Photo Courtesy of New York State Thruway Authority
Bid proposals for the Tappan Zee Bridge replacement project were submitted by three of the four shortlisted teams on July 27.

One of the four teams contending for the estimated $5-billion Tappan Zee Bridge replacement project in New York State chose not to submit a bid at the last moment.

Three of the four teams shortlisted for the project officially submitted their bids to the New York State Thruway Authority on July 27. The fourth team, Hudson River Bridge Constructors, cancelled its bid unexpectedly, triggering some confusion among team members.

Hudson River Bridge Constructors is a joint venture of Dragados USA Inc., Flatiron Construction, Samsung E&C, and Yonkers Contracting Co., with HNTB acting as design partner. Teams were required to present their bids to the state of New York by Friday July 27, and the decision to not submit HRBC's bid came as the materials were about to be delivered.

"Pretty much everyone was shocked," said Theodore Zoli, national bridge chief engineer with HNTB and head of the firm's 35-person design team for the project.

Recounting what team members who were present told him, Zoli said "the reps had unloaded the 17 boxes and were just waiting for the call to release them to the DOT. But then the call is 'Pull it.'"

The decision to pull the bid appears to have come from HRBC member Flatiron Construction.

According to an official statement from Hudson River Bridge Constructors signed by Karsten Baltzer, senior project manager with Samsung C&T, E&C Americas, "we were prepared to submit a compelling and competitive proposal to serve the best interest of New York State. The complete proposal was delivered to Albany, NY, accompanied by staff from Dragados, Samsung, and Yonkers. They were at the Thruway Authority’s office ready to submit, awaiting the proper release from our fourth HRBC partner, Flatiron.  Unfortunately, Flatiron did not provide its approval to submit the proposal or release its bid bond.  As a result, HRBC was regrettably unable to submit the binding proposal."

Flatiron Construction officials could not be reached for comment at press time.

The three teams that did submit bids for the bridge project were Kiewit-Skanska-Weeks Joint Venture (Kiewit Infrastructure Co., Skanska USA Civil Northeast Inc., and Weeks Marine, Inc.), Tappan Zee Bridge Partners, a Bechtel/Tutor Perini Joint Venture, (Bechtel Infrastructure Corp. and Tutor Perini Corp.) and Tappan Zee Constructors (Fluor Enterprises, Inc., American Bridge Co., Granite Construction Northeast, Inc., and Traylor Bros., Inc.).

The state is currently reviewing their materials and a record of decision is set for September 4, 2012. Representatives of the New York State Thruway Authority have said construction of the new bridge is expected to begin by the end of 2012.