New York state transportation agencies have qualified four of five design-build teams that sought places on the short-list to build the estimated $5-billion-plus replacement of the aging Tappan Zee bridge across the Hudson River, north of New York City.

State Thruway Authority and Dept. of Transportation officials disclosed in a Feb. 7 announcement that five teams were vying for technical, financial and management qualification, among other criteria. But they did not confirm reports from executives close to the competition that a team headed by Italy’s Impregilo SA and U.S.-based Halmar was not selected to proceed.

The new span will be the state’s largest-ever bridge project.

Those approved by the 47-member technical review team are:

Hudson River Bridge Constructors, a group including Dragados USA, Inc., Flatiron Constructors Inc., Samsung C&T, E&C Americas Inc. and Yonkers Contracting Co. Inc. Design firms include T.Y Lin and HNTB, according to sources.

A joint venture of Kiewit Infrastructure Co., Skanska USA Civil Northeast Inc., Weeks Marine Inc. and subcontractor ECCO III Enterprises Inc. with engineers Parsons Brinckerhoff and Parsons Transportation Group.

Tappan Zee Bridge Partners, a JV of Bechtel Infrastructure Corp. and Tutor Perini Corp. also qualified, with its engineers believed to be Michael Baker, STV and Gannett Fleming.

Tappan Zee Constructors, made up of Fluor Enterprises Inc., American Bridge Co., Granite Construction Northeast Inc., and Traylor Bros. Inc., with engineering from HDR, Buckland & Taylor and URS.

The Impregilo-Halmar team was also believed to include engineers Hardesty & Hanover LLP, Louis Berger Group and Hatch Mott McDonald, according to competitor executives.

State officials said that the four teams are set to receive requests for proposals “in the coming weeks.”

According to an executive of one team, agencies are set to meet with short-listed teams as early as next week to review the draft RFP. Creation of the document also includes input from other state agencies to make it "not too restrictive," he says.

Thruway Chief Engineer Ted Nadratowski, the authority's selection official, said, "This selection of short-listed teams is an important part of the process, but due diligence of all teams and individual companies will continue as we move toward selection of the team who will actually build this bridge." He added that the contract is “the most important procurement we've ever considered, and it must be completed with utmost care at every stage of the process."

The agencies say the winning design-build team for the new span, the state's largest-ever bridge project, will be selected “later this year.” But observers have said New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is keen to see work started by the November elections. Says one industry participant, officials "are scrambling."