September 11, 2008

REPORT OF THE BUILDING AND OPERATING COMMITTEE

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

Honorable Members:

A meeting of the Building and Operating Committee was held in the Board Room, Administration Building, Toll Plaza, San Francisco, California, on Thursday, September 11, 2008, at 10:00 a.m., Chair Eddie presiding.

Committee Members Present (8): Chair Eddie; Vice Chair Reilly; Directors Cochran, Grosboll, Newhouse Segal, Pahre and Stroeh; President Moylan (Ex Officio). Directors Cochran, Grosboll, Newhouse Segal and Pahre were appointed Committee Members Pro Tem for this meeting only.

Committee Members Absent (3): Directors Ammiano, Boro and Hernández

Other Directors Present (0): None

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/Bridge Division Kary H. Witt; 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: Richard Hannum, Board Member, Sausalito Harbor Improvement Project (SHIP); Carolyn Ford, resident, County of Marin; Robert Guernsey, Citizens for a Safe Golden Gate Bridge; Mark Prado, Reporter, Marin Independent Journal

     
1.

Presentation Regarding the Sausalito Harbor Improvement Project

Deputy General Manager/Ferry Division James Swindler introduced Richard Hannum, Board Member, Sausalito Harbor Improvement Project (SHIP), stating that Mr. Hannum would provide the Board with presentation regarding the concept being proposed by SHIP. Mr. Swindler stated that the Ferry Transit Divisions’ Capital Plan includes review and potential improvements to all of the District’s gangways and pier structures in the coming years, noting that the project could relate to future District plans.


Richard Hannum stated that SHIP, a non-profit organization, has been working in concert with the City of Sausalito Harbor and Downtown Action Committee (Committee), as well as members of the community, on a waterfront improvement proposal (proposal) in Sausalito. He presented SHIP’s concept for improvements to Sausalito’s downtown and harbor areas, stating that the proposal addresses key issues, such as public access, bicycle access and tourism. He pointed out that the planning and design of this proposal includes boat access for transportable systems like the United States Coast Guard and the Golden Gate Ferry, providing for the timely movement of people in an emergency response. The proposal includes a design for a transient berthing area, which area allows for boats to moor on a short-term basis from two days to, stating that this design allows boats to be moved to one area, leaving the access open for additional boats in case of an emergency.

The design of the concept includes restriping of the current parking area to free up the plaza area in front of the primary terminal landing, allowing for ample space to handle the influx of ferry passengers and to handle ancillary facilities. He stated that the Committee is seeking funds from the Water Emergency Transportation Authority (WETA), U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), State of California Department of Boating and Waterways (Cal Boating), Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC) and the District for this proposal. He asserted that the District would have an opportunity to provide its input during the review process.

In conclusion, Mr. Hannum stated that the proposal is still in its early stages, and that it is being confronted with both controversy and opposition. He commented that the proposal will need voter approval. He stated that, and at this juncture, this proposal has not been presented to the Sausalito City Council, taken or been through the Public Hearing or Environmental Impact Resources processes or approved by the Board of Directors of the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District.

Public Comment

Carolyn Ford expressed her opposition of the Sausalito Harbor Improvement Project stating that it is out of scale for a small town like Sausalito.

Discussion ensued, including the following comments and inquiries:

  • Director Newhouse Segal made the following comments and inquiries:
    • She inquired as to the timeline for the Sausalito Harbor Improvement Project. In response, Mr. Hannum stated that finalizing the environmental process can take up to two years and that the project itself, which can be completed in stages, may take from five to ten years to complete.
    • She inquired as whether the property was owned by and controlled by the City of Sausalito. In response, Mr. Hannum stated that the property is owned by the City of Sausalito but, in accordance with state law, there will be a Harbor District established to manage and maintain the proposed area.
    • She inquired as to whether or not all the parties that may be involved in this proposal are currently tenants in the harbor. In response, Mr. Hannum described the leases with the various agencies that will affected by the proposal.
    • She commented that it is the District’s responsibility to research this proposal in terms of its legal aspects and public opinion. In response, Ms. Kupersmith stated that staff has not been involved with the planning of this proposal; however, recognizing that it is a complex undertaking, staff understands the importance of being involved in the preliminary stages, before a final product is introduced to the public that may have any negative impacts on the District’s ferry operations. In conclusion, she stated that staff will be monitoring the development of this proposal to ensure that it will not have any of these negative impacts , and will report back to the Committee as the project proceeds.
  • Director Pahre made the following comments and inquiries:
    • She inquired as how the emergency response boats would access the landings. In response, Mr. Hannum stated that the primary emergency tie-ups are located on the exterior of the harbor, which is a deep-water channel and can accommodate up to four large boats.
    • She inquired as how the District’s lease would be affected by this proposal. In response, Mr. Hannum stated that it would appear that the District’s lease would have to be renegotiated; however, the hope is that the District can help negotiate a better vision for Sausalito without going through an acrimonious debate on the rights. In addition, Attorney David Miller advised that many years ago it became necessary for the District to acquire its property interests in the Sausalito terminal by an action in eminent domain. The District condemned the leasehold interest held by a company known as Madden & Lewis which previously had negotiated a long-term lease with the City of Sausalito. Any proposed change to the District's current leasehold interest would require the District's approval.
    • She emphasized the importance of the District staff participating in the discussions during the onset of this project, in order to prevent any possibility of the District having to assume an adversarial role.
  • Director Grosboll inquired as to how the improvements being proposed in this project would be beneficial to the District, and to how SHIP intends to seek funding. In response, Mr. Hannum stated that the design includes improvements to the District’s landing facilities. Also, Mr. Hannum stated that SHIP has identified funds from agencies such as WETA, Cal Boating, DHS and the District, but these funds have not yet been secured. He believes that there is sufficient ferry discretionary funds available in the Bay Area that would allow the City of Sausalito to proceed with this project without taxing the citizens of Sausalito.
  • Director Stroeh inquired as to whether BCDC supported the proposal. In response, Mr. Hannum stated that the project meets 100% of the BCDC requirements and accordingly, the agency supports the project. He noted that the project is categorized as a full public access boating- and waterway-based installation and non-commercial venture.

Action by the Board – None Required

     
2. Status Report Regarding the Procurement of the New High-Speed Passenger Ferry
     
  a.

Presentation from Staff

Deputy General Manager/Ferry Division James Swindler provided a status report regarding the procurement of the District’s new high-speed passenger ferry. Mr. Swindler stated that, in accordance with Board direction regarding ferry emission standards, the new ferry will be built to a standard that exceeds current state and federal ferry emission standards, which will be 20% cleaner than any vessels in the market.

Mr. Swindler described how, after a nationwide search, the District received bids from one company, Ice Floe, LLC dba Nichols Brothers Boat Builders (Nichols Bros.), on July 25, 2008. He stated that the Engineer’s estimate was $12 million; however, the sole bid came in at $18,618,600. Mr. Swindler attributed the higher cost due to the current cost of materials, the value of the American dollar in the overseas market and to high demand for the procurement of new ferries in the current shipbuilders market. He noted that staff is currently negotiating with Nichols Bros., in an effort to reduce the bid price, by discussing issues such as reducing the size of the ferry and reducing the District’s requirements for bonding.

Mr. Swindler briefed the Committee on new information that may affect the acquisition of a new ferry, in that staff has been made aware that the Washington State Department of Transportation Ferries Division (Washington State) is selling two surplus high-speed ferries. He stated that staff would like to explore the possibility of purchasing boats from the Washington State Ferries in the event that the District is unable to negotiate a reasonable price with Nichol Bros., for the acquisition of a new high-speed passenger ferry. He stated that he will keep the Committee apprised of staff’s progress in this matter.

In addition, Celia Kupersmith stated that the District has sufficient funds to cover the purchase of a new high-speed ferry. Further, Ms. Kupersmith also stated during negotiations with Nichol Bros., staff is finding both cost savings and cost increases. Ms. Kupersmith further stated that the two ferries for sale from the Washington State Ferries are sister ships to the M.V. Del Norte. She also provided a synopsis on the condition of the ferries, which have been in storage for some time due to tax reform changes in the State of Washington. She requested that the Board authorize staff to formally contact Washington State Ferries to negotiate the sale of the ferries, as well as determine whether the boats will meet the District’s needs, including all state and federal environmental requirements. She noted that the purchase amount combined with the costs of refurbishment may equal the amount budgeted for the new high-speed passenger ferry.

     
  b.

Discussion by the Board

Dscussion ensued, including the following comments and inquiries:

  • President Moylan made the following comments and inquiries:
    • He inquired as to the age of the two fast ferries. In response, Ms. Kupersmith stated that the two fast ferries were built around ten years ago at a cost of approximately $7 million each.
    • He inquired as to whether the purchase of the ferries from Washington State Ferries would be a better investment for the District. In response, Ms. Kupersmith stated that, although the District may be able to purchase these two ferries for less money, some of the outstanding issues include the cost of refurbishment and the long-term costs associated with the depreciation.
  • Directors Grosboll and Cochran inquired as to whether or not staff knew the reason why only one shipyard submitted a bid for this procurement. In response, Mr. Swindler stated that one of the shipyards contacted by staff was too small of an operation to build the size of ferry being procured and the other shipyard was extremely busy with several large projects.
  • Director Reilly inquired as to the passenger capacity of the ferryboats from Washington State Ferries. In response, Mr. Swindler stated that the current passenger capacity is 350; however, both ferries are eight feet longer than the M.V. Del Norte. He noted that part of staff’s due diligence will be to assess the layout of the ferries to determine whether or not structural changes could be made to increase passenger capacity.
  • Director Pahre inquired as to whether the required engines with lower emissions can be installed in these ferries. In response, Mr. Swindler stated that it is staff’s intention to install the Tier 2-20 engines as part of repowering these two ferries, and, at this time, staff does not anticipate any difficulties to perform this work from the engine manufacturer.
  • Director Newhouse Segal inquired as to whether staff has determined that the Ferry Division has the facilities to operate both of the usedferries. In response, Mr. Swindler stated that currently the ferry operates 41 trips per day, utilizing two ferries. He also stated that it is important to attain a 450-plus passenger capacity ferry in order to meet the demand for ferries. He noted that whether the District opted for either the procurement of the new high-speed ferry or for the Washington State ferries, one boat would operate in place of the M.V. Del Norte. In addition, Ms. Kupersmith stated that if staff recommends that the Board procure the ferries from Washington State Ferries, staff would also present an operating plan on how the vessels would be deployed. She noted that the District’s need for a third high-speed ferry was the impetus for this procurement, and that staff will need to determine whether the operational aspects of having four high-speed ferries is productive for the District.
  • Chair Eddie commended staff on the work done for this project and inquired as to the estimated time of arrival if the Board approves the purchase of a new high-speed ferry. In response, Mr. Swindler stated that the time of delivery will be within 18 months of the award of the contract.

Following the above discussion by the Committee, the General Manager will request that the Board of Directors, at its meeting of September 12, 2008, add the following recommendation to the Board’s agenda, as this matter arose subsequent to the posting of the agenda and requires immediate attention:

“Authorize the General Manager to Enter into Negotiations with Washington State Ferries for the Acquisition of Two Previously Constructed Vessels as a Possible Alternative to the Purchase of a New High-Speed Ferry.”

     
3.

Approve Actions Relative to the Execution of a Professional Services Agreement with DMJM Harris Regarding Request for Proposals No. 2008-B-5, Environmental Studies and Preliminary Design for a Moveable Median Barrier on the Golden Gate Bridge

In a report to Committee, Deputy District Engineer Ewa Bauer, District Engineer Denis Mulligan and General Manager Celia Kupersmith presented staff’s recommendation to approve actions relative to Request for Proposals (RFP) No. 2008-B-5, Environmental Studies and Preliminary Design for a Moveable Median Barrier on the Golden Gate Bridge, including execution of a Professional Services Agreement with DMJM Harris, immediately upon receiving approvals from the State of California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).

The report stated that the Board of Directors, by Resolution No. 2005-015 at its meeting of March 11, 2005, authorized the Board President to form an Advisory Committee of the Board to work with staff to identify and pursue funding for proceeding with environmental studies and preliminary design work for a Moveable Median Barrier (MMB) system on the Golden Gate Bridge (Bridge). Subsequently, in 2008, the District secured significant federal and state funds for the MMB project.

The report also stated that on June 6, 2008, the District issued RFP No. 2008-B-5, which scope of services include the preparation of environmental studies pursuant to state and federal requirements, along with the preliminary design and cost estimates of a MMB on the Bridge, including the storage and maintenance of barrier transfer machines. The consultant services also include exploring, developing, evaluating and reviewing potential design variations from a traffic operations and environmental perspective. The RFP notification was posted to the web site and sent to local newspapers, along with sending to over 40 engineering, planning and architectural consultants.

The report further stated that, by the due date of July 14, 2008, the Office of the District Secretary received three proposals for RFP No. 2008-B-5, which were found to be responsive and in good order. The Evaluation Panel, consisting of representatives from the District, Caltrans, FHWA and the Bay Area Toll Authority (BATA) evaluated and ranked the consultants based on the submitted proposals and the interview presentations. The selection criteria included the following: (1) qualifications of the firm and the individual consultant team members; (2) the firm’s track record on previously completed similar projects; and, (3) the firm’s understanding and methodology of providing the scope of services for the MMB project. The Evaluation Panel agreed that the top ranked firm of DMJM Harris is the best qualified consulting firm to perform these services. No contract-specific DBE goal was established for RFP No. 2008-B-5; however, consultants were strongly encouraged to obtain DBE participation. The DBE Program Administrator has determined that DMJM Harris has complied with the DBE requirements applicable and, at this time, 0% DBE participation is anticipated during the performance of these services.

The report explained that in accordance with the FHWA’s and Caltrans’ requirements for Federal aid funding participation, consultants’ proposals must be audited prior to execution of a Professional Services Agreement to verify that the consultants’ accounting systems, rates, knowledge of FHWA’s cost eligibility, documentation requirements and proposed contract language are satisfactory. The audits and resolution of audit findings are prerequisites for FHWA’s/Caltrans’ approval of consultant services. The other prerequisite is that the project be included in the Metropolitan Transportation Commission’s (MTC) Transportation Improvement Program. The District has requested that Caltrans’ Office of External Audits and Investigations perform a pre-award audit of the DMJM Harris proposal.

Staff recommends execution of a Professional Services Agreement with DMJM Harris, in an amount not to exceed $2,780,000, immediately upon receiving FHWA’s and Caltrans’ approvals of the Professional Services Agreement to allow for timely engagement of the consultant; and, that a contingency reserve fund be established in the amount of $278,000. A copy of the report is available from the Office of the District Secretary and on the District’s web site.

Public Comment

Robert Guernsey, Citizens for a Safe Golden Gate Bridge, expressed his support for the Environmental Studies and Preliminary Design for a Moveable Median Barrier on the Golden Gate Bridge.

Staff recommended and the Committee concurred by motion made and seconded by Directors STROEH/REILLY 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 approve the following actions relative to Request for Proposals No. 2008-B-5, Environmental Studies and Preliminary Design for a Moveable Median Barrier on the Golden Gate Bridge:

  a.
Authorize execution of a Professional Services Agreement with DMJM Harris, Oakland, CA, in an amount not to exceed $2,780,000, subject to the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District receiving approval from the Federal Highway Administration and the State of California, Department of Transportation; and,
  b.
Establish a contingency reserve fund in the amount of $278,000.
 

with the understanding that requisite funds are available in the FY 08/09 Bridge Division Capital Budget.

Action by the Board at its meeting of September 12, 2008 – Resolution
NON-CONSENT CALENDAR

AYES (8): Chair Eddie; Vice Chair Reilly; Directors Cochran, Grosboll, Newhouse Segal, Pahre and Stroeh; President Moylan (Ex Officio)
NOES (0): None
ABSENT (3): Directors Ammiano, Boro and Hernández

     
4.

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

The Committee was provided with a copy of the agendas for the July 16, August 6, and August 22, 2008, meetings and the minutes of the June 18, 2008, 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 members of the SMART Board of Directors (SMART Board), reported on the following:

  1. He stated that the SMART Board is currently working on getting Measure Q, the one-quarter sales tax measure, on the November 2008 ballot. He also stated that a Sonoma County judge has ruled in favor of SMART's legal action against the ballot argument opposing the passenger train service for Sonoma and Marin counties. He noted that the opponents used "misleading" statements in their campaign against Measure Q;
  2. He commended Director McGlashan, Chair of SMART Board, for his work regarding the one-quarter sales tax measure; and,
  3. He stated that new issues of the SMART “White Papers,” have been issued and encouraged the Board to read them that provide a status report on the various issues regarding SMART District.

Action by the Board – None Required

     
5.

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

     
6.

Public Comment

Public comments were received relative to Agenda Item Nos. 1 and 3, above.

     
7.

Adjournment

All business having been concluded, the meeting was declared adjourned at 11:05 a.m.

     
     

 

Respectfully submitted,

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