South Terminal contractor chosen, construction started

Construction on South Terminal began last week after officials had to cancel the official ground-breaking at the site due to the Boston Marathon bombings.
The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center announced Monday it had chosen Quincy-based contractor Cashman-Weeks NB to construct the Marine Commerce Terminal and perform the associated dredging.
“The awarding of the contract and the start of dredging for the South Terminal project means that it is at last all very real,” Mayor Jon Mitchell said of the terminal that will be specially constructed to act as a staging area for offshore wind farms.
As part of construction, the project includes the dredging and removal of approximately 250,000 cubic yards of contaminated sediment, and the bulkhead will be able to support an average of 4,100 pounds per square foot.
MassCEC spokeswoman Catherine Williams said despite the cancellation of the ground-breaking ceremony, Cashman-Weeks and MassCEC signed the “notice to proceed” April 16 that authorized work to begin on site.
Cashman-Weeks NB is a joint venture made up of Cashman Dredging and Marine Contracting of Quincy and Weeks Marine of New Jersey. The contractor has previously performed navigational dredging in New Bedford Harbor and, according to a statement from MassCEC, the team has extensive experience in the heavy civil and marine construction fields (and) constructing pile-supported marine structures.
Also according to the statement, Cashman-Weeks NB has opened an office in New Bedford.
The contractor was one of three that submitted bids for the project in February. It submitted the lowest base bid of $56.9 million.
The “base bids” are cost estimates for what MassCEC has already determined must be done in terminal construction. The contractors also submitted a list of estimates for “optional bids” for additional services that MassCEC had not yet decided were needed.
Jay Borkland, a principal scientist with Apex Companies, who helped choose the contractor, said there were add-ons to the project specifications, some of which will be incorporated under the new arrangements. He did not have further information on what those add-ons would be or their cost.
MassCEC CEO Alicia Barton said the CEC’s review of Cashman-Weeks, which submitted the lowest bid, demonstrated the company was qualified to carry out the work.
The Cashman-Weeks bid was also the only one in line with the state’s publicly announced cost of the construction. Barton said she is not concerned that this makes it more likely that the company will incur additional costs.
“With a project this size, of course, we’re going to be watching as carefully as we can to make sure they don’t go over … but we don’t think it’s unreasonably low,” Barton said.
Standard-Times staff writer Natalie Sherman contributed to this report.
By Ariel Wittenberg
April 23, 2013 12:00 AM
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