Monday, February 8, 2016 was a pivotal moment in Richmond transit history. Richmond City Council voted to authorize the City’s Chief Administrative Officer to sign the first legal agreement between the Project Partners (City of Richmond, Henrico County, Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation, Virginia Department of Transportation and GRTC). This document allows the Project to advance to the construction phase. You can view the City Ordinance and the Project Development Agreement on the City’s Legistar site HERE.
City Council listens to City CAO Selena Cuffee-Glenn and Virginia Secretary of Transportation Aubrey Layne on February 8, 2016.
So what’s next?
The Project Partners will all sign the Development Agreement that carries the Partners through construction. Also, VDOT’s procurement process for a Design-Build (DB) team is ongoing. After the Semi-Final Design Phase wrapped up in September 2015 and received unanimous final votes of approval in November 2015 from both the Urban Design Committee and the Planning Commission, VDOT was able to incorporate those approved design plans into the procurement documents.
Wait, what’s this procurement process like?
In the free marketplace, project designers and builders come together to form teams and prove to VDOT that they are qualified to make the Pulse a reality. That phase was the “Request for Qualifications,” and three teams were deemed qualified to progress into the “Request for Proposals” phase, which is happening now. These teams will compete with each other until one successful proposing team is selected to take the design specifications already vetted through the public and partner review process, adhere to those, and construct the Project on time and within budget. We expect to know who the successful DB team is in March 2016. Early construction activities are anticipated to start April 2016. Typically, construction is started on the portion of the project that has been designed to 100%. Simultaneously, the DB team will complete any remaining design items according to the specs. This is where DB teams use their creativity and innovation to meet the construction timeline and budget.
How can I learn more about the Pulse and stay informed once construction begins?
Once the DB team is selected, they will be in attendance at many meetings and also proactively engage the public on the construction timeline and what to expect. The GRTC Pulse Team continues to meet with organizations, businesses, neighborhood associations and community centers in the Greater Richmond Area. If you would like to meet with the team or invite us to your meeting, please email your request firstname.lastname@example.org, including the requested date, time, duration, location, and any other specific request. The team will provide informational folders, update the status of the project, answer questions and receive feedback.
Will I still be able to get to that restaurant I love Downtown?
YES! The Design-Builder will work closely with businesses to both preserve and encourage access to businesses. This will include relevant signage guiding customers (both pedestrian and in vehicles) to businesses. We encourage you to support the businesses along the Pulse!
Finally, we want to thank everyone who has participated in this Project so far. Your voices have made the Pulse better. We look forward to continued engagement. Onward, together.