The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission invites bids for the New Irvington Tunnel Project.

The bid advertisement period began Jan. 13 and bids will be opened on March 11, with a contract award scheduled for April/May 2010.

Construction is expected to begin in May/June 2010 with final completion by May 2014.

Interested bidders are encouraged to attend a pre-bid and contractor networking conference to be held on Feb. 2 at 9 a.m., Sunol Valley Golf Club, Conference Room, 6900 Mission Road (near Andrade Road and I-680), Sunol.

Prime bidders’ attendance at this conference is one of the good faith steps under Chapter 14B “Good Faith Outreach” requirements for Local Business Enterprises (LBE). Bidders must achieve at least 80 points (out of a possible 100 points), as determined by the San Francisco Human Rights Commission, to be deemed compliant with the “Good Faith Outreach” requirements.

A site inspection will be held immediately following the pre-bid and contractor networking conference on Feb. 2.

The tunnel will be specified for excavation using conventional mining methods, including road headers in multiple headings and, in sections of hard rock, controlled detonations. The finished tunnel will be horseshoe shaped and have an internal diameter of approximately 8.5 to 10.5 ft. The estimated construction cost is $230 million to $260 million.

The New Irvington Tunnel (WD-2581) is part of the SFPUC’s $4.6 billion Water System Improvement Program (WSIP) to repair, replace, and seismically upgrade the Hetch Hetchy Water System’s aging pipelines, reservoirs, and dams. WSIP includes more than 80 projects spanning seven counties from the Central Valley to downtown San Francisco.

Prime contractors may still submit prequalification packets; however, there is no guarantee they will be processed and approved prior to bid opening. Prequalification packets can be downloaded at Prequalification is required to submit a bid on this project.