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SFPUC Awards $215. 3 Million Contract for Water Delivery Tunnel

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The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission recently approved a contract with Michels/JayDee/Coluccio Joint Venture (MJC) to construct the first tunnel under the San Francisco Bay. This tunnel will ensure delivery of drinking water from the Hetch Hetchy Valley to Bay Area customers in Santa Clara, San Mateo and San Francisco counties after a major seismic event or other system outages.

SFPUC Awards $215. 3 Million Contract for Water Delivery Tunnel
Photo: Mountain Cascade Inc.
The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission recently approved a contract with Michels/JayDee/Coluccio Joint Venture to construct the first tunnel under the San Francisco Bay as part of the $4.6 billion dollar Hetch Hetchy Water System Improvement Program.
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MJC submitted the lowest responsive bid at $215,294,530 of the four received for this project. The next bid was within $100,000. Throughout 2009, bids on WSIP projects have regularly come in 20% to 30% below the engineering estimate for this $4.6 billion dollar Hetch Hetchy Water System Improvement Program (WSIP). 

“With the approval of this contract, the WSIP team moves its largest regional projects into construction and begins nearly $1 billion in construction over the next calendar year,” says Julie Labonte, WSIP director.  

MJC is comprised of three contractors who have significant experience in large-scale pipeline and tunnel projects. MJC was recently selected as contractor for the Sound Transit Tunnel in Seattle. In addition, JayDee and Coluccio are in the process of successfully completing the West Tunnel project as part of the Brightwater Infrastructure Program in Seattle. Michels and JayDee are also finalizing the Big Walnut Augmentation/Rickenbacker Interceptor in Columbus, Ohio.    

Jacobs Engineering will assume the responsibilities of construction manager of this project. Jacobs is one of the world’s largest and most diverse providers of technical, professional, and construction services.

This tunneling project is expected to generate significant jobs, including more than 396,000 craft hours within the construction trades, says the SFPUC.

“The SFPUC will be working with the primes and subcontractors to identify employment opportunities for local hires throughout the service area and to encourage training and apprentice opportunities,” says Harlan Kelly, Jr., assistant GM for infrastructure.

MJC will also collaborate with several Bay Area regional firms, including Apex Testing Laboratories, Tri-Valley Excavating and Hernandez Engineering.  

In December, the commission awarded two contracts totaling more than $100 million to two local firms, Ranger Pipelines and Mountain Cascade, to construct connecting pipelines to this tunnel in the East Bay and on the Peninsula. These pipeline projects will get underway early this year.

Mountain Cascade, Inc. of Livermore was awarded a $52.1 million contract for the Bay Division Pipeline No. 5 -- Peninsula Reaches, a 9-mi, 5-ft-diameter welded steel pipeline that will go through the cities of East Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Redwood City and other areas of San Mateo County. Mountain Cascade provided the lowest responsive bid among six bidders. The SFPUC says contract bids were approximately 30% below engineer estimates.

This project is expected to generate significant jobs, including approximately 235,000 craft hours within the construction trades.

Angels of Ireland, Fibro-Acoustic Consultants, and Ron R. Nelson Contractors of San Francisco, as well as Bayland of Oakland and EK Trucking of Pleasanton are some of the certified regional Local Business Enterprise (LBE) subcontractors that will assist Mountain Cascade.   

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