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October 11, 2013


Patti Beck
Director of Communications

Latest honors recognize agency’s procurement and creative engineering

ST. LOUIS, MO. Bi-State Development Agency (BSDA) announced it has been honored with two prestigious awards recognizing its organizational excellence in procurement and its creative engineering approach to the East Riverfront Interlocking Project for the Eads Bridge.

“To receive both of these awards for such distinctly different accomplishments is a true testament to the exceptionally talented staff that we have throughout the Bi-State Development Agency,” said BSDA President and CEO John Nations. “Every member of our team is committed to excellence as we work together to provide world class transit services and to deliver creative regional projects, making wise use of taxpayers’ dollars and helping to move our region forward. We are proud to have that commitment recognized.”

BSDA received the 18th Annual Achievement of Excellence in Procurement Award (AEP) from the National Procurement Institute (NPI). The AEP Award is earned by public and non-profit organizations that obtain a high application score based on standardized criteria measuring innovation, professionalism, e-procurement, productivity and leadership attributes of the procurement function. This was BSDA’s first time receiving the award since it was introduced almost two decades ago. BSDA is only one of 23 special districts in the U.S. and just one of two agencies in Missouri to hold this award.

The second award is from the American Society of Civil Engineers St. Louis Section, which recognized BSDA with the Project of the Year award. This annual award recognizes an engineering project that demonstrates the greatest engineering skills, and represents the greatest contribution to civil engineering progress and mankind, and this year those accolades went to BSDA and its general contractor partner and primary engineering design firm partner for the East Riverfront Interlocking: East Tower Railroad Span Replacement Project.

The award is presented for achievement, not to an individual, but to recognize the many people who worked on and contributed to the success of the challenging project. BSDA’s partners on the project were the general contractor– St. Louis Bridge Construction Company; the lead engineering design company—ABS Consulting; and consulting engineer Ward Marianos Jr.

BSDA is currently restoring the historic Eads Bridge by making structural repairs, blasting, priming and painting the structure and replacing the track floor system. If that work had to be coordinated with train traffic, the project costs would drastically escalate and the project would take several additional years to complete. Instead, BSDA and its project team made the decision to operate all eastbound and westbound trains on one track while the other side of the bridge structure was being restored.

An interlocking to switch the trains from one track to the other existed on the west side of the bridge, but one was needed on the east side of the bridge to support a track shutdown, and avoid impacting MetroLink customers when the work was underway.

The installation of the East Riverfront Interlocking solved this operational issue while allowing future construction on the bridge itself to proceed. The final design allowed for the interlocking to be supported by geofoam (high density styrofoam). That choice eliminated the need to close the Eads Bridge to vehicular traffic for an extended period of time, minimized weekend MetroLink outages and saved the project approximately $1 million. The use of the geofoam also will reduce future maintenance costs and eliminate the potential corrosion issues that would inevitably occur, extending the expected useful life of the structure and further reducing life cycle costs.

Work on the interlocking began in May 2011 and was completed under budget in January 2012. The official start of work on the larger Eads Bridge Project started in May 2012 and is scheduled to be completed in late 2015.

The Bi-State Development Agency/Metro (BSDA/Metro) is the operator of the Metro public transportation system for the St. Louis region, which includes the 87 vehicle, 46-mile MetroLink light rail system; 378 MetroBus vehicle fleet that operates on 75 MetroBus routes; and Metro Call-A-Ride, a paratransit fleet of 121 vans.

BSDA/Metro also owns and operates St. Louis Downtown Airport and its surrounding industrial business park, and the Gateway Arch Riverboats, as well as operates the Gateway Arch Revenue Collections Center, the Gateway Arch Transportation System, and the Gateway Arch Parking Facility.

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