L.A. Metro Board awards Sepulveda Transit Corridor Partners — Bechtel innovative pre-development contract to create rail transit solution for one of the Nation’s most congested freeway corridors
09 April 2021
$69.9 million contract to advance high-speed, high-capacity rail proposal to connect San Fernando Valley to West Los Angeles & relieve I-405
Sepulveda Transit Corridor Partners — Bechtel (STCP) has been awarded a Pre-Development Agreement (PDA) contract by the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) to advance its rail transit solution to potentially ease congestion on the notorious I-405 (Sepulveda) corridor between the San Fernando Valley and West Los Angeles.
STCP’s proposal, one of two PDA proposals approved by Metro, is notable for its direct connections to new and proposed Metro transit lines, direct connections to key destinations including UCLA, stations that are pleasant and convenient for riders, have high passenger capacity and high speeds that deliver a less than 20-minute trip time. The heavy rail concept within the proposal could potentially reduce air pollution and climate change-causing emissions, create thousands of good-paying construction jobs, and would create lasting economic and equity benefits by increasing the number of jobs in reach to people who do not own a car. STCP believes the proposal provides a cost-effective transit solution through design innovation and minimizes project delivery risk by utilizing proven technologies and a team of partners with a global track record.
STCP comprises Bechtel Development Company, Meridiam Sepulveda and American Triple I (ATI) as Equity Members, and Bechtel Infrastructure as the Lead Construction Contractor and Lead Engineering Firm. STCP is further supported by leading engineering firms Mott Macdonald, T.Y. Lin, and Systra. As a trusted engineering, construction and project management partner to industry and government globally, Bechtel brings large-scale rail experience to STCP. STCP also benefits from the leadership and expertise of Meridiam, an investment firm focused on sustainable infrastructure development with a successful track record of developing complicated public-private partnerships, and ATI, a 100 percent minority and woman owned, managed, and controlled investor and developer.
The PDA contract is for an amount not to exceed $69.9 million, with the opportunity to enter into an Implementation Agreement for project delivery if STCP’s solution, as refined through the PDA process, is selected by the Metro Board as the locally preferred alternative (LPA) for construction. The contract to STCP was one of two Pre-Development contracts awarded by Metro for the Sepulveda Project. Metro plans to begin the environmental review process this fall, where concept designs for these and other alternatives will be advanced and/or refined through extensive, ongoing public feedback and technical investigation and analysis. Metro retains the ability to continue the partnership through final design with one of the private sector teams if its transit concept is consistent with the project’s Locally Preferred Alternative, or LPA, that will be selected by the Metro Board.
In recommending STCP’s proposal for approval by the Metro Board, Metro staff wrote: “Bechtel’s proposal included well thought out stations siting, configuration and connections/transfers and stations were sized for some amount of growth in train consists. The team proposed a single-bore tunnel design to address significant challenges with tunneling and demonstrated a good understanding of geo-technical issues. The proposal highlighted detailed plans to completing the PDA work, including consideration for third parties, FTA and the environmental process. During the interview, the Bechtel team demonstrated cohesion and coordination and their commitment to the Project. The financial proposal highlighted deep global financing experience across a range of project types and extensive experience with projects of similar size and complexity. The team’s financial capacity appeared quite strong and they depicted an appropriate financial structure with a diversity of sources.”
STCP also comprises 28 disadvantaged business enterprises (DBEs) supporting the technical solution in various roles, including architectural design, traffic analysis and system engineering. Additionally, the team has selected four DBEs to mentor during the initial phases of the PDA.
“We are excited to partner with Metro and the community to refine our PDA proposal to potentially ease congestion between the Valley and the Westside with a transit solution that offers fast travel times, a superior passenger experience and complete connections to Metro's growing system,” said Keith Hennessey, President, Bechtel Enterprises. “Our proposed heavy rail solution seeks to promote economic opportunity and sustainability within the Sepulveda Corridor and throughout the Los Angeles region.”
“The Sepulveda Corridor Transit project truly meets the moment in terms of Los Angeles' immediate and long-term transit needs. Our below-ground, fully automated and time-efficient Metro system will address the critical transit challenges of currently underserved communities and reduce congestion while maximizing safety and energy efficiency,” said Romain Limouzin, Chief Operating Officer, Meridiam N.A. “We look forward to working with Metro and our consortium partners to potentially bring this transformational transit project to the citizens of Los Angeles.”
ATI CEO David J. Cibrian added, “Metro leadership continues its pursuit of a world-class transportation system that enhances the quality of life for the residents of Los Angeles County. Metro has adopted an innovative and visionary Pre-Development Agreement approach to this complex infrastructure project and we are pleased to be working alongside them.”
A PDA is a form of early contractor involvement where a private project developer participates in early project definition and design, in partnership with the project owner. The two selected PDA contractors will provide technical work products including cost estimates, constructability reviews and technical analyses that support the ongoing development of the project as it progresses through the environmental review and approval processes.
About the Sepulveda Transit Corridor Project
The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s (Metro) Sepulveda Transit Corridor Project seeks to improve travel between the San Fernando Valley, the Westside and Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) via high-speed, high-capacity rail line. The line is intended to offer travelers with a competitive alternative to the I-405 Freeway, one of the most traveled urban highways in the nation that accommodates more than 400,000 daily trips. The project is funded in part by Measure M, the transportation sales tax approved by 71 percent of Los Angeles County voters in 2016. The total project will receive $9.5 billion in funding from Measure M and other local, state, and federal sources. Metro’s pursuit of Pre-Development Agreements with private industry partners best positions Metro to potentially accelerate the project. For additional project information, visit https://www.metro.net/projects/sepulvedacorridor/.
Meridiam was founded in 2005 by Thierry Déau, with the belief that the alignment of interests between the public and private sector can provide critical solutions to the collective needs of communities. Meridiam is an independent investment Benefit Corporation under French law and an asset manager. The firm specializes in the development, financing, and long-term management of sustainable public infrastructure in three core sectors: mobility, energy transition and environment, and social infrastructure. With offices in, Addis Ababa, Amman, Dakar, Istanbul, New York, Luxembourg, Paris, Toronto and Vienna, Meridiam currently manages US$8 billion and more than 90 projects and assets to date. Meridiam is certified ISO 9001: 2015, Advanced Sustainability Rating by VigeoEiris and applies a proprietary methodology in relation to ESG and impact based on United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). www.meridiam.com | Meridiam Twitter | Meridiam LinkedIn | Meridiam YouTube
About American Triple I
American Triple I (ATI) is an investor, owner, developer and manager of infrastructure assets and infrastructure-focused companies. ATI is committed to serving its investor partners and communities by deploying capital into much needed infrastructure projects and businesses throughout the United States. The firm generally targets value-add, lower middle market opportunities that spur economic development in markets across the U.S. as well as larger opportunities where the experience of the firm and its Principals brings unique value to the transaction. The firm invests in the transportation, digital and social infrastructure sectors. ATI is a signatory of the United Nations-supported Principles of Responsible Investing and actively seeks high quality projects, which benefit its clients and adhere to the firm’s environmental, social and governance (ESG) standards. ATI is 100% minority and woman owned, managed and controlled. www.tripleipartners.com | American Triple I LinkedIn