Bidder drops out of Highway 99

31 March 2010

One of the teams expected to bid for the Alaskan Way Viaduct replacement tunnel, the Highway 99 Tunnel, in Seattle dropped out of the running last month.

The Vinci, Traylor and Skanska joint venture said it would not submit a bid proposal this Autumn as it had planned, said project director for the Washington State Department of Transportation Ron Paananen.

This leaves only three competitors for the USD 1.96bn contract: S A Healy, FCC Construction, Parsons Transportation Group and Halcrow JV; Kiewit Pacific, Bilfinger Berger and AECOM JV; and Dragados USA and HNTB Corp JV (T&TNA, March 2010, p6).

Paananen said in a statement that the JV withdrew for “business reasons,” namely a high workload from new contracts won elsewhere. He insisted that the companies involved still considered the project buildable, though he acknowledged that executives in such a situation wouldn't necessarily share all their thinking.

"We're still in a very good place," Paananen said as he pondered the three qualified teams remaining.

The 3.2km bored tunnel, with an interior diameter of 16.45m, will be the widest in North America. It will replace the Alaskan Way Viaduct, built in 1953.