Baltimore bridge RFP expected in May

Dive Brief:

  • The Maryland Transportation Authority scheduled a building industry forum for May 7 to explain the project process to rebuild the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore, which collapsed in March after the container ship Dali struck one of its piers.
  • The virtual session aims to prepare potential contractors, subcontractors and consultants for the request for proposals, which is expected to be released by the end of May, according to the MDTA. The agency also hopes to collect input from the industry to inform the upcoming RFP.
  • During the event, MDTA representatives will discuss the procurement process, project schedule and the progressive design-build delivery method, which uses a stepped approach towards a design and contract price with the owner and building team. They will also share how to get certified as a Maryland disadvantaged business enterprise.

Dive Insight:

The Francis Scott Key Bridge rebuild will be a massive effort and an expensive one, as supply chain issues and inflation hike the prices for bridge materials. Though a range of estimates have been thrown out, the true price of the new span will only be eked out over time through the progressive design-build process. 

President Joe Biden has promised the federal government will cover the cost, and said the bridge would be rebuilt with “union labor and American steel.” Meanwhile, the cleanup effort in the Patapsco River continues, but bridge and ship debris still block much of the entry into the Port of Baltimore.

Reconstructing the span and reconnecting the I-695 Baltimore Beltway as expeditiously and safely as possible is a top priority for MDTA, said the agency’s Executive Director Bruce Gartner in the press release. The MDTA finances, owns, operates, secures and improves Maryland’s toll tunnels, bridges and turnpikes. 

“The anticipated contracting process is a significant opportunity for the consulting and construction community in Maryland to bring their skills to the table of this important project,” said Gartner. “The upcoming forum will bring together the industry’s diverse prime contractors and sub-contractors in a unified effort to rebuild the Key Bridge.”

The agency is encouraging small, minority-, veteran- and women-owned businesses to get certified now so they can get involved with the rebuilding effort.

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