Explaining the price tag for Phase 2 of the Silver Line

April 23, 2013

(Ricky Carioti/ The Washington Post ) – Eric Carey, procurement officer for the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, left, receives a packet of proposals from procurement technician Felipe Dominguez during the opening of bid proposals at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport on April 19.

On Friday, the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority announced that Capital Rail Constructors had submitted the lowest price proposal  — $1,177,777,000 — for building the second phase of the Silver Line rail extension.

In a process that puts a premium on the lowest bidder, that puts the construction group, which includes Bethesda-based Clark Construction, in a good position to win the contract. MWAA officials, however, will spend the next few days reviewing the bids to be certain the numbers really do work. The authority, which manages Reagan National and Washington Dulles International airports as well as the Dulles Toll Road, also is overseeing construction of the rail project.

Some alert readers wondered about the numbers. The bid of just over $1.1 billion didn’t seem to square with the nearly $3 billion price tag for the second phase of the rail project listed in some of the financial data put out by the authority. Why the discrepancy?

That’s because this particular contract is only one of several that will be awarded for construction of the second phase of the rail extension.

The design-build contract is what authority’s officials refer to as “Package A” — it is the largest of the contracts that will be awarded in the project. It will include the construction of 11.4 miles of track and six stations.

Others contracts, however, will also be awarded. Those include contracts for construction of a rail yard, parking garages and project management services. At its April board meeting, the board’s Dulles Corridor Committee discussed the project management services contract, which could range from $30 million to $40 million. That contract could be awarded next month.

Lori Aratani writes about how people live, work and play in the D.C. region for The Post’s Transportation and Development team.
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Lori Aratani · April 23, 2013