Industry Day 2019 Q&A

Question: How much is the value of the I-66 Outside the Beltway grant that VRE was awarded?

Answer: The concession fee funding is $128.5 million for several projects on the Manassas Line as well as for 10 passenger coaches and a Real Time Traveler Information project. VRE had already committed other funding to the projects for a total cost of $151.4 million for the total project.

Question: How does VRE determine whether a project will be assigned through the General Engineering Consulting Services (GEC) contract or a stand-alone contract?

Answer: The current GEC VII contract, issued in 2015, has seven task areas with a primary and a secondary consultant for each. These seven areas are:

  • Construction Management Services
  • Design Services: Shops and Yards
  • Design Services: Passenger Facilities
  • Design Services: Track, Structures & Signals
  • Design Services: Telecommunications & Security
  • Geotechnical & Permitting Services
  • Land & Survey Services

When a project has multiple elements, instead of utilizing a GEC task order, a stand-alone contract is advertised.  For the next GEC, VRE may have a different approach and use the GEC for “quick burn” projects. Stand-alone contracts are determined based on complexity, incorporation of multiple task areas and dollar amount.

Question: Are alternative delivery methods used by VRE?

Answer: Yes. Historically, VRE has not used such methods due to the Virginia Public Procurement Act (VPPA) which required staff employed by the agency to have experience with alternate delivery methods. VRE previously did not have that in-house experience. We now have staff with CMGC experience and so we will be looking to use alternate methods for more complex projects or those that involve many stakeholders. In addition, the VPPA requirements have become less stringent in this area. 

Question: If a firm is selected for a GEC contract, could they be selected for a stand-alone contract?

Answer: Yes. We would have to look at the potential conflict of interest and scope of work to determine if there would be an issue. It would be determined on a case-by-case basis.

Question: If there is a GEC with a CM assignment, how much construction can they do?

Answer: None.

Question: What is the status of the Potomac Shores station?

Answer: Potomac Shores is not being built by VRE. It will be an infill station between the Quantico and Rippon stations. The station has been proffered by the developer of Potomac Shores as a condition of their development permit. Currently the project is in design. VRE has an agreement with CSX and the developer has an agreement with CSX to complete design. The Site Review process is being overseen by Prince William County.

Question: Will VRE have oversight for the Potomac Shores station construction?

Answer:  VRE has been involved with the design and review of the construction plans.  However, VRE will not issue contracts for CM or construction.

Question: For track construction associated with projects, who would build the track?

Answer: Railroad Union rules prevent VRE from contracting for track work. For certain projects, VRE could pay for and construct the track and then the owner/host railroad would build the tie-ins

Question: What are the challenges at the Crystal City station with DCA regarding timing of the walkway?

Answer: Project Manager Sonali Soneji will request VRE Operations Board approval on March 15 to advertise for NEPA and preliminary engineering design of the Crystal City project. Questions can be asked through Friday, March 15 but once the Board approves the next phase,  staff cannot discuss.

A feasibility study of a bridge from the station to DCA will be pursued by Arlington County and VRE will coordinate the connection at the Crystal City Station.  The next step for the Crystal City to DC (CC2DCA) multimodal connection is for Arlington County to initiate preliminary engineering and environmental review. The county has started to define the scope of the initial work to be completed; a timeline has not been shared.

Question: Will the Broad Run project be advertised as one contract?

Answer: Christine Hoeffner, Project Manager, said that a final design RFP will be advertised to include expansion of the existing Broad Run maintenance and  storage facility, architectural components for the storage yard for some administrative buildings that will be relocated with the yard expansion; there will be an existing  parking lot modification; construction of a new parking lot across the tracks; a tunnel will be built to connect the new parking lot to the platform; the platform will be relocated and a third NS track will be built. One of the items to be resolved is whether VRE or NS will build the 3rd track.

Question: What type of delivery contract will be used for the Broad Run Expansion design and construction? Is Design-Build an option?

Answer: The contract delivery method will be Design-Bid-Build or CMGC.

Question: Do you have a need for bridge or structure inspection contracts?

Answer: VRE has four bridges and two parking garages and they were inspected last summer. The recent assignment was through a GEC task order.

Question: When do you expect to advertise the Lifecycle Overhaul and Upgrade (LOU) contract?

Answer: The next advertisement related to the LOU will be for a stand-alone contract for the CM.

Question: Will the future L’Enfant Station have a fourth track?

Answer: Yes. VRE currently has a storage track north of the station where one train is stored during the midday. Another project will activate an additional storage track south of the L’Enfant station that will be able to store two midday trains. Wayside power needs to be added to that location so that the trains do not idle for the midday hours. Those two storage tracks used for storage, in the short term, will become part of the fourth track, in the long term. Another portion of the fourth track will be built behind the current L’Enfant station platform and will connect to the new Long Bridge. VRE will advance preliminary design for the L’Enfant station expansion and 4th track as a single effort.

Question: Will the L’Enfant Station Improvements be advertised this year?

Answer: The concept design phase is on-going through a General Planning Consulting Services (GPC) Task Order. We are not sure if preliminary design will continue with a GPC Task Order. The timing is dependent on executing a Rail Enhancement Fund grant, approved for preliminary design and environmental review. Final design and construction for the project are unfunded. VRE must have full funding in place before advertisement of a contract for a project phase or phases.

Question: Do you have SWaM goals for GEC RFPs?

Answer: VRE does not have a SWaM goal. However, VRE supports and encourages the use of DBEs and other small businesses and minority owned or controlled financial institutions. During pre-bid and pre-proposal events we encourage match-making when practical.

Question: Do you have a SWaM or DBE goal for each project?

Answer: No

Question: Do you have a small business set-aside for projects?

Answer: No, but we advertise our procurement opportunities on electronic Virginia (eVA) so that a variety of firms receive notification. Although there are no contract requirements, often a team can add a firm that strengthens their team. They can showcase that special aspect to benefit the prime. This also makes a firm more diverse and attractive. It benefits VRE to have diverse teams, as well.

Question: Since VRE is successful winning grant awards, do you need assistance with federal grant writing?

Answer:  Most of our funding now is non-federal rather than Federal formula funds. The newer grants include the state I-66 Outside the Beltway (OTB) and Smart Scale programs.  VRE uses consultants to help write grants, generally through its GPC contract. A GPC Task Order was used to prepare a USDOT BUILD grant last year. Although we were not awarded that grant, we attended a de-brief to learn about other opportunities and how to improve the applications. Another BUILD funding opportunity is expected in the next couple of months.

Question: Do you have specialty contracts?

Answer: Yes, an example is a contract for Program Management Consultant Services, which will be advertised in the next couple of months. The scope of work of that contract may require assistance with preparing other upcoming solicitations.

Question: What is VRE’s design role on the Long Bridge Project?

Answer: VRE’s limited role on the Long Bridge Project is as a member of the stakeholder team led by the District of Columbia Department of Transportation (DDOT). VRE is also a part of the review team. VRE does not have a design role in the current project.