New York-based Skanska USA is the low bidder for the contract to build the new Pensacola Bay Bridge. The official announcement is expected Monday morning.
At just under $399 million Skanska outbid Johnson Brothers Corporation by $69 million. Ian Satter with the Florida Department of Transportation says according to the formula used, Skanska is the apparent winner.
“They have an adjusted score where they’ll take our review committee’s information regarding the design, construction, aesthetic features, etc.” said Satter. “That is also put into a formula, with the amount of time it will take to build the bridge as well as their proposed price to construct it.”
The other three bidding firms were above the $500 million mark for the project, which carries a $470 million dollar budget. Skanska received an average of 18 out of a possible 25 points from five FDOT officials serving as judges. For aesthetics, it got 9.6 points out of a possible 15. Skanska’s total score – out of 100 points – came to 78.6.
And Satter says the firm is not a stranger to FDOT, or to northwest Florida. They are currently working on the Choctawhatchee Bay Bridge in Walton County, and built the Escambia Bay Bridge over Interstate 10 after Hurricane Ivan demolished the old span.
If the Department of Transportation decides to move forward with Skanska, the other four competing firms will have something of an avenue of appeal.
“There’s a 72-hour window for the other contractors, if they have questions or concerns they can protest the results,” Satter said. “Information on the designs, for public consumption, should be available without any delays by Friday.”
The Friday timeline, in part, is to avoid any possible legal action. Another question that’s arisen is the relationship between FDOT’s District-3 Secretary, Tommy Barfield, and one of the five firms bidding on the project. Satter says Barfield has recused himself from the selection process.
A spokeswoman for Skanska’s Atlanta office, which would oversee the project, declined a request for an interview at this time, referring all questions to FDOT’s Ian Satter, who says they’ll have a better idea on the construction schedule after the meeting.
“If everything proceeds as scheduled, we’re looking to start towards the end of this year, to do some groundbreaking by the end of 2016/early part of 2017,” Satter said. “This is a lot of taxpayer dollars that are going into this project, so we want to make sure we’re doing it right.”
The three-member selection committee will meet at 10:30 a.m. Monday, at FDOT’s Milton Operations Center located at 6025 Old Bagdad Highway.