By Ken Krause, MGNA
On Monday, the MBTA Board of Directors is expected to approve a $95 million contract for Project Management and Preliminary Design, and Construction Management and Preliminary Design for the Green Line Extension project.
The contract is proposed to be awarded to a joint venture of the Gilbane Building Company and HDR Engineering, Inc. Both companies have been involved in prominent MBTA projects – Gilbane with the recently completed multimodal transportation center at T.F. Green Airport near Providence, and HDR with the Government Center Station modernization project now under way.
Here is some information about each firm:
GILBANE BUILDING CO.
Gilbane Inc., based in Providence, is one of the largest privately held family-owned companies in the construction and real estate industry. Founded in 1873, Gilbane comprises two operating companies: Gilbane Building Company and Gilbane Development Company.
Gilbane Building Company’s Massachusetts operations have grown dramatically over the last four years. The company had eight employees in its Needham headquarters and 80 in Massachusetts in December 2005, when it moved the office to Boston; as of late 2010, Gilbane employed 39 people in its Boston office on Federal Street, and 160 statewide.
Gilbane provided construction management services for the new Warwick Intermodal Facility at T.F. Green Airport, which opened last fall. The $267 million project involved the construction of an MBTA commuter rail platform; a bus hub for local and intercity buses; a 6-level parking garage over the Amtrak rail tracks; and an elevated walkway with moving sidewalks that connects the terminal to parking, rental car and train facilities.
The Rhode Island governor’s office highlighted the “green” aspects of the intermodal facility, including recycled construction materials, water-conserving bathroom fixtures, and energy-efficient elevators, moving sidewalks and lighting.
HDR is an employee-owned architectural, engineering and consulting firm with more than 7,800 professionals in 185 locations worldwide. Its headquarters is in Omaha, Nebraska, and its Boston office is on Atlantic Avenue. HDR is ranked No. 11 overall in the Engineering News-Record Top 500 Design Firms survey for 2010 and No. 8 in transportation.
HDR currently is in charge of the final design and construction for the MBTA’s Government Center station modernization project in Boston, scheduled for completion in 2015. The scope of work includes a new head house at City Hall Plaza, new platforms for the Green Line and Blue Line, and new elevators, escalators, lighting, and fare collection equipment. The project also will provide universal access to the station and bring it into compliance with the Americans With Disabilities Act.
Nationally, one of HDR’s transit projects was a 20-mile light rail “starter system” in the Phoenix area. HDR oversaw the planning, engineering, architecture, real estate and utilities components of the $1.3 billion project, as well as the public involvement and coordination program.
Another HDR transit project was a system-wide expansion of the Washington, D.C., transit authority’s maintenance shops. (The Green Line Extension project includes a new vehicle maintenance and storage facility.)
Locally, HDR staff members have been active in the Women’s Transportation Seminar organization. Loretta Girard Doughty is the immediate past president of the WTS-Boston Chapter, and Susie Bailey is co-chair of the chapter communications committee. Dorri Giles Raposa of HDR is a past chapter president and current member of the WTS International Board of Directors.
Doughty also was a member of the Transportation Round Table that advised MassDOT officials as they reorganized the state transportation agencies under one umbrella. As Structural Section Manager for HDR, her primary focus is on bridges and transportation structures.
Both firms also have former MBTA employees as prominent executives in their Boston offices.
Karen Arpino-Shaffer joined Gilbane Building Company last fall as Senior Project Executive, to grow Gilbane’s transportation practice in Massachusetts. She formerly was the Director of Design and Construction for the MBTA.
Notable projects under her leadership included the Blue Line Modernization Project, Silver Line Phase I and Phase II, South Station Bus Facility Project, North Station Reconstruction, and Commuter Rail Extension Projects for Old Colony, Worcester, and Newburyport. Arpino-Shaffer was also in charge of the MBTA’s public outreach program as well as environmental management, contract management, auditing, budget and real estate acquisition.
Charles (Charlie) O’Reilly is HDR’s director of transportation for the East region, which covers 21 states. Before joining HDR in October 2009, O’Reilly was assistant general manager for design and construction at the MBTA.
Also, one of HDR’s California vice presidents, John Haussmann, was a project manager for the MBTA’s Riverside maintenance and storage yard for articulated light rail cars.
Monday’s MBTA Board meeting begins at 1 p.m. at the State Transportation Building.