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Akron, Ohio

Ohio Canal Interceptor Tunnel Contract Awarded

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City of Akron Press Release
Published: 09-21-2015

AKRON AWARDS CONTRACT TO BUILD OHIO CANAL INTERCEPTOR TUNNEL

            Akron, Ohio (September 21, 2015) – The City of Akron took a major step forward  to meet the conditions of a consent order in federal court  and reduce the impact on local waterways from the city’s combined sewer overflows(CSO).

            The project, Akron Waterways Renewed, will build infrastructure for the next century that will protect public health and maintain water of the highest quality in the most cost‐effective manner while providing local jobs.

            Akron Mayor Jeff Fusco recently announced that the City has awarded the contract to construct the Ohio Canal Interceptor Tunnel – the largest component of the Long Term Control Plan (LTCP) - to a joint venture with substantial experience in building such tunnels, Kenny/Obayashi V, a Joint Venture.

            “This bid not only came in well below our estimate,” said Mayor Fusco, “but the package submitted by these companies joining forces, gives the city a formidable team to complete this intricate yet massive tunnel project.”

            As part of the bidding process, the City pre-qualified four national and international experienced tunneling firms to propose on the project, which is the largest single job within the Akron Waterway’s Renewed program.

            The Ohio Canal Interceptor Tunnel (OCIT) will have a 27-foot finished inside diameter and will be 6,240 feet long. It will begin at the Little Cuyahoga River north of the Mustill Store on the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath, and extend to Lock 1 of the canal at West Exchange Street in Downtown Akron.  The tunnel will control combined sewer overflow at nine separate locations along the waterways, and will store over 25 million gallons of combined sewer overflow. The tunnel project is scheduled to be in operation by December 31, 2018.

            The Joint Venture that has been awarded the bid includes two well-known companies in the field. Kenny Construction was founded in 1927 in Chicago and is nationally recognized for projects in Tunnel, Civil/Construction Management, Underground and Power divisions. Obayashi Corporation was founded in 1892 in Japan. Its presence in the United States began in 1967 and its heavy civil presence in the US began in 1979.

            Mayor Fusco said that the City Engineer’s estimate for the project was over $250-million ($252,212,193), and the contractors’ low proposal was $67 million under the estimate ($185,030,000.) The proposal submitted by Kenny/Obayashi V met all requirements required by the bid, and exceeded the following requirements:

•           Exceeded the 35% local resident hiring requirement with a commitment of 37.26%;

•           Exceeded the 15% local EDGE/DBE/MBE/WBE * goal with a commitment of 15.7%;

•           Exceeded the 30% local business goal with a commitment of 40.8%; and,

•           Exceeded the 1.2% USEPA Minority Business Enterprise  goal with a commitment of       1.3%.

The bidder also committed to make a good faith effort toward the 1.8% USEPA Women Business Enterprise goal with a commitment of 0.3%

                  Akron has one of the most stringent CSO Long Term Control Plans and Consent Decree requirements in the nation, in terms of level of control and schedule. The Plan was estimated to be $870 million in 2012. The Consent Decree was ultimately entered by the Federal Court in early 2014 at a price tag of $1.4 billion.

            Under the final Consent Decree, projects currently in design and construction include CSO Storage Facilities, Pump Station improvements, additional sewer separations, the Ohio Canal Interceptor Tunnel, full scale implementation of expanding biological treatment at the Water Reclamation Facility and the implementation of several projects utilizing “Green Technologies”.

            Akron is currently negotiating through the Integrated Planning process with the U.S. EPA and Ohio EPA, in an effort to reduce the cost of the overall program while maintaining equal or greater environmental benefits. Akron has continued to make significant improvement to the Cuyahoga Rivers’ water quality by increasing operation and maintenance activities, increasing the biological treatment at the Water Reclamation Facility through a pilot project and separating combined sewers to eliminate several combined sewer overflows.

            Water quality in the Cuyahoga River has improved to a level that supports fish and bug life and facilitated the return of the Great Blue Herons at the southern gateway to the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

* The State of Ohio’s EDGE program provides an EDGE to small businesses by Encouraging Diversity,  Growth and Equity in public contracting. It is an assistance program for economically and socially        disadvantaged business enterprises.

  DBE = Disadvantaged Business Enterprise;  WBE = Woman Business Enterprise;  MBE = Minority Business Enterprise

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