LA TRANSPO - As reported in Thursday’s LA Wave Newspaper, at least one contractor for the Crenshaw-LAX light rail contract, requested authority to submit a bid for the Crenshaw-LAX Line that included BOTH the Leimert Park Village station and 11 block tunnel in Park Mesa Heights on Crenshaw Blvd, arguing that the year of construction time savings would allow them both to be built within project budget.
However, MTA staff, led by CEO Art Leahy, refused to allow the bid to be considered! (Wave story)
From the article:
"However, as forthcoming as [Leahy] was about the run up to the [May 23 Leimert Park station] decision, Leahy stayed mum on what is shaping up to be the next big fight, the campaign to ensure that a major stretch of the line goes underground. The Wave asked him about reports that two of the proposals had bid to build a station and tunnel within the existing budget.
'That is a little awkward, because under our procurement rules we’re in what’s called a blackout period,' he said. 'That’s to ensure there’s no funny business in the evaluation process so I’m prohibited from talking about any of the proposals. But I will say that if someone came in and offered what you just said, that would be a wonderful offer.'"
We at the Crenshaw Subway Coalition first learned of this information several months ago from an MTA whistleblower disgusted that Leahy's staff was clearly ignoring an attempt by reputable construction firms to deliver the project the community wanted - a project that preserved the last black business corridor by placing the last mile proposed at street-level on Crenshaw Blvd underground.
We requested at the last MTA meeting immediate release of all of the documentation related to the requests, but thus far, Leahy has refused.
This borders on gross incompetence worthy of consideration of the immediate termination of Leahy and staff at best, and a political scandal of massive proportions at worst.
Much more to come.
(Damien Goodmon is Executive Director of Crenshaw Subway Coalition and occasional contributor to CityWatch. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Vol 11 Issue 46
Pub: June 7, 2013