MWRA announced today it has requested proposals for the construction of the Norumbega Covered Storage project, the next step in its drinking water improvement program. The project will be contracted as a Design/Build venture, an innovative method most often used in the private sector.
The Norumbega project consists of constructing a 115-million gallon reinforced concrete storage tank next to MWRA's open Norumbega Reservoir in Weston. MWRA is replacing all of its open distribution reservoirs with enclosed concrete tanks, thus preserving drinking water quality and eliminating the risk of surface water runoff and airborne contamination that open reservoirs are susceptible to.
"The construction of the Norumbega Covered Storage tank is a key link in MWRA's Integrated Water Supply Improvement Program designed to ensure our high quality drinking water remains safe and pure all the way to the customer's tap," said MWRA Executive Director Douglas B. MacDonald. "The tank is part of a continuing effort to assure drinking water quality and reliability now and in the future."
With the Design/Build construction method, a single contractor provides both design and construction services, rather than the owner separately contracting with a designer and then a general contractor. MWRA has hired the engineering firm of Malcom Pirnie, Inc. to serve as the Owner's Representative and help oversee the work of the Design/Build contractor. By using the Design/Build method, MWRA expects to shorten the duration of the project, reduce overall project costs and eliminate the potential for disputes over design errors.
State law prohibits the use of Design/Build contracting unless special permission is obtained from the Massachusetts Legislature. To expedite the design and construction process, MWRA sought and obtained that permission in 1997. At the same time MWRA acquired the necessary 36-acres of land for the project from the Town of Weston and the Weston Forest and Trail Association.
"MWRA will continue to provide a high-quality finished product while being committed to achieving cost and schedule savings wherever possible," said MWRA Director of Waterworks William A. Brutsch. "The Board of Directors has affirmed our staff's recommendation that this Design/Build approach, widely recognized as a method with the potential for time and cost savings, should be used on this project."
MWRA has "short-listed" five qualified Design/Build firms and now awaits proposals.