Heavy equipment, dump trucks, and construction workers will be a normal scene along the Woodward Avenue corridor while M-1 RAIL builds a 3.3-mile modern streetcar system between Downtown and North End, but before that can happen they need qualified local contractors to bid on the work.
On Monday, Nov. 18, M-1 RAIL’s Construction Manager Stacy and Witbeck in partnership with the Michigan Minority Supplier Development Council (MMSDC) will host a “Pre-Bid Meeting” for local contractors from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. at NextEnergy, 461 Burroughs, Detroit, MI 48202.
“It is a top priority of our leadership and the entire M-1 RAIL team to have as many local, Michigan and Detroit-based businesses as possible secure work on this project,” said Paul Childs, chief operating officer for M-1 RAIL. “We are regulated by very specific federal guidelines pertaining to contracting services, but we feel hosting meetings like this will help to prepare our local companies to bid on the millions of dollars of work that will be made available through this project.”
A visit to the Michigan Minority Supplier Development Council online registration for the pre-bid meeting provides a quick snapshot of the types of sub-contractors, service providers and material suppliers that are needed to complete the streetcar project. From trucking companies and rebar installers to saw-cutting experts and security, there are plenty of needs that are just waiting for a local company to fill.
“When it comes to major civic projects, it is critical that local residents and community members have a stake in its success,” said Louis Green, president and CEO of the Michigan Minority Supplier Development Council. “Local involvement adds a layer of trust and accountability to civic projects, a factor that cannot be understated.”
The bid packages for various portions of the construction work will be released before the end of the year.
A California based company, Stacy and Witbeck is considered to be the premier construction manager /general contractor for building streetcar systems in urban areas. Together with local contracting partners from each city, they have successfully constructed more than 250 miles of track for rail transit systems across the United States.
“Stacy and Witbeck has an excellent tradition of working with minority vendors on their rail and civil construction projects around the country,” said Green “As they entered the Michigan market, it made perfect sense to formalize a partnership that would help them to connect with Michigan’s talented pool of certified minority business enterprises.”
“We are very pleased to be working in partnership with the Michigan Minority Supplier Development Council to host this pre-bid meeting,” said Tom Gilman, CM/GC Project Manager for Stacy and Witbeck. “Their talent pool runs deep with local expertise and it’s our hope to be able to work with many of them to construct the Woodward Avenue Streetcar system.”
The $140-million streetcar project is a unique public-private partnership that has received significant financial backing from foundations and the private sector, which has freed-up city government to focus its resources on core services. Construction activities in the area south of Adams to Larned are expected to begin before the end of the year.
When it’s all said and done, officials with M-1 RAIL and others believe the streetcar will accelerate the transformation of the Woodward Avenue by becoming the economic catalyst needed to spur investment, create jobs and connect residents, employees and visitors to other mode of transit that travel across Southeast Michigan.