MBTA rejects bids for Quincy bus garage
Proposals come in $79m higher than expected
THE MBTA rejected the bids for construction of a new Quincy garage and maintenance facility for electric buses after the initial two submissions came in at amounts that far exceeded projections.
T officials said they were reviewing their options, including going through another bid process after scaling back the cost of the 350,000-square-foot project, which is spread out over three floors and includes rooftop solar panels, lockers and training rooms, and offices.
“The MBTA is committed to advancing this project and is currently evaluating the scope and options to bring the cost down without impacting the core functionality of the building,” said T spokesman Joe Pesaturo in an email. “The MBTA is also evaluating alternative delivery methods for re-procurement with a goal of minimizing any delay in the project schedule.”
The delay is a major setback for the MBTA, which is under pressure to quickly embrace electrification of its bus fleet and was already coming under fire for the high estimated cost of the Quincy garage.
According to the sources, Skanska was the low bidder at $359.7 million, while Barletta Heavy Division submitted a bid of $359.8 million. J.F. White, one of the other bidders, chose not to submit a proposal.
Sources in the construction industry said costs escalated because of inflationary pressures on materials and supply chain issues. They also said the proposed contract placed a lot of risk on the contractor by assessing unusually high penalties if the work was delayed.
One source said the MBTA’s cost estimate of $280 million was outdated.The estimated price of the project had been inching up already. The estimated price of the entire project a year ago was $372 million, which included $210 million for construction and $44 million for the real estate. The T’s recent five-year capital spending plan upped the overall price tag by $30 million to $402.1 million.
The Boston Globe reported in April that the garage price tag was high compared to similar facilities being built elsewhere around the country.