Five firms will submit bids to build the first 29 miles of train track between Madera and Fresno. But bullet train officials say they will keep the price portion of the bids sealed in separate envelopes while they analyze the quality of the proposals.
Construction experts say the strategy to look at cost last is common for so-called “design-build” projects that require firms to come up with many of their own building plans. The federal transit and highway administrations use this tactic.
“It’s totally appropriate not to look at the price (first) and totally appropriate to look at the technical aspect of it first,” said Ken Gibbs, a Los Angeles-based mediator on construction disputes and co-author of a book on California construction law. “You may wind up comparing apples to oranges if you’re only looking at price.”
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Mr. Gibbs is one of the leading construction neutrals in the United States with an expertise in mediating and arbitrating construction, real estate, insurance, surety, and business disputes involving major commercial projects. He is well known for his ability to establish great rapport with clients and for his persistence in getting parties together. He gives his undivided attention to resolving each case, a requisite to resolving particularly complex, multiple-party disputes.
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