One of two contractors competing to build a suicide-prevention net for the Golden Gate Bridge is challenging the other company’s bid for the project. (Courtesy rendering)

Bid protest could delay Golden Gate Bridge suicide net

The long-planned suicide net for the Golden Gate Bridge could face more delays after a protest filed by one of the two project bidders may result in both bids being tossed out.

If the protest is found to have merit, “the suicide deterrent would then be delayed a year or more, as we’d need to go through a new bid process,” said Priya Clemens, spokesperson for the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District.

American Bridge Company, which is based in Coraopolis, Pa., is one of two bidders, and filed the protest Dec. 2, alleging Shimmick Construction Company, Inc./Danny’s Construction Company LLC, a Joint Venture, failed to secure a qualified Systems Control Vendor, an engineer, a structural steel erector, and failed to furnish its bid with its safety history.

ABC also alleges Shimmick did not comply with nondisclosure agreements and failed to substantiate in its bid that during the past 10 years, each of its associated companies worked on a retrofit of at least two multispan steel bridges with “challenging environmental conditions.”

For instance, ABC alleges descriptions of projects in the bid from one subcontractor for Shimmick, Panatrol, did not build required projects.

“[Shimmick] fails to substantiate in its bid that, during the past 10 years, its System Control Vendor-Panatrol designed, furnished and installed a minimum of three Traveler Control Systems, which operation record can be verified, similar to the Traveler Control System shown and specified for this contract,” ABC wrote.

Shimmick has disputed each of ABC’s allegations.

If the bridge district committee finds that the protest has no merit, then staff recommends awarding the $142 million contract to Shimmick. However, the committee could also reject all bids because the district cannot fund ABC’s $174 million proposal for the project.

Notably, Golden Gate District staff previously asked its board for a time extension to find extra funding for the suicide deterrent when both bids ballooned past the district’s expectations.

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