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MDOT Request for Proposals: East-West Toll Highway Traffice and Revenue Study

Request for Proposals

East-West Toll Highway Traffic and Revenue Study

The Maine Department of Transportation (MaineDOT) is seeking proposals for independent investment-grade traffic and revenue analysis for a privately funded, privately operated and publically accessible, east-west toll highway.


MaineDOT requires the services of a firm (or team) with engineering, planning and economic capabilities to assess the impact of a proposed new highway on traffic volumes and routings, and the resulting level of revenue to be generated by tolls on that highway. The firm will work with the MaineDOT Project Manager and Economic Development Research Group (EDRG)1, acting as Technical Manager on behalf of the department, to conduct an investment-grade traffic and revenue analysis for a private toll highway from Calais to Coburn Core, Maine.

The proposed highway project is presented in: East-West Highway Conceptual Feasibility Study Calais to Coburn Gore, Cianbro Corporation, 2008. Copies of that report, as well as other related reports pertaining to the proposed highway, are available from the MaineDOT FTP site. A full listing of relevant reports and instructions for accessing them follow later in this RFP.

The requested analysis will require skills in assessing origin-destination and trip characteristics for truck-freight, intermodal and car movements between Quebec and New Brunswick, between Maine and adjacent provinces, and within Central Maine. It will also require analysis of the implications of truck-weight differences between the US and Canada, and the effect of introducing a private toll road that allows higher-weight Canadian trucks to pass through Maine.


The scope of work is expected to include the following elements:

Task 1. Review of Existing Traffic and Revenue Forecasts

The Consultant will review and evaluate the soundness, validity and reasonableness of the processes, assumptions and methodologies of existing traffic and revenue forecasts for previous East-West highway studies, including:

a. A Technical Report On An East-West Highway In Maine, MaineDOT, 1999. b. Maine East-West Highway: Assessment of Toll Financing Feasibility, Wilbur Smith Associates, 1999. c. Maine East-West Highway Economic Impact Analysis, Phase I-IV, RKG Associates, Inc., 1999.

1 EDRG services are not included in this RFP and will not be part of this contract.

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d. Northeast CanAm Connections Final Report (2009), available at www.canamconnections.com

e. East-West Highway Conceptual Feasibility Study Calais to Coburn Gore, Cianbro Corporation, 2008.

f. MaineDOT Statewide Travel Demand Model

Please note: Copies of these studies are available on a temporary MaineDOT FTP site using Filezilla FTP software. Instructions for downloading, configuring and using the software are available at http://www.maine.gov/mdot/ftptemp/. If you have any questions or problems, please contact the MaineDOT Webmaster, Kip Mitchell via email at Kip.Mitchell@maine.gov or by phone at 624-3169.

Once the user has successfully configured the software and connected to the MaineDOT FTP site, the study files can be located in the directory: /East-West Study.

The review should specifically consider the reasonableness of assumptions regarding the following four factors:

• operating conditions on the route – expected capacity, speeds, vehicle sizes and weights; and effective travel time savings under different seasonal conditions;

• connecting routes at the US-Canadian border and within Maine, needs for investment to upgrade those routes and connections, and effect on travel demand if needed upgrades are (or are not) made;

• expected traffic volumes on the proposed route, taking into account the above operating conditions and performance factors, as well as conditions on alternative routes and other factors affecting trip generation and routing; and,

• expected growth in population and economic activity that will generate additional growth in vehicular demand in future years.

The Consultant will submit an “Independent Review” report. In this report, the Consultant will focus on determining whether the previous traffic forecasts remain valid as a basis for East-West Highway toll-revenue assumptions. The evaluation should include a discussion of the adequacy and/or shortcomings of past analyses and discuss their adequacy as a basis for investment-grade forecasts. If the evaluation finds significant shortcomings, then it should identify areas for improvement and needs for new data collection, traffic modeling and/or revenue forecasts, including upside and downside risks and projections.

After submission of the review, the Consultant will meet with the MaineDOT Project Manager, the Technical Manager and other MaineDOT staff. At this meeting, the group will discuss findings and their implications for modification in the work and budget planned for subsequent tasks. Based on the outcome of that meeting, MaineDOT will proceed with a contract modification and/or authorization to proceed with subsequent tasks as applicable.

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Task 2. New Data Collection

The Consultant will conduct additional data collection to meet needs identified in Task 1. The Consultant will most likely need to: (a) review and evaluate the soundness, validity and reasonableness of existing travel surveys, (b) if necessary, supplement existing travel surveys with new stated-preference surveys to assess the implication of a new toll road, sensitivity to toll pricing, and effects of other choice factors not revealed in the current market, and (c) conduct discussion with shippers, trucking companies, and other regional freight and economic experts to assess broader factors that can affect demand for use of the proposed new toll road. The Consultant will consult with the Maine Turnpike Authority (MTA) prior to conducting any new surveys.

Existing data and new data will then be combined as appropriate to provide updated and valid traffic and revenue forecasts for the proposed toll facility, based on proposed toll rates. Assumptions regarding forecast drivers (including demographic and economic factors), value of time savings, fuel prices, time and cost savings over competing alternatives, etc. should also be made explicit. Key findings will be summarized in a progress memo.

Task 3. Economic Review

The Consultant will review and evaluate current and projected future economic conditions with an emphasis on their implications for both freight movements and economic development. This will address the following two related issues:

• Patterns of freight movement in Maine and adjacent Canadian provinces that may either (a) affect demand for the proposed highway, or (b) be affected by the proposed highway. This evaluation will draw on official Maine state forecasts and may also include independent reviews based on Task 2 discussion with shippers, trucking companies, and other regional freight and economic experts. The review should also consider national and international freight flows and trends including modal shifts resulting from such factors as the expansion of the Panama Canal and existing port restrictions.

• Economic effects of having a completed East-West Highway. This task will include identification and evaluation of direct and indirect economic effects of constructing and operating an East-West Toll Highway on Maine’s economy. The evaluation should include an assessment of potential savings or costs to the state transportation system associated with this project. Finally, the task should include an examination of the secondary impacts of increased and or decreased truck traffic on specific locations along the proposed highway and along the existing truck route.

Key findings will be summarized in a progress memo.

Task 4. Risk Identification

The Consultant will identify any significant barriers or risks associated with permitting and construction of an East West Highway and the establishment of a private toll authority. The discussion should include a list of the applicable State and Federal permitting requirements that are necessary for a private entity to implement the proposed toll highway. The task will include

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a practical assessment of the feasibility of satisfying these legal requirements. The discussion should include an estimate of the time and cost to obtain necessary permitting. Additional traffic and revenue risks to be assessed should include, but not be limited to: exchange rate fluctuations, trucking-related regulations, fuel cost changes and completion (or non-completion) of Canadian and US highway connections to the proposed toll road. Key findings will be summarized in a progress memo.

Task 5. Cost Estimate

The Consultant will review and update prior capital cost estimates to reflect current unit costs for the proposed “build” alternative, with the assumed configuration of a two-lane divided facility with an alternating truck-passing lane. This task will also include a discussion and preliminary estimate of potential operational and maintenance costs associated with a private East-West Highway Toll Authority. Key findings will be summarized in a progress memo.

Task 6. Final Report

The final report will present the findings of an investment grade traffic and revenue study at a level of detail sufficient for use to support project financing. This should include establishment of a base case, upside and downside revenue and traffic scenarios, and associated risk and uncertainty factors. It should include findings on the adequacy of anticipated toll revenues to pay off project costs.

A compilation of the team’s findings, analyses and conclusions/ recommendations will be developed as the final “product” of the study. This will be shared with the Study Team, and others as determined applicable, in draft form prior to finalization. The final report will incorporate comments from an independent peer review (not part of this RFP) of the draft report. The final report will include an executive summary that can serve as a stand-alone for public dissemination, along with a PowerPoint presentation. It should also assess the likelihood that existing traffic and revenue projections will be met in the first full year of operation and subsequent years thereafter.


The Department will review the firms’ Technical Proposals and select the best-qualified firm. Technical Proposals will be evaluated in the following areas:

1. Understanding and Approach to the Project: (30%)

a. Understanding and knowledge of traffic and revenue analysis for comparable projects

b. Ability to provide a clearly stated and efficient approach to the services c. Study proposal indicates a strong understating of the objectives of the study. d. Familiarity with previous Maine East-West highway studies

2. Experience and Qualifications of Firm and Project Team: (30%)

a. Experience in serving as Traffic and Revenue Consultant

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b. Experience of past performance on projects of similar complexity and scope c. Qualification and experience of key personnel, including subconsultants

3. Schedule: (25%)

a. The Proposal should demonstrate that the team has the availability and necessary human resources to deliver a quality project while meeting or exceeding the following milestones:

i. A draft report within six (6) months of Notice-To-Proceed. ii. A final report within eight (8) months of Notice-To-Proceed.

4. Quality and Completeness: (15%)

a. The proposal is both adequate and complete, as defined through the RFP. b. The proposal inspires confidence in production of a quality-required product,

solicited under the RFP.

Based on the Technical Proposal, The Department may schedule interviews at MaineDOT HQ in Augusta during the week of April 2, 2012 for up to three of the highest scoring firm(s).

The Technical Proposal should be complete, but brief. The Department is only inviting prequalified firms awarded General Consultant Agreements to respond to this RFP, so general information on the firm (s) should be provided as a supplemental document only. The Technical Proposal should address the four key areas as it relates to the outlined work. The Technical Proposal should be limited to 20 pages, not counting resumes of key people.

Along with the Technical Proposal, the firm should submit a preliminary Cost Proposal for the work in a separate sealed envelope. The Cost Proposal should show anticipated positions to be used, hours for each position, actual or average rates for each position, overhead, proposed profit and direct expenses. Certified payroll will be required from the firm awarded the contract for proposed staff performing work on the project. If a salary cap waiver is being proposed, it should be included in the Cost Proposal. If subconsultants are being used, they should also be broken down in the Cost Proposal, consistent with doing work for the Department under a Project Contract.


The Department anticipates doing this effort using a Stand Alone Project Contract and the method of payment shall be cost-plus fixed fee, so please provide as much information as possible to allow for the timely movement of the negotiation process.

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Proposals must be submitted in electronic format. Electronic format should be by emailed to nathan.howard@maine.gov in Portable Document Format (PDF). Additionally, the firm may submit up to four (4) hard copies of the Proposal.

Hard copies should be sent to: Nathan Howard

Maine Department of Transportation Bureau of Transportation System Planning 16 State House Station Augusta, Maine 04333-0016

Hand-carried Proposals from Proposer, Federal Express or UPS must be given to the Department receptionist or mailroom prior to the time and date for which Proposals are due. They shall be addressed to:

Nathan Howard Maine Department of Transportation Bureau of Transportation System Planning 1 Child Street, Transportation Building Augusta, ME 04333

Proposals must be received by the Department no later than 3:00 p.m. on Tuesday, March 27, 2012. Any Proposal, portion of a Proposal, or unrequested Proposal revision received at the MaineDOT after the time and date specified in this RFP will not be accepted. In order to keep the process moving, the Department does not intend to interview, unless it is clearly necessary.

During the Proposal preparation period, all requests for clarification and/or additional information must be submitted via email to nathan.howard@maine.gov SUBJECT: Clarification to RFP for East-West Highway Feasibility Study no later than 3:00 p.m. on Friday, March 16, 2012. Late requests for clarification will not be accepted. Responses to requests will be emailed to all Proposers no later than Monday, March 19, 2012.

The Consultant General Conditions dated January 1, 2009 shall govern the contract awarded under this RFP and can be found on the MaineDOT website at http://www.maine.gov/mdot/cpo/docs/general/consultant-general-conditions.pdf.

This RFP does not commit MaineDOT to pay any costs incurred in submitting your proposal, making studies or designs for preparing the Proposal or in procuring or subcontracting for services or supplies related to the Proposal.

The information contained in Proposals submitted for the State’s consideration will be held in confidence until all reviews are concluded and the award notification has been made. At that time, the full content of the Proposals becomes public record and is therefore available for public inspection upon request.

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