The first rule of fishing is “Go fishin’ where the fish is bitin’.”
In the case of contractors looking for customers ready, willing and able to start work on major projects, there’s nobody in our area better qualified in those categories than the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, better known as METRO.
METRO serves as a transportation planner, coordinator, designer, builder and operator for one of the country’s largest, most populous counties. There are more than 9.6 million people – nearly one-third of California’s residents – within the 1,433-square-mile LA County.
We also know METRO’s next construction budget is the biggest in LA County – $2.6 billion! With that money, starting in the new fiscal year (July 1, 2019 to June 30, 2020), they have a lot of construction opportunities on their plate.
Most of the money ($2 billion) will be going into continued expansion of the light rail system where several SCCA members work already, and $320 million is being invested in Caltrans road building including:
- State Route 138 capacity enhancements
- I-5 capacity enhancements between the 134 and 170, and the 605 and Orange County border
- High Desert Corridor
- South Bay improvements
- I-710 Early Action projects
- I-605 corridor “hot spots”
- Highway operational improvements in the Arroyo Verdugo and Las Virgenes/Malibu sub-regions
They have a half dozen light rail/bus transit projects in the planning stage; some may come out to bidders in the next six months. Yes, we’ve heard that the agency is hard to deal with and “has exotic non-construction related project requirements,” like 27 percent WBE/SBE, etc.
This level of opportunity and this need to improve practices and procedures with our contractors is why SCCA has begun the process of developing a better relationship with METRO to help get more of our contractors into that universe.
To that end, we invited METRO to give a presentation at our May membership meeting. Also, Dave Jenkins, Vice President Denise Cooper and I will be meeting with METRO top leadership June 6 to begin the process of making it possible for our members to both get involved in METRO projects and profit by doing so.
This effort isn’t a one-time deal. We’re in this for the long run and will be reporting back to you as we move forward with this partnership.
By Wes May, Executive Vice President