CH2M Hill selected as program manager for Anchorage port reconstruction


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CH2M Hill has been selected by the Municipality of Anchorage to manage the design, engineering and reconstruction for the troubled Port of Anchorage expansion project, Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan announced Thursday.

The company will take over management responsibility from MARAD, a federal agency that previously managed the project, and will help the municipality develop a Request For Proposals for design and engineering services, select a firm to provide the services, and then manage the construction, Sullivan said.

“The program manager responsibility is to provide day-to-day oversight of contractors and subcontractors, and does not include development of a design or engineering,” Sullivan said.

CH2M Hill will help select a firm for the port construction design, although it could also be a firm to do a design/build project, he said.

Because the port is owned by the Municipality of Anchorage, municipal officials will retain overall responsibility for the port project, including legal issues, the mayor said.

“The MARAD relationship has not ended, but the agency is not longer the program manager. The federal legislation that allowed MARAD to take on the project remains in effect, however, so any new federal money for the project would come through the agency,” Sullivan said.

While MARAD had responsibility, major construction defects occurred on some of the work done through 2010, which will now have to be repaired. Some of the previous construction can be used, however, the mayor said.

Sullivan said he hopes to get construction restarted by 2016 and that the rebuilding would likely take three to four years. Environmental permits will have to be acquired once again, he said.

The $30 million contract is for five years with options for two extensions of two years, with $12 million for each extension. The contract must still be approved by the municipal assembly, which will take up the matter at its Jan. 14 meeting.

Sullivan said the municipality has $130 million on hand for the project in remaining federal, state and port funds. The state has been asked to provide an additional $100 million next year but Sullivan said this was just a “placeholder” to keep the project in the minds of state legislators.

The request will likely be modified when engineering and designs are completed, and construction costs estimates can be made.

Sullivan said he hopes to keep the over cost of the reconstruction at $500 million or less.

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