Press Release -- May 14, 2009
New Dover Transit Center Progressing

Federal Recovery Act funding secured to begin procurement process

Dover -- Plans for the design and construction of the first phase of a new Dover Transit Center moved forward this week as the procurement process was advertised.

The $5.7 million project - the first Delaware transit project funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) will include a bus loop, parking areas, improved shelters and a stormwater system at Water and Queen Streets in Dover. The larger property size will also accommodate possible DART bus service expansion, taxi services, and private motor coach services. In the future, the site could serve as a home to a new Dover Train Station.

Federal spending allocation restrictions prevent DelDOT from using ARRA funds to also build a 30,000 square foot building at the site, which was part of the original $13.3 million proposal. The current project will prepare the site for a future structure to house DelDOT offices, MPO offices, local emergency service vehicles, retail and possible more amenities for transit riders. DelDOT, the City of Dover and Dover/Kent County MPO continue to explore possible funding options for a building.

DelDOT expects to begin construction in the spring of 2010 with occupancy expected by mid 2011.

The current DART bus facility on Water Street between South State Street and Governors Avenue is a small space and restricts expansion of services.

Governor Jack Markell said, "Transit funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act will help get Delawareans back to work, which is critical for our economy, and help get people out of their cars and onto public transportation, which is critical for our air quality. The Dover Transit Center project immediately helps more people with alternative transportation, while preparing this area for future bus and train service expansion."

Lt. Governor Matt Denn said, "Delaware continues to live up to the expectations that were set when the Recovery Act was passed. This is another milestone which will create jobs and improve transportation."

DelDOT Secretary Carolann Wicks said, "This project is a shining example of how we are finding ways to make alternative transportation more available to the public. I am most proud of this effort because we would not be at this point if not for the cooperation from our partners, the City of Dover and the Dover/Kent County Metropolitan Planning Organization. On a complicated and multi-faceted project such as this, we are accomplishing much more together than we could alone."

This project will be built through a Design-Build procurement process. This process is being utilized to expedite design and construction, which occur simultaneously. The Design-Build process consists of two phases:

* Request for Qualifications (RFQ). This RFQ was advertised the week of May 11, 2009. This process will determine a "short-list" of up to three teams.
* Request for Proposals (RFP). The three teams who are short-listed will be able to bid on the project.

Final selection and award of the contract is expected to occur in the summer of 2009. A draft version of the RFP will be available on or about May 30.

Carleton E. Carey, Mayor for the City of Dover said, "The Dover Transit Center will be relocated to the former site of the George and Lynch Construction Company. It is a great place as a central transportation hub for the City of Dover and the state capital. This would give the City of Dover and the state of Delaware a fantastic transportation center in the state capital and further develop our long range transportation needs that we desperately need. This would further be a great economic development opportunity to bring people downtown, as well as being located in the center of our present medical facilities, including Bayhealth/Kent General Hospital."

Juanita S. Wieczoreck, Executive Director of Dover/Kent County Metropolitan Planning Organization said, "The relocation of the Dover Transit Center to the former George and Lynch site has the potential to spur economic growth and create an important focus for activities in central Dover by bringing together DART First State inter-county and local bus routes with interstate bus and taxi services. Consolidating these services will improve transportation efficiency for all of Kent County."

DelDOT will spend $140.9 million on projects funded through the federal Recovery Act, with $19 million for transit-related projects. In addition to the Dover Transit Center, other transit projects include improved park and ride facilities, new buses, and new passenger train cars.

Delaware's U.S. Senators Tom Carper and Ted Kaufman said DelDOT's $140.9 million in transportation projects will meet a variety of transportation needs while creating and sustaining jobs. Both Senators voted for the ARRA, knowing it would help Delaware in everything from schools to healthcare to transportation infrastructure. The Senators said the transportation projects identified are creating and sustaining jobs, and that Delaware Governor Jack Markell and Secretary Carolann Wicks are to be commended for finding projects that support a wide range of transportation needs including road construction, congestion relief, economic development, public transportation and bicycle and pedestrian paths.

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

Question: How does the Design-Build process work?

Answer: DelDOT is using a two-step RFQ/RFP process where we solicit firms to team up. The process requires either a full service design-build firm or a design firm to team up with a construction firm.

Question: What are the steps in the Design-Build Process?

Answer: The Request for Qualifications (RFQ) step is used to narrow the field to three teams. What the short-list committee is looking at is the make-up of the team, experience, financial stability, bonding capacity, and what problems the firms of the teams have encountered in previous design-build projects. This particular project requires architectural, structural, and civil engineering firms to design the overall project.

Once DelDOT has selected a maximum of three teams, the Request for Proposals (RFP) will be issued. The RFP is made up of the technical and contractual specifications. In the RFP stage, DelDOT will review the concepts of the proposers. The purpose of the concept review is to assure that DelDOT has three acceptable proposals to choose from.

The proposals have to meet pass/fail criteria and then receive a technical score. Assuming that the proposals all receive a technical score of at least 70, the teams will submit a price proposal. They are reviewed to ensure that the prices are reasonable and balanced. The price proposals are ranked by amount from lowest to highest, and then added to the technical scores after the 70/30 weighting (price/technical). The highest responsible, responsive score is determined to be the best value.

Question: Where does the Design-Build authority come from?

Answer: DelDOT is authorized to do a specific number of design-build projects by the legislature. Each design build has to be approved by the co-chairs of the Joint Legislative Committee on Capital Improvement Program and the Director of Office of Management and Budget (OMB). In addition, the use of design-build requires ratification by both the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and Federal Transit Authority (FTA). DelDOT received the approval from the legislative committee and OMB on February 12, 2009. Final approval and obligation of funds from the federal government comes with the issuance of the RFP.

Question: Why is DelDOT doing this process?

Answer: It was decided to use this process for a couple of reasons. We could put the documents together without waiting for final design. There were some questions as to whether we could include the office building in the project. If funding can be raised for the building, it can be added and completed more easily in the design-build process. Design-build is far more accepted in the building construction industry than in road work.

For more information about DelDOT's ARRA project go to www.deldot.gov or recovery.delaware.gov