Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board

Resolution
2014-347

Resolution Authorizing a Professional Services Agreement with Brierley Associates for Engineering Services Related to the Feasibility and Prudence of Kenilworth Channel Crossing Alternatives in the Amount Up to $245,500

Information

Department:Strategic PlanningSponsors:
Category:Professional Services AgreementProjects:No Project

Item Discussion

Whereas, The Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board (MPRB) is the steward of Minneapolis parks;

 

Whereas, The MPRB’s fundamental role and responsibility is to protect and preserve parkland within the Minneapolis park system for current and future generations;

 

Whereas, The MPRB is authorized to contract with public and private entities in the performance of its functions;

 

Whereas, Since 2012, the MPRB has consistently and regularly communicated, through public Board actions, its concerns and position regarding the Southwest Light Rail Transit (SWLRT) options;

 

Whereas, The MPRB’s General Counsel, Rice, Michels & Walther and Special Counsel Stinson Leonard Street have both opined that MPRB land affected by the proposed SWLRT alignment meets the definition of “public park,” “recreation area,” and “historic site” under Section 4(f) and those park, recreation area and historic sites will be directly and adversely affected by the proposed SWLRT alignment;

 

Whereas, Both General and Special Counsels have advised that the proposed SWLRT alignment has failed to properly consider a tunnel under the Kenilworth Channel to determine if it is a  prudent and feasible alternative and further that the proposed SWLRT alignment has not included all possible planning to minimize the harm to the park, recreation areas, and historic sites;

 

Whereas, Both General and Special Counsel have advised that that the proposed SWLRT alignment will not meet the de minimis requirements of Section 4(f) and as such they have both advised the MPRB to not provide any concurrence with such SWLRT alignment to the United States Secretary of Transportation and that such concurrence would be necessary for the SWLRT project to proceed;

 

Whereas, Both General and Special Counsels have advised the MPRB that in absence of the Metropolitan Council undertaking its obligation under federal law and in order to protect MPRB park, recreation areas, and historic properties under the ownership and trusteeship of the MPRB and in fulfillment of its legal obligations as stewards of those resources it is now necessary for the MPRB to determine on its own and place into the record in this matter whether prudent and feasible alternatives exist for the proposed alignment of SWLRT and whether the project can have de minimis impact on those resources;

 

Whereas, MPRB finds that important technical questions need further analysis before Federal Transportation Act Section 4(f) findings can be reasonably made and the MPRB can make prudent recommendations that fulfill its responsibilities;

 

Whereas, Board authorized the Superintendent to hire engineering services for a fee up to $500,000 from the reserves balance to determine the prudence and feasibility of a tunnel under the Kenilworth Channel for the Southwest Light Rail Transit Project;

 

Whereas, The MPRB has solicited letters of interest from qualified engineering firms;

 

Whereas, A response from Brierley Associates and a subsequent interview with project leaders demonstrated an understanding of MPRB’s needs for the work and significant relevant experience directly related to the project;

 

Whereas, Brierley Associates submitted a detailed proposal including a work plan and fee for their work and, upon review, MPRB staff believes the proposal addresses the project requirements and will provide necessary and credible information upon which the MPRB might fairly and fully respond to questions of impacts by SWLRT on park resources at the Kenilworth Channel; and

 

Whereas, This resolution is supported by the MPRB 2007-2020 Comprehensive Plan, which envisions “Dynamic parks that shape city character and meet diverse community needs;”

 

RESOLVED, That the Board of Commissioners authorize a professional services agreement with Brierley Associates for engineering services related to the feasibility and prudence of Kenilworth Channel crossing alternatives in the amount up to $245,500; and

 

RESOLVED, That the President of the Board and Secretary to the Board are authorized to take all necessary administrative actions to implement this resolution.

 

Body

BACKGROUND

 

The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board’s (MPRB’s) fundamental role and responsibility is to protect and preserve parkland within the Minneapolis park system for current and future generations.  Since 2012, the MPRB has consistently and regularly informed the Southwest LRT Project Office of its concerns and position regarding the Southwest Light Rail Transit options through public Board actions. Legal counsel has recommended that the MPRB engage additional engineering services to determine the feasibility and prudence of a tunnel under the Kenilworth Channel for light rail. This resolution considers the professional services agreement with Brierley and Associates to determine the feasibility of light rail crossing alternatives and establish the approach for determining prudence (Attachment A).

 

On October 1, 2014 the MPRB authorized the Superintendent to hire engineering services to look at the feasibility and prudence of tunneling under the Kenilworth Channel. Staff invited letters of interest from qualified engineering firms through an open process. Staff requested that interested firms consider the project in two phases to manage the potential costs of the engineering services:

 

1)      Phase 1: Determine the feasibility of a tunnel alternative to bridging light rail over the Kenilworth Channel within the Kenilworth Corridor and perform an initial comparison of the effects of a tunnel alternative on the park, recreation areas, and historic sites to the SWLRT proposed alignment. As a part of this deliverable, the consultant shall identify additional work, investigations, or study that would be required to more fully frame the feasibility of the tunnel alternative and to more fully understand Section 4(f) impacts.

 

2)      Phase 2: With approval of the MPRB and based upon a determination of the feasibility of a tunnel alternative resulting from Phase 1, the selected consultant will conduct additional investigations, develop additional design and engineering, and perform additional studies that confirm or expand upon key issues, feasibility and prudence factors, or points of comparison resulting from the initial findings.

 

Brierley and Associates and its partners responded and demonstrated exceptional experience in technologies related to tunneling, light rail construction, operations and maintenance, and environmental and historic impacts.

 

Due to the time sensitivity of this project and the prior authorization to hire engineering services, this action is recommended for full board approval on November 19, 2014. This will ensure that the consultant team is able to complete Phase 1 prior to 2015. This is critical to ensure the MPRB is aware of the results of the Phase 1 and can prepare for the issuance of the supplemental draft environmental impact statement. 

 

 

FUNDING/COST SUMMARY

Sources

 

$500,000

Reserve Balance

 

$500,000

 

Uses

 

$245,000

PSA – Brierley Associates

 

$245,500

Pending Board Approval

Balance

 

$255,000

 

RELATED BOARD ACTIONS

 

October 1, 2014              Resolution 2014- 311 Authorizing the Superintendent to hire engineering services for a fee up to $500,000 from the reserve balance to determine the prudence and feasibility of a tunnel under the Kenilworth Channel for the Southwest Light Rail Transit Project

 

September 17, 2014              Resolution 2014-293 Authorizing a Professional Services Agreement with Stinson Leonard Street, LLP for Legal Services Related to the Southwest Light Rail Transit Project in the amount of $22,000

 

May 21, 2014              Resolution 2014-209 Stating the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board determination that, based on Southwest Light Rail Transitway Project Office preliminary finding of feasibility, tunneling LRT under the Kenilworth Channel may be the only Section 4(F) feasible and prudent alternative within the shallow tunnel option regarding Minneapolis parkland impacted by the project, however that determination requires greater analysis

 

 

February 5, 2014              Resolution 2014-114 Urging the Southwest Light Rail Transitway Project Office to conduct a detailed engineering feasibility study and cost comparison of tunneling under the Kenilworth Channel as part of the shallow tunnel option

 

August 21, 2013              Resolution 2013-282 Stating the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board’s position on project design alternatives recently developed in the preliminary engineering phase of Southwest Light Rail Transitway planning

 

December 5, 2012              Resolution 2012-321 Approving a comment letter to Hennepin County Regional Rail Authority for the Southwest Transitway Draft Environmental Impact Statement

 

 

RECOMMENDATION

 

Staff recommends authorizing a professional services agreement with Brierley Associates for engineering services related to the feasibility and prudence of Kenilworth Channel crossing alternatives in the amount up to $245,500.

 

This action is supported by the following vision and goal statements in the MPRB 2007-2020 Comprehensive Plan.

 

Vision Theme 3:              Dynamic parks that shape city character and meet diverse community needs.

 

Goal:                            Parks shape and evolving city.

 

Meeting History

Nov 19, 2014 5:00 PM  Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board Regular Meeting

Approved on a roll call vote.

RESULT:ADOPTED [7 TO 0]
MOVER:Anita Tabb, Commissioner District 4
SECONDER:Annie Young, Commissioner At Large
AYES:Liz Wielinski, Scott Vreeland, John Erwin, Meg Forney, Jon Olson, Anita Tabb, Annie Young
ABSTAIN:Brad Bourn, Steffanie Musich