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Engineering Center of St. Louis Wraps Engineers Week

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College Fair tonight! & Partnership with the St. Louis Science Center this weekend!

WHAT:  The Engineering Center of St. Louis celebrates National Engineers Week (E-Week). Activities this week included a Discovery Fair, Engineers Week Luncheon with Dr. Marc A. Edwards (Professor at Virginia Tech, and the frontrunner of scientists that uncovered the Flint water crisis), and Center-sponsored Design-Build Challenges. Friday afternoon the Center will host a Career Fair, and this weekend there will be E-Week booths at the St. Louis Science Center.

WHO:  Reaching professionals and students of all ages and their families in an effort to bring attention to the crucial role that engineers bring to society.

WHERE:  Friday, February 24 (3:00-6:00 pm)

Career Fair at the Engineering Center of St. Louis -All college students and graduates will not want to miss this opportunity to meet with top St. Louis engineering firms. Both full time employment and internship possibilities are available. Participants have included: Ameren, Bilfinger, MSK, TSi Engineering, Washington University, HR Green, SCI Engineering, Oates Associates, EDM Inc., Jacobs Engineering, Access Engineering, Missouri American Water, Horner & Shifrin, Burns & McDonnell, APWA, Stantec Consulting Services, Professional Employment Group, Fred Weber, AECOM, HNTB, and Veterans Administration.

Saturday, February 25 (9:30 am-4:30 pm) & Sunday, February 26 (11:00 am-4:30 pm)

2017 ENGINEERS’ WEEK SCIENCE CENTER EXHIBIT hosted by Missouri Society of Professional Engineers. Come explore engineering throughout the St. Louis Science Center. Celebrate E-Week with an event focused on overcoming mighty challenges through the wonders of engineering. Join in the fun to meet real-life engineers and learn how engineering impacts everything in the world around us.

The Engineering Center of St. Louis, located at 4359 Lindell Boulevard, is home to more than 34 professional affiliate societies.

Electrical Connection Named Finalist in St. Louis Council of Construction Consumers’ Inclusion Awards

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The IBEW/NECA Electrical Connection partnership is a finalist for an award honoring minority workforce development.  The St. Louis Council of Construction Consumers (SLCCC) named the Electrical Connection one of four finalists for its Organization Excellence for Inclusion. The awards will be presented on March 6, 2017 at the Palladium at 1400 Park Place in Downtown St. Louis.  The Electrical Connection is a partnership of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 1 and the St. Louis Chapter, National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) 

Last fall, 28 percent of apprentices completing school at the IBEW/NECA Electrical Industry Center were minorities.  Minorities also comprise 33 percent of the training center’s largest program – the inside day school apprenticeship program.  12 years ago, it was less than half that number – just under 13 percent. The improvements are due to a reoriented outreach and inclusive work force development strategy by the IBEW/NECA partnership.

Nearly 10 years ago as the nation was on the verge of a recession, IBEW/NECA tasked its Electrical Connection partnership to develop new strategies to energize minority outreach through its business relationships and partnerships.  This has included:

  • Effectively partnering on STEM education initiatives that connect Science, Technology, English and Math subjects with electrical careers. More than 9,000 students have been engaged in school districts with a significant minority student body.
  • Partnering with key business/education organizations such as the National Society of Black Engineers, St. Louis Gateway Chapter; American Association of Blacks in Energy, St. Louis Chapter; Saint Louis Science Center; FIRST Robotics, Project Lead the Way (Jennings School District) and more.
  • Participation in more than 20 career fairs annually at high schools throughout the area and furthering outreach through its membership in Missouri School Board Association and the Missouri Association of School Administrators.
  • Commentaries in the Louis American that tie STEM subjects to electrical careers
  • Fully supporting the Building Union Diversity (BUD) Program, a series of nine-week pre-apprenticeship training programs that ready minority construction career aspirants for apprenticeship training.
  • Creatively broadening outreach through trust-building programs aimed at younger children. This was evidenced in the Electrical Connection’s reenergizing the Ferguson “Shop with a Cop” program in December 2017.  More than 60 disadvantaged minority children were given Christmas gifts by law enforcement.  As police were building trust, the children also became familiar with the electrical industry as part of the Electrical Connection’s support.
  • Continuing support of the Regional Union Construction Center and its mission of creating a sustainable minority contracting community.

The Electrical Connection partnership has also succeeded through retention and mentoring initiatives.

Other organizations named finalists for the SLCCC Organization Excellence for Inclusion are Lambert St. Louis International Airport, Gateway Welcome Project and Construction Management Partners.  Learn more about all the finalists at www.slccc.net.

The St. Louis Council of Construction Consumers (SLCCC) is the owner advocate for achievement of best practices in project delivery.  It promotes project excellence through educational programs, information dissemination and collaboration.

Members of the Electrical Connection provide safe and reliable electrical construction, maintenance, repair and replacement services across Missouri, the nation and the world.  Learn more at www.electricalconnection.org.

Photo Above: High tech training at the IBEW/NECA Electrical Industry Training Center.

EPA, Four States Host Radon Stakeholders’ Meeting March 7 in Manhattan, KS

in Associations

EPA Region 7 and its state partners will host the 11th Annual Region 7 EPA/State Radon Stakeholders’ Meeting from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on March 7, 2017, at the Hilton Garden Inn and Conference Center, 410 South 3rd St., Manhattan, Kan. This meeting is being held at no cost for those who have a stake in protecting the public from unnecessary exposure to radon in homes, schools and businesses.

EPA Region 7 and its partners, Iowa Department of Public Health, Kansas Department of Health and Environment, Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, and American Association of Radon Scientists & Technologists (AARST) want to bring interested stakeholders together to discuss common issues associated with radon awareness and mitigation to better understand problems and solutions from different perspectives.

Agenda items include “Surviving Lung Cancer,” “Hope for Lung Cancer Patients – Progress in Treatment,” state and tribal breakout sessions; updates from state agencies, AARST and EPA; specific discussions about difficult house remediation situations, and marketing tips/strategies.

These meetings are specifically designed to provide better ways to assist the public and reduce radon exposure. Participants can register online at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/2017R7RadonMeeting. (No cost for registration, but participants should register by Feb. 21, 2017.) Dress is casual.

The meeting has been approved for continuing education credits by Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, the National Radon Proficiency Program (NRPP), and the National Radon Safety Board (NRSB).

For questions, contact Bruce Snead at 785-532-4992 or bsnead@ksu.edu.

Construction Buyers Recognize Diversity Inclusion & Best Practices Award Finalists

in Associations/News

The St. Louis Council of Construction Consumers (SLCCC) will honor award winners for construction industry best practices and for diversity and inclusion at  a Awards Dinner Gala on Monday, March 6 at the Palladium in St. Louis.

The Best Practice awards recognize successful implementation of one or more of the 17 Best Practices validated by the Construction Industry Institute to improve cost, schedule and quality for construction projects.  Awards will be presented to teams for projects by SLCCC members both in and outside the Missouri – Illinois region.

Construction Industry Best Practice Award winners will be announced from the following finalists:

Anderson Hospital Private Patient Suites

  • Korte Company
  • Anderson Hospital
  • Korte Design
  • Alper Audi
  • Taylor Engineering
  • Solutions AEC
  • Excel Fire Protection
  • Louer Facility Planning
  • ArjoHuntleigh

American Optometric Association Corporate Headquarters Renovation

  • Northstar Management
  • American Optometric Association
  • Gray Design Group
  • BSI Constructors

Washington University School of Medicine / BJC Mid Campus Center

  • Clayco
  • Washington University School of Medicine
  • Christner

Elanco Augusta Formulation Fill Facility

  •  McCarthy
  •  Elanco Animal Health, Division of Eli Lilly
  •  CRB Consulting Engineers

Boeing Composite Center for Excellence

  • MC Industrial
  • Boeing
  • Burns & McDonnell

NRG Powerton Dry Sorbent Injection & Electrostatic Precipitator Upgrades

  • MC Industrial
  • NRG Energy

Hospital Realignment, Mike O’Callaghan Federal Medical Center, Nellis Air Force Base

  •    KAI Design Build
  •    United Excel Design

Diversity and Inclusion awards recognize advocacy for inclusion in design and construction.  Winners will be recognized for either increasing the capacity and capability of woman and minority owned firms or expanding the use of women and minorities working in construction.

Diversity and Inclusion Award winners will be announced from the following finalists:

Inclusion Champion

  • Dan Lester, ACW Alliance / Concrete Strategies
  • Monica Bailey, McCarthy Construction
  • Charles Henson, Minority Business Development Agency Business Center
  • Dr. Stephanie Smith, Washington University
  • Anthony Thompson, Kwame Building Group
  •  Precious Jackson, Alberici
  • Sal Valadez, LiUNA Midwest Region

Minority / Women / Disadvantaged Business of the Year (MWDBE)

  • Sledroc Contracting
  • Scales Plumbing
  • Brandt Contracting

Organizational Excellence for Inclusion

  • Lambert St. Louis International Airport
  • St. Louis Electrical Connection
  • Gateway Welcome Project
  • Construction Management Partners

The SLCCC is the Owner advocate organization for achievement of best value in project delivery.  It serves as the regional leader that champions promotion of project delivery best practices through exceptional educational programs, information dissemination and collaboration.  The Council represents major Owners who are buyers of construction services in the commercial, institutional, industrial, utility and public sectors.  Associate members provide the contracting, design professional and other services used by construction consumers.

 

PGAV Destinations Awards $3,000 Scientific Research Grant

in Associations/News

U. of Massachusetts-Amherst Doctoral Candidate Seeks to Protect Pollinators

Luis Aguirre Conducting Field Research on Milkweed Plants

St. Louis-based destination design firm PGAV Destinations is thrilled to award U. of Massachusetts-Amherst Ecology Doctoral Candidate Luis Aguirre the first-ever $3,000 PGAVia Pollinator Research Grant.

“Over the course of the last two decades, we’ve seen habitat loss and other potential causes resulting in bee colony collapse and effects on other pollinator populations and behavior,” said Mike Konzen, chair and principal of PGAV Destinations. “As these birds, insects, and mammals have a foundational effect on world agriculture, medicine, and more, we see this grant as a way to help contribute to the understanding of the problems and potential solutions.”

Mr. Aguirre’s research, entitled “Cascading Effects of Plant Enemies on Pollinator Health,” explores the potential positive benefits to pollinators by triggering chemical defenses in plants. When plants are damaged, they often produce chemicals that can deter further consumption of their plant parts. However, while some concentrations can influence pollinators to stay away, other concentrations can not only attract pollinators, but may potentially be able to ameliorate the effects of pathogens, such as parasites, in the pollinators as well.

“I give Luis my strongest and most enthusiastic support for this proposal,” said Professor Lynn Adler, one of Mr. Aguirre’s mentors at U. Mass. “Luis is a dedicated, incredibly smart, and passionate student who is on a clear path to success. I can think of no one more deserving of this award, or who would take better advantage of the opportunities it affords.”

The global implications of Mr. Aguirre’s research are immense. If his studies can uncover causal links between triggering these chemical responses and a reduction in parasites and pathogens fatal to pollinators, then ecologists, agricultural scientists, and farmers could incorporate these practices to reduce pollinator mortality rates and therefore greatly increase crop health and yield.

“It gives me great pleasure to know that there are others who are as concerned about pollinators as we are in our own lab, and also that those people want to invest in scientific research coming from young researchers,” said Aguirre. “This grant will allow me to initiate an experiment that will further my career and form the foundation of my subsequent PhD work.”

Each year, the volunteer arm of PGAV Destinations – PGAVIA – pursues a central conservation cause to study and support, in addition to ongoing, local environmental efforts. This year’s Conservation Awareness Campaign focuses on pollinators, and the Pollinator Research Grant serves as one of the flagship initiatives of the firm to help forward the global understanding of, and assistance with, pollinator health and habitat restoration. 

PGAV Destinations is a global leader in the planning and design of unique destinations.

Meet The Buyers Of $500 Million Of Local Contracting Work Planned For 2017 And Beyond

in Associations/News

Four More Speakers Added to Investment In Infrastructure Expo

Want to talk with representatives of utilities and public bodies who have more than a half billion dollars in construction projects planned  for 2017 and beyond?  Contractors can do so at the 2017 investment in infrastructure expo on february 28 at the st. Charles convention center.  For more information and to register ($30 per person) for this event, go to:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/site-improvement-association-2017-investment-in-infrastructure-expo-tickets-28691694631

In addition, four more leaders from the Missouri Department of Transportation, Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District, Ameren Missouri and Great Rivers Greenway District will join six other presenters in showcasing more than $500 million worth of St. Louis area infrastructure construction projects and contracting opportunities. The new presenters include:

Gregory Horn
Rich Unverferth
Warren Wood
Todd Antoine

 

 

 

 

 

  • Gregory Horn, P.E., St. Louis District Engineer for the Missouri Department of Transportation;
  • Rich Unverferth, Director of Engineering for the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District;
  • Warren Wood, Vice President, Legislative and Regulatory Affairs and Communications for Ameren Missouri; and
  • Todd Antoine, AICP, Director of Planning and Projects for the Great Rivers Greenway District in St. Louis.

They will be joined on a panel discussion of the St. Louis region’s upcoming infrastructure investments by leaders from other key organizations including:

  • Amanda Brauer, Manager of Roads and Traffic for St. Charles County;
  • John Kohler, Planning and Programming Manager for the City of St. Louis Board of Public Service;
  • Jason Jonas, Public Works Director, Jefferson County;
  • Nick Gardner, Director of Transportation, St. Louis County
  • David Yonce, Director of Strategy and Corporate Development at Spire;
  • Russell English, Project Director, Strategy and Corporate Development at Spire; and
  • Keven Kliesen, Business Economist and Research Officer at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. Kliesen will give a presentation on the economic outlook for the construction and related industries in 2017 in the St. Louis region.

Short informative presentations from construction purchasers will give the audience an idea of what to expect on infrastructure upgrades and the construction involved with those projects. After the presentations, there will be a three hour networking event with drinks and appetizers amongst industry peers, vendor booths and equipment dealers.

The deadline for registrations is February 17th.  The Expo is hosted by the SITE Improvement Association.  SITE is an independent construction contractor group representing more than 165 contractors and businesses primarily in the concrete, earthmoving, landscaping, asphalt paving, highway/bridge, sewer/utility and specialty construction segments.  It represents the interests of its members in negotiations with labor unions, promotes political and legislative agendas and provides safety and technical training for members. SITE is celebrating 50 years of continuous operation in 2016.

CREW-St. Louis to Recognize Leaders at Annual Awards Program

in Associations

The St. Louis chapter of CREW (Commercial Real Estate Women) will hold its 12th Annual Networking Awards from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 9, at The Saint Louis Woman’s Club. In addition to honoring members, CREW-St. Louis will present its Second Annual Woman of Influence Award. The award recognizes a female leader who has impacted the commercial real estate industry through her leadership, accomplishments and service to the St. Louis region.

CREW-St. Louis 12th Annual Networking Awards

Time: 5:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

Date:  Thursday, March 9, 2017

Place: The Saint Louis Woman’s Club
4600 Lindell Boulevard | St. Louis, MO 63108

Cost:  $75 for Members/$90 for Non-members/$560 for table of eight

(Includes cocktail reception, hors d’oeuvres and dinner)

Registration: www.crewstl.org

Program outline:

Debbie Monterrey, KMOX radio morning drive-time anchor, will serve as master of ceremonies for the banquet. The awards revolve around CREW’s mission to advance the success of women in commercial real estate, showcase the power of networking and demonstrate the organization’s support to the community. Members will be honored in four categories: New Member of the Year, CREW Impact, Career Advancement for Women and Economic Impact. The Woman of Influence Award will celebrate the achievements of a female leader who has made a significant contribution to the commercial real estate industry and community. Amy Gill, CEO of Restoration St. Louis and the first recipient of the Woman of Influence Award, will present the award to this year’s honoree.

The St. Louis chapter of CREW Network was started in 1982. Since then, it has grown to become one of the largest of CREW Network’s 76 chapters in North America, with nearly 200 members from all disciplines in commercial real estate.

Area Residents Invited to Centennial Greenway Expansion Project Open House in St. Charles

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Project Includes New Pedestrian Bridges over Highways 364 and 94 

Great Rivers Greenway is inviting area residents to a community open house on Thursday, Feb. 9, to learn the latest details about the soon-to-be constructed bicycle and pedestrian bridges over highways 364 and 94 in the City of St. Charles. This phase of the project involves extending the existing Centennial Greenway that links Heritage Park and the Katy Trail State Park to connect thousands of residents on both sides of the community.

The open house will be held at the St. Charles County Heritage Museum at Heritage Park (1630 Heritage Landing, St. Peters, MO 63303) from 5 – 7 p.m.  Area residents are invited to stop by anytime during that timeframe to ask questions, review maps and learn more about the expanded greenway. Duplicate 30-minute presentations will be held at 5:30 and 6:30 p.m.

The plans call for a one-mile extension of the existing 2.2-mile Centennial Greenway just east of the Heritage Museum. The paved greenway will head north and cross both highways 364 and 94 where it will connect to Old Highway 94 near Muegge Road. The new route will enable on-street connections to nearby Laurel Park, Schaefer Park, Wapelhorst Park, the Laurel Park Trail, the McClay Branch of the St. Charles City-County Library, Francis Howell North High School and Henderson Elementary School – all of which are less than two miles from the bridges.

“This is a game-changing connection for people in the City of St. Charles, St. Charles County and beyond,” says St. Charles County Executive Steve Ehlmann. “By bridging these two highways, thousands of people who live, work, and go to school in this area will now be able to safely walk or ride a bike to get where they need to go. It will also connect them to the Katy Trail and St. Louis County via the existing Centennial Greenway.”

In addition to a paved trail and bridges, the greenway expansion will also feature a rest stop landscaped with native plants. The interpretive signage will highlight the unique features of the Centennial Greenway and its connections to the region’s rivers, parks and communities.

“We are grateful for our partners at the City of St. Charles, St. Charles County, and Missouri Department of Transportation whose input and support helped make this project a reality,” says Susan Trautman, Executive Director Great Rivers Greenway. “We have been working together for a long time to expand the Centennial Greenway over these two highways. We are eager to eliminate this barrier and open up a new route so people can walk or ride bikes to get to work and school, run errands or just enjoy some fresh air.”

Great Rivers Greenway connects the St. Louis region with greenways so people can explore their rivers, parks and communities, making it a vibrant place to live, work and play. For more information, visit www.GreatRiversGreenway.org.

The Engineering Center of St. Louis Presents Engineers Week

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Engineers Week to be held February 19-26 in St. Louis, Mo

The Engineering Center of St. Louis, a trusted resource in the greater St. Louis region on engineering issues in the eye of the public, announces that it will be presenting the annual “Engineers Week” from February 19-26, 2017. Every February, the Engineering Center of St. Louis celebrates National Engineers Week in an effort to bring attention to the crucial role that engineers bring to society through their contributions.

Activities for the week include booths at the St. Louis Science Center, a college career night, Discovery Fair, the Engineers Week Luncheon, and Center-sponsored Design-Build Challenges. The Engineering Center hopes to reach professionals and students of all ages and their families by actively engaging the public with activities that illustrate a simple principle of engineering.

A highlight this year will be the luncheon speaker featuring Dr. Marc A. Edwards, Professor at Virginia Tech, and the frontrunner of scientists that uncovered the Flint water crisis. Dr. Edwards will be speaking at the Engineers Week Luncheon on Thursday, February 23 at 12 pm. A MacArther grant recipient, he was named one of Fortune’s 2016 World’s Greatest Leaders for his efforts in Flint, Mi. Dr. Edwards is one of the nation’s top experts in water contamination and he and his team ultimately found that the water in Flint was poisoning its residents.

Additional activities for the week include:

  • Tuesday, February 21 (all day) – Engineers Give Back to STL, community service day- Join us as we forge River Des Peres and surrounding inlets in an effort to clean and place markings, in partnership with MSD.
  • Wednesday, February 22 (3:00-6:00 pm) – Discovery Fair hosted by the Engineering Center of St. Louis- High school students explore engineering with activities, demonstrations, and presentations at the Engineering Center of St. Louis.
  • Wednesday, February 22 (5:00-7:00 pm) – Washington University Mindlin Lecture focused on “Technology and Social Good”, featuring Ellen Zegura, Ph.D.  Dr. Zegura is a Professor and the Stephen Fleming Chair in Telecommunications at the School of Computer Science, College of Computing at the Georgia Institute of Technology.  On the Washington University campus at Brauer Hall Room 12.  Reservations at engineering.alumni@wustl.edu.
  • Thursday, February 23 (12:00-2:00 pm) – Annual Engineers Week Luncheon featuring the leader in the Flint, MI water crisis, Dr. Marc A. Edwards. Clayton Plaza Hotel Ballroom, tickets available at engineeringcenter.org/luncheon.  Presented by Environmental and Water Resources Institute and Missouri University of Science and Technology, sponsored by Lion CSG, Missouri American Water, Reitz & Jens, and Civil Design, Inc.
  • Friday, February 24 (3:00-6:00 pm) – College Career Night at the Engineering Center of St. Louis-All college students and graduates will not want to miss this opportunity to meet with top St. Louis engineering firms.
  • Saturday, February 25 (9:30 am-4:30 pm) & Sunday, February 26 (11:00 am-4:30 pm) – Engineering Exposition hosted by Missouri Society of Professional Engineers. Come explore engineering throughout the St. Louis Science Center.

“At the Engineering Center, we are working to advance the engineering profession, raise awareness of current issues in the industry, and encourage the next generation to pursue a career in engineering by building interest in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math,” said Nicole Young, president of the Engineering Center of St. Louis. “Through our mission, the Engineering Center can engage on a regional level as the leader in engineering as well as create excitement for the industry in the community.”

The Engineering Center of St. Louis, located at 4359 Lindell Boulevard, is home to more than 34 professional affiliate societies. Representing more than 14,000 members, the Center serves as the central meeting place for the engineering community in St. Louis. 

MSD Bidding Raising Stink

in Associations/Companies/Homepage Primary/News

The Associated General Contractors (AGC) of Missouri is expressing “grave concern” about Metropolitan Sewer District’s (MSD) bidding integrity for tunneling projects in the $4.7 billion Project Clear wastewater improvement plan. At issue is what appears to be an attempt by MSD trustees to steer a validly awarded $145 million contract for the Deer Creek tunneling project from the lowest bidder to another firm that has already been awarded the first two of the eight tunneling projects for Project Clear.  Jay Dee/Frontier-Kemper (JDFK) Joint Venture was awarded the contract on Sept. 29, 2016.  However no work has been done on the project after MSD trustees inexplicably refused to follow the recommendation of its professional engineering and executive staff and chose not to enter the contract with JD/FK during a Dec. 8, 2016 meeting.  Despite reworking its bid to accommodate a request to substitute a minority contractor on the project (a contractor that was fully vetted and validated by MSD’s staff) and being awarded the contract a second time on Jan. 5, 2017, the contract approval by MSD trustees remains in doubt.

The invalidation of the contract and delays are tied to at least four protests and appeals of the award from SAK Construction – all of which have been reviewed and denied by MSD’s professional staff of engineers, procurement specialists and diversity personnel and the executive director.  SAK’s bid was nearly $2.5 million higher than JDFK’s.  SAK has also been awarded the two previous tunneling projects let.

On Feb 9, 2017, the Deer Creek Project again comes up before the MSD trustees, who could again go against its own staff’s recommendation and award the contract to SAK.

Below is a more thorough recap of events to date and attached documentation.

The integrity of the bidding process on one of the largest publicly-funded infrastructure projects in St. Louis is generating majors concerns in the construction industry, including the Associated General Contractors (AGC) of Missouri.  At issue is Metropolitan Sewer District (MSD)’s $4.7 billion Project Clear, a 23-year project “to plan, design and build system wide improvements to address water quality and alleviate many wastewater concerns in the St. Louis community.” Project Clear is anything but clear when you examine how MSD trustees have handled the bidding on the $145 million Deer Creek tunneling project.  In a series of inexplicable decisions, trustees have gone against the recommendations of its professional design and engineering staff and voided a valid project award to the lowest bidder – Jay Dee/Frontier-Kemper (JDFK) Joint Venture.  While the project remains stalled, the trustee’s maneuvers stand to benefit SAK Construction, winner of the first two tunnel bids on Project Clear.

The MSD trustee’s muddling of the bid process inhibits the St. Louis area’s ability to attract highly qualified contractors to bid on projects, limiting competition and raising construction costs.  Livonia, Mich.-based Jay Dee Contractors, Inc. (www.jaydee.ushas more than 50-years of experience in proficiently delivering heavy underground tunneling work.  Its JV partner Evansville, Ind.-based Frontier-Kemper Constructors, Inc. (www.frontierkemper.comtraces its roots to 1907 and is equally proficient in national infrastructure projects.

The JDFK joint venture was among 11 contractors that invested countless hours to be pre-qualified for the Deer Creek project last spring (see attached May 24, 2016 pre-qualification approval letter).  JDFK then presented a highly detailed bid that met all of MSD’s specifications including business and workforce diversity, use of a highly skilled and safe workforce, pricing, technical skills and more.  JDFK’s bid was $145.3 million or $60 million below the MSD engineer estimate.  It was also the lowest bid – nearly $2.5 million lower than the bid SAK submitted.  JDFK’s proposal was thoroughly evaluated by MSD’s professional staff and it was awarded the contract on Sept. 29, 2016 (see attached notification of award letter).  From there, MSD trustees inexplicably began degrading the integrity of the bid process.  Consider the following:

  • In Sept and October 2016, SAK Construction sent protest letters to MSD questioning the validity of the contract awarded to JDFK and qualifications of JDFK’s minority contractors (including a minority contractor that SAK itself had used on previous projects).
  • On Oct. 13, 2016, MSD’s professional staff advised the MSD trustees to enter a contract with JDFK for the Deer Creek work based on its thorough vetting of its lowest bid proposal (see Oct. 13, 2016 Board Meeting Journal). The trustees wanted more information on minority contractors before contract was finalized.
  • On Nov. 8, 2016, MSD denied SAK’s protest of the contract award to JDFK (see attached Nov. 8, 2016 MSD SAK protest response).  JDFK submitted a follow up letter to MSD reinforcing that the sewer district followed all its policies and procedures in awarding the contract to JDFK, including a detailed timeline of its process (see Nov. 10, 2016 JDFK Protest Objection Letter).
  • On Nov 29, 2016, MSD reaffirmed its decision in denying a SAKs appeal of the sewer district’s Nov. 8, 2016 affirmation of JDFK’s contract award (see Nov. 29, 2016 MSD Protest Response).
  • On Dec. 8, 2016, MSD trustees inexplicably voted down the contract with JDFK by a 5-1 margin going against its professional staff’s recommendation, including its denial of SAK’s appeals (see Dec. 8, 2016 Board Meeting Journal). 
  • On December 9, 2016, the AGC of Missouri sent a letter to MSD expressing grave concerns over the integrity of MSD’s bidding process and its decision to deny the contract to JDFK.  That same day MSD sent two letters to JDFK.  One notifying JDFK that MSD was rescinding its contract award.  The other notifying JDFK that MSD objected to the use of minority contractor A.L.L. Construction and that it needed to find a substitute contractor.  JDFK responded on Dec. 23, 2016 that A.L.L. was fully qualified and that MSD was not following its procedures in rescinding the contract award.  JDFK followed the contract requirements and substituted A.L.L. and the resulting outcome was to increase its contract amount to minority contractors by $230,000 without increasing its overall bid.
  • On Jan. 5, 2017, MSD notified JDFK that it accepted its substitution and awarded it the Deer Creek contract.
  • On Jan. 10, 2017, SAK filed yet another protest of the contract award to JDFK.
  • On Jan. 17. 2017, MSD again denied SAK’s protest. That same day JDFK sent a letter to MSD stating the obvious:  SAK’s continuously invalidated protests are a ploy to get the Deer Creek project “by any means.”
  • On Jan 26, 2017 SAK filed another appeal of the denial of its protest.  MSD responded the next day denying the appeal

The project remains stalled for unknown reasons.  As of Jan 31, 2017, the MSD trustees refused to  approve a thoroughly vetted and validated lowest bid proposal from the eminently qualified joint venture team of JDFK.

It is unclear where MSD is headed, but it appears the trustees are contemplating an award the contract to SAK or rebidding the project.  Its next board meeting is Feb. 9, 2017 where it may decide the fate of the $145 million project without the full board of trustees present.  A list of MSD trustees can be found at http://www.stlmsd.com/our-organization/organization-overview/board-trustees.

The JDFK joint venture team would be happy to discuss the trials and tribulations of MSD’s muddled bid process as would the AGC of Missouri.  Please contact them if you have any questions.

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