staff will be able to present the findings after completion of the wind-tunnel testing in six months, and will present other reports and information as they become available.
     
 
  • Director Martini made the following comments and inquiries:
    • He inquired regarding the results of the wind tunnel studies; specifically, if the studies will determine the design of the suicide deterrent or if the studies will determine whether or not to proceed forward with the suicide deterrent project. In response, Mr. Mulligan stated that the wind tunnel studies will determine the feasibility of the design concepts, and what kind of physical suicide deterrent system could safely be installed on the Bridge. Ms. Kupersmith added that the Board approved proceeding with this project only if outside funding could be found, and that the decision on whether or not to build a physical suicide deterrent system will be made at the conclusion of the two-year design phase. She noted that part of the timeline for this project includes getting approval from other agencies such as the State of California, Office of Historic Preservation.
    • He stated that he was recently informed that the retrofit projects for the Carquinez Bridge and the Oakland-San Francisco Bay Bridge include pedestrian access, and inquired as to whether DMJM Harris, Inc., participated in a suicide deterrent project for either of those bridges. In response, Mr. Mulligan stated that a decision was made not to contemplate a physical suicide deterrent system for either of those projects.
    • He stated that he respects the decision by the Board to move forward with this project, but that in order to maintain consistency with his past votes on the matter, he will vote in opposition to the motion.
     
 
  • Chair Eddie made the following comments and inquiries:
    • He commented that various community members in Mendocino County have expressed concerns regarding changing the aesthetics of the Golden Gate Bridge and oppose anything that obstructs the view from the Bridge.
    • He requested confirmation that funding for the suicide deterrent studies was provided by monies from outside sources. In response, Mr. Mulligan stated that staff did not proceed with the RFP until the monies were in place to fund the project.
     
 

Staff recommended and the Committee concurred by motion made and seconded by Directors STROEH/MOYLAN to forward the following recommendation to the Board of Directors for its consideration:

     
 
RECOMMENDATION
     
 

The Building and Operating Committee recommends that the Board of Directors authorize execution of a professional services agreement with DMJM Harris, Inc., in an amount not to exceed $1,780,550, relative to Request for Proposals (RFP) No. 2006 B 17, Environmental Studies and Preliminary Design for a Suicide Deterrent System on the Golden Gate Bridge, to prepare environmental documents, as well as to perform preliminary design work, wind tunnel testing and public outreach; with the understanding that requisite funds are available in the FY 06/07 Bridge Division Capital Budget, and with the further understanding that funding for this project has been provided by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, the City and County of San Francisco, the County of Marin, private citizen groups and the public.

Action by the Board - Resolution

     
 
AYES (10):  Directors Cochran, Dufty, Eddie, Grosboll, Hernández, Newhouse Segal, Reilly and Stroeh; First Vice President Moylan; President Middlebrook
NOES (1):     Director Martini
     
 
[Note: The above recommendation will be forwarded to the Board of Directors meeting of September 22, 2006, for action.]
     
2.

Status Report from District Appointees on Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit (SMART) Board

     
 

The Committee was provided with a copy of the agenda for the September 20, 2006 meeting, and the minutes for the July 19, 2006 meeting of the Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit District (SMART). Copies of these items are available in the Office of the District Secretary, as well as on the District’s web site.

At the meeting, Chair Eddie, one of the District’s representatives on the SMART Board of Directors (SMART Board), provided a brief summary of the meeting that was held on September 20, 2006, in San Rafael. He stated that at the meeting, public comment was received in opposition to Measure R, the ballot measure for the one-quarter sales tax to fund SMART’s passenger rail service in Sonoma and Marin County. He also reported that, in regards to the Santa Rosa Railroad Square project, there was a discussion relative to the agreement between the SMART Board and the project development team.

Discussion ensued, including the following:

     
 
  • Director Cochran inquired as whether the vote would require a two-thirds’ majority from both Sonoma and Marin counties combined or separately.  In response, Director Stroeh stated the two-thirds’ majority will be determined from the total votes received in both counties, as they comprise the SMART District.

Action by the Board – None Required

     
3.

Status Report on Engineering Projects

     
 

In a memorandum to Committee, Deputy District Engineer Ewa Z. Bauer, District Engineer Denis Mulligan and General Manager Celia Kupersmith reported on current engineering projects.  A copy of the report is available in the Office of the District Secretary and on the District’s web site.

Action by the Board – None Required

     
4.

Public Comment

     
  Public comment was received relative to Item No. 1, above.
     
5.

Adjournment

     
 

All business having been concluded, the meeting was declared adjourned at 10:20 a.m.

     

 

Respectfully submitted,

/s/ James C. Eddie, Chair
Building and Operating Committee