TriMet bypasses bridge bids

The new Willamette River bridge project will be exempt from the low-bid process.

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Citing a tight schedule and budget, TriMet will exempt the new Willamette River bridge from the usual low-bid process.

TriMet will instead hire a contractor for the $135 million bridge based on scheduling and experience, which the agency hopes will get the project finished on time.

TriMet’s board unanimously agreed Nov. 25 to exempt the bridge from traditional public contracting competitive bidding. The agency will fund the bridge as a “design/build” project, something TriMet officials think will bring it in on a tight budget and an even tighter schedule.

“The prime reason is the schedule,” said Neil McFarlane, TriMet’s executive director for capital projects. “We have very limited ‘fish windows’ when we are allowed time for construction in the Willamette River.”

Read the full story at the Portland Tribune.

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