City Council Meeting - FINAL

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Meeting Date: 10/18/2022  
From: Christine Cameron, Project Manager III

Consideration and Approval of Contract:  The Engineering Professional Services Contract to WSP USA, Inc. in the amount of $3,207,026.38 for the Downtown Mile Safety and Connectivity Improvement Project.
  1. Approve the Engineering Professional Services Contract to WSP USA, Inc. (WSP) in the amount of $3,207,026.38, with a contract period of 320 days; and
  2. Authorize the City Manager with Change Order Authority in the amount of $160,350.00 (5% of the contract amount) for unanticipated or additional items of work; and 
  3. Authorize the City Manager to execute the necessary documents.
Executive Summary:
  • The recommended award of the Engineering Professional Services Contract (Contract) to WSP will authorize an agreement for services to develop and deliver the design of the Downtown Mile Safety and Connectivity Improvement Project (Project). 
  • Proposed improvements consist of two pedestrian/bicycle tunnels under the rail corridor, Milton Underpass/BNSF Railway (BNSF) Bridge relocation and reconstruction, Milton Road/Santa Fe avenue/Sitgreaves Street traffic intersection reconstruction, BNSF track realignment, surface safety improvements, Amtrak Station platform mitigation, and Community Rail Safety Plan. 
  • The Contract includes development of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requirements necessary for the awarded USDOT INFRA grant construction funding.  
  • WSP was selected through a qualifications-based selection process per A.R.S. sec. 34-603.
  • The design of the Project is anticipated to be complete in January 2024. 
  • Please refer to the attached Project map.
Financial Impact:
The Contract will be funded by the following:
  • U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration Surface Transportation Block Grant (administered and provided by MetroPlan) in the amount of $490,000 plus $29,619 city match for a total amount of $519,619.
  • Private partnership contribution from BNSF in the amount of $250,000. 
  • City Stormwater and Transportation funds in the amount of $2,627,376.38
City Council will be presented with Intergovernmental Agreement and other agreements for the MetroPlan and BNSF funding contributions.
Policy Impact:
No Impact.
Connection to PBB Priorities/Objectives, Carbon Neutrality Plan & Regional Plan:
Priority Based Budget Key Community Priorities and Objectives
  • Deliver outstanding services to residents through a healthy, well maintained infrastructure system.
Carbon Neutrality Plan
  • Encourage vibrancy, appropriate density, and attainability in existing neighborhoods, so that more residents live within walking distance of their daily needs. 
  • Create inclusive networks for walking and biking that are continuous, attractive, safe, comprehensive, and convenient for people of all ages.
Regional Plan
  • Improve mobility and access throughout the region.
  • Improve transportation safety and efficiency for all modes.
  • Promote transportation infrastructure and services that enhance the quality of life of the communities within the region.
  • Increase the availability and use of pedestrian infrastructure, including FUTS, as a critical element of a safe and livable community.
Has There Been Previous Council Decision on This:
Options and Alternatives:
  1. Approve the Contact with WSP as recommended which will allow WSP to initiate the design of the Project; or
  2. Reject the Contract and provide additional direction to staff. This option would delay the start of design and utilization of the USDOT INFRA grant construction funds. 
The Downtown Mile Project is a suite of City Capital transportation and stormwater projects that surround the BNSF rail corridor in downtown Flagstaff. The projects share proximity, constraints with building under and around the railroad, and opportunities for funding partnerships and construction efficiency. The individual projects were aligned into the overall Project scope out of a need to help fund mitigation impacts to rail operations from the construction of the Rio de Flag project, to expedite delivery of the City's multimodal projects, and to provide opportunity to BNSF to construct a third main rail line, which instituted their support for Project funding and approval for construction. The Project components include: 
  • Florence to Walnut Pedestrian Underpass – Construction of a pedestrian underpass to the west of the ADOT B40/Milton Road Underpass/BNSF rail bridge. Proposed to connect Florence Street and Walnut Street with a grade-separated pedestrian tunnel in an area of active trespassing. 
  • ADOT B40 Milton Road Underpass/BNSF Rail Bridge Reconstruction – The existing two-track bridge structure over Milton Road will be replaced and the location of the underpass will be shifted to the north in alignment with the proposed permanent third main line of the BNSF tracks. The bridge will include a span arrangement that will allow for the future ADOT corridor expansion, including multimodal improvements. Additionally, the proposed structure shall provide a minimum of 16’-8” vertical clearance as required by current ADOT and BNSF standards. 
  • Rio de Flag Pedestrian Underpass – This grade-separated pedestrian underpass will be constructed under the BNSF corridor and adjacent to the Rio de Flag flood control concrete box culvert. It will be tied into the future Mountain Line Downtown Connection Center site located on Phoenix Avenue. 
  • Beaver Street and San Francisco Street At-grade Crossing Safety Improvements – Will include at-grade crossing safety improvements associated with two one-way streets that intersect with the BNSF corridor adjacent to the current Amtrak station. These improvements are focused particularly on enhancing safety for pedestrians.
  • Amtrak Station Improvements - Investigation of platform mitigation during construction and possible south platform improvements. 
  • Community Rail Safety Plan - A rail safety plan in accordance with Federal Railroad Administration guidelines will be delivered during design. 
In addition, alignment and support for these projects will greatly benefit delivery of the Rio de Flag Flood Control Project and the Lone Tree Overpass Project.

Purchasing staff issued a Request for Statement of Qualifications (RSOQ) solicitation for engineering professional services, and it was published in the Arizona Daily Sun on April 24 and May 1, 2022. Purchasing posted the RSOQ on PlanetBids, the City of Flagstaff’s Bidding platform, on April 19, 2022. On May 23, the City received one Statement of Qualifications from an engineering consultant firm. A five-member selection committee of City staff and one local agency reviewed and evaluated the statement.  Although there was only one statement received, the selection committee determined that the expertise and professional ability to perform the scope of work was fully illustrated and WSP is highly qualified to deliver the design for the Project.
Key Considerations:
Key considerations for approval of the design contract include: 
  • This Contract work takes the previous designs and concept studies performed for the various Project components and completes design in a manner that capitalizes on efficient and fiscally responsible delivery of the overall Downtown Mile Improvements.
  • Alignment and support for these projects will greatly benefit delivery of the Rio de Flag Flood Control Project and the Lone Tree Overpass Project.
  • Integrating benefit for BNSF brings funding cooperation for both design and construction of the project and facilitates project approvals. 
  • The Project will deliver important improvements to the community, including better connectivity to underserved neighborhoods, rail and pedestrian safety improvements, increased multimodal accessibility, and progress on City climate action goals.
Community Benefits and Considerations:
Please see the Key Consideration section above for discussion on Community Benefits and Considerations.
Community Involvement:
The Flagstaff community has been engaged over time for most of the project components included in the Downtown Mile, including public meetings and La Plaza Vieja Neighborhood Specific Plan adoption of the Florence-Walnut Pedestrian Underpass, the Rio de Flag Flood Control Project and Pedestrian Underpass, and the ADOT Corridor Master Plan for Milton Road. This Contract with WSP includes public involvement and full NEPA development, which entails community and stakeholder coordination, cultural and biological resource investigations, State Historic Preservation Office consultation and project concurrence requirements, hazardous material clearances, and established public comment periods on the overall document scope and findings. 
Expanded Options and Alternatives:
  1. Approve the Contract to WSP as recommended which will allow WSP to initiate the design of the Project; or
  2. Reject the Contract and provide additional direction to staff. This option would delay the start of design and utilization of the USDOT INFRA grant construction funds. 
Downtown Mile Project Map
Contract Exhibit A - Scope and Fee
Contract Exhibit D - FHWA Grant Provisions
Contract Exhibit D - WIFA Grant Provisions


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