OAKLAND — California transportation officials announced plans Thursday to divide the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge project into six separate contracts to involve more small and disadvantaged businesses.
The announcement followed complaints from minority-owned subcontractors who claimed they lost lucrative construction deals because of unfair bidding on the $2.6 billion project to replace the bridge’s eastern span.
Caltrans plans to advertise the first of the contracts this month and announce a winner in December, with the rest to follow.
The projects include building the tower and superstructure of the self-anchored suspension bridge, removing three U.S. Coast Guard buildings and one state building on Yerba Buena Island and building a temporary detour and permanent bridge on the island.
Caltrans said in a release that earlier contracts did not meet the department’s goals for disadvantage business participation.
The firms alleged that Caltrans and Kiewit/FCI/Manson Joint Venture, the prime contractor awarded the project’s $1.04 billion second phase, encouraged bids from so-called “disadvantaged business enterprises” to comply with federal requirements tied to more than $600 million of funds, but had no intent to hire.
Caltrans has said the federal transportation department reviewed the contracts in question and found they were made in good faith.