By State Rep. Denise Provost
(The opinions and views expressed in the commentaries and letters to the Editor of The Somerville Times belong solely to the authors and do not reflect the views or opinions of The Somerville Times, its staff or publishers)
On March 13, members of the Somerville legislative delegation, and Mayor Curtatone, were briefed by John Dalton, head of the GLX project, on current progress. We learned that “three teams made the shortlist” for bidding on design and construction of the GLX, and that they were scheduled to receive the MBTA’s Request for Proposals (RFP) today. We learned what the process would be, leading up to the bid opening on November 28 of this year; the issuance of a Notice to Proceed on February 9, 2018, and a project completion date of December 10, 2021 – seven years after the legal commitment to complete GLX.
MBTA’s RFP is based on its “conceptual design” of GLX. The RFP will evidently contain language to the effect that the “base design” developed under the successful design/build contract “may not preclude” future construction of either the extended Community Path, or the extension of GLX to Route 16. Design and construction of neither element, however, will evidently be included in the RFP.
MBTA’s RFP contains an “Additive Option Concept” list of MBTA’s six priorities, which creative bidders could try to add into their proposals, if they think they can do so at a sufficiently modest cost. Bidders may not pick and choose among the add-ons. It was expressly clarified that to get to the third item on the list, for instance, a bidder would have to include one and two.
The Community Path Extension (CPX) was not high enough on the list to satisfy those of us who attended the briefing. Nor were we pleased that the city’s chief executive and representatives were not consulted about prioritizing additional project features. We asked Mr. Dalton to make adjustments to the RFP before it is issued; it remains to be seen if he will.