County commission faced with yet another increase in transit consulting fees
By Lou Ortiz
A controversial consultant's contract for Miami-Dade's cash-strapped transit system could reach $65 million if the county commission approves a $21 million extension.
The commission's Transit Committee is recommending commissioners approve the extension for the consultant Parsons Brinckerhoff Quade & Douglas Inc., also known as PB Americas Inc., which is advising the county on a plan to expand Metrorail.
The firm was first awarded a three-year, $44 million contract in 2005. The extension would carry its services through 2010.
In January, commissioners balked and complained when staff said the county would have to pay an additional $13 million in consulting fees to get the three major Metrorail projects done. The newest extension is $8 million more than what the commission was told then.
The firm provides program management, planning and design of the extension's three phases.
The first phase will connect the Earlington Heights Metrorail station to the Miami Intermodal Center, a span of 2.4 miles, totaling $290 million for construction. It will be built with state and local funds, coming from the transit plan approved by voters in 2002 that resulted in a half-penny sales tax surcharge.
Phase two calls for 9.5 miles of rail to the Broward County line along Northwest 27th Avenue.
The third phase calls for a 10- to 13-mile extension from the Miami Intermodel Center near Miami International Airport to Florida International University. But there is an absence of a definite route for the east-west corridor, and both phase two and three lack federal funding.
The county commission Tuesday deferred the matter until June 17.