RFQ For Big Woods Trail

Request for Qualifications Design-Build Services for the Big Woods Trail Berks County, PA

Request for Qualifications
Design-Build Services for the Big Woods Trail
Berks County, PA
October 14, 2014

This Request for Qualifications for Design-Build services is for the trail design, construction, paved parking, and handicap access, exhibit stations and amenities for sections of the Big Woods Trail.

The purpose of this document is to provide parties with the information to enable the preparation of a Statement of Interest and Qualifications for design build services to implement the design and construction of a portion of the Big Woods Trail within French Creek State Park and Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site, Berks County, PA.

Schuylkill Highlands Conservation Landscape and partners has completed a Big Woods Trail Concept Plan and is seeking expressions of interest from qualified consultants or teams to complete a design and construction oversight of defined sections of the Big Woods Trail. This is made possible through a grant to Natural Lands Trust from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, with funding supported by the Commonwealth Finance Authority from the Marcellus Legacy Fund. Other grant support is from the William Penn Foundation, Wyomissing Foundation and the Pottstown Health and Wellness Foundation. This contract is for Big Woods Trail Sections 5 and 6. There is a design only section and design for immediate bid and construction with amenities. The Big Woods Trail section for this contract is defined by the connection point at the French Creek State Park Day Use Area to and through the lower historic village of the Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site to the connection point at Rte 345. Portions of the trail are new; portions are on existing roadbed to be resurfaced and portions on roads which need markings and or are part of an existing trail system which need to be reconstructed. Included is the design and construction of a handicap accessible paved parking access at a partially existing parking area at the Hopewell Furnace site. An add option for roofing the pavilion, and seating will be considered at the bid phase. This work will also include two-to- three exhibit stations with interactive interpretive experience for the trail user. Sustainable materials are to be utilized. Two bike racks, way finding signage, and bike friendly gates/bollards, and pavilion signage will also be required.

Below is information relating to specific submission requirements, and the organization of the submission and evaluation criteria?

Please submit one electronic copy to Carol De Wolf via email. The submission should be no longer than 10 pages.

Submissions of interest must be received by Friday, October 24, 2014, 4 PM EST.

Any inquiries on this RFQ and the Big Woods Trail are to be directed to:

Carol De Wolf,
Director, Schuylkill Highlands
Natural Lands Trust
610-304-4170, cell
610-353-5640 ext 268

Please, no calls to French Creek State Park and or Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site.

1. Background
The Big Woods Trail will be a 12 mile multi-use recreational trail which begins at Rte 724, at the Union Township Schuylkill River Trail (SRT) trailhead parking area. The Big Woods Trail aligns south into French Creek State Park (FCSP) through farmlands, forests with view sheds of the Highlands. This first section is in the construction phase at this time. It will have an eventual connection to the French Creek State Park Day Use Area, the beginning point for this RFQ for which we are seeking a consultant. The trail design will then maneuver south of Hopewell Lake on a partially existing trail followed by a yet to be defined path through a heavily used access point and parking area near the FCSP swimming and fishing pier area. It continues on an old road bed out of FCSP to the lower village area through a grassy section yet to be a trail within Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site eventually connecting to the existing 1804 Road, at which point it continues to Rte 345and it also turns to go across the French Creek to the barn and upper HFNHS. A new trail section is to be defined at the grassy section at the entry to the lower village area. The trail will also align through a forested area to a partially defined parking lot, aside Tenant House #3. This is the location for the design and construction of a new paved parking area accommodating the Architectural Barriers Act at the existing pavilion already constructed. The pavilion itself will need a new roof. The trail also continues south bound on the road to the Rte 345 connection point. It will continue on Green Lane in Warwick Township to the state game lands connection point at which point user types vary their pathways to the Boars Back Trail, which leads to Saint Peter’s Historic Village and Elverson, and or Crow’s Nest Preserve.

The improvements will be in full compliance with all applicable local, state and federal regulations. A part of the trail is in a National Historic District, therefore all improvements must receive the historic and regulatory approvals by the NPS and all permits prior to the start of construction.

This project will be administered by Carol De Wolf of Natural Lands Trust, Inc., in collaboration with landowner partners, including PA DCNR at French Creek State Park and Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site, Horse-Shoe Trail Conservancy, and SHCL partners. A Project Working Group Team of Partners has been formed to provide a structured decision –making resource for this trail design, exhibit signage and construction project. Monthly meetings and more frequent meetings with this group will be required to update and review progress. Additional on site meetings may be required as well with NPS or PA DCNR.

2. Scope of Services
Work assignments may include: landscape architectural, trail planning and design, engineering, survey and related specialty, graphic design and child friendly interactive interpretive exhibit stations design and installation, consulting services including; preparation of bidding and construction documents and cost estimates; purchase of amenities; group meetings; investigations; quality assurance during construction; validation of existing site conditions and preparation of cost estimates.

3. Work Tasks:
• The project will be directly managed by Natural Lands Trust, Inc., Director,Schuylkill Highlands. A project working team of partners and landowners will be working together with the consultant. The Director, SH will confirm project goals, schedule, and scope of work and program deliverables for the project. Working with a group of parties collaborating together to advance this project will be key to the success of this project. Attending monthly meetings and recognizing the value of this project and time commitment it will require is important given the time constraints of the project.
• Review existing resource materials, Big Woods Trail Concept Plan, interconnected trails, recreational, historic, and cultural facilities and design needs, and work products.
• Design trail section 5 and 6, an approximately 2.7 mile trail section according to the Big Woods Trail Concept Plan guidelines, not standards to help provide a sustainable and maintainable quality user experience. Due to the varying existing trail sections and conditions of this trail, tread way width will be either 10’ width where feasible and no less than 8’ width being adequate for portions. Base is to be 6” to 8” 2A or 3A crushed stone base. Surface is to be minimum 2” AASHTO # 10 (screens or quarry dust), or a special trail mix of AASHTO #10 and stones less than 1/2” chip. 2A should be avoided as a surface. The base within the HFNHS lower village will need to be a sustainable overlay in the historic district. The 1805 road to be used for the trail will need to limit disturbance and material overlaid to the extent this is possible for the section within the lower historic district.
• Trail construction will be at least a 1 mile and to extent possible with the total construction length depending on bids and bid options.
• Include creative storm water mitigation across trail sections where needed in HFNHS.
• Creative means to span a small swale overlaid to the extent possible between the school house and 1805 Road will be required.
• ABA permeable pavement parking access for several cars and drop off will need to be designed, with appropriate construction specifications, bids and construction oversight at the HFNHS Pavilion and partially existing parking lot.
• Specifications and bid for add option for sustainable roof shingles to replacement the existing ones at the pavilion will be considered based on bid and available funds.
• Two bike friendly bollard gate separators at locations to be approved and determined, and two bike racks.
• Way finding signage at the southern entry to trail for handicap access.
• Trail signage and markings.
• Archeological considerations will be coordinated with appropriate NPS approvals.
• Exhibit Stations/Signage for interpretive and interactive play stations to scale for particular locations for visitors (two to three stations to be completed - one will be completed by winter 2014 due to funding obligations).
• Low impact improvements, native landscape restorations, landscaping, permits, and sustainable site material selection.
• Work with the SH project administration in working with NPS, PA DCNR and French Creek State Park staff , archeological needs, GPS, GIS mapping requirements, and other approval processes for reviews and construction.
• Renovations (including permeable pavement), natural surface trails, parking lots, ADA improvements, utility considerations being constructed by NPS and others site features must be coordinated and considered for construction and amenities provided through this contract.

4. Anticipated Schedule

October 24, 2014, 4 PM EST Qualification Statement Due
October 30, 2014 Consultant Selected
November 13, 2014 Contract Completion
December 30, 2014 Exhibit Stations Plan
December 30, 2014 Exhibit # 1 Design and Signage Fabrication
February 1, 2015 Trail Design, Handicap Access Design
March 30, 2015 Exhibit station #2 and # 3 Design Completed
April 30, 2015 BID Trail and parking construction
June 1, 2015 Construction completed
July, 2015 Trail Opening

5. Statement of Interest and Qualifications Submission

Please submit one electronic format pdf to cdewolf@antlands.org, on or before October 24, 2014.
1. Letter of Transmittal Including:
• Statement indicating your understanding of the work to be performed;
• An affirmation of the firm’s qualifications for professionally and expertly conducting the work as understood;
• The firm’s contact person concerning the proposal and a telephone number and email where that person can be reached.
2. Qualifications, including professional practice, areas of specialization, practice philosophy, and project /client mix as well as examples of no more than five (5) projects conducted by the firm and subcontractors of a similar scope including kiosk/interpretive experiential exhibit stations. Specialties on the project team should include landscape architect, signage design, graphics design, recreational trail and natural resource planning, ecology and historic and cultural resource planning.
3. Explanation of the work to be performed. Trail vision and overview
4. Description of Project Management, including:
a. Services to be provided
b. Team organization
c. Technical resources
d. Key person who will manage the project, technical and support personnel with resumes
e. Consultant and sub-consultant experience in design/build trail projects with interpretive signage stations.
f. Consultants for any portion of the work which cannot be completed by your firm.
5. Please disclose any professional engagements, relationships, conflicts of interest with this project.
6. References
List three references for the prime consultant and sub consultants, indicating projects names, firm’s role and client contact info (including telephone and email).
7. Fee: Submit Fee Proposal which includes the following:
• Consultant hourly rates

6. Evaluation Criteria for Selection
• Demonstrated ability to meet programmed project vision, scope, budget, and tight timeline.
• Demonstrated ability to develop sustainable solutions.
• Relevant past work for both trail design, handicap parking access, exhibit stations alongside trails and capturing the story of history and nature based interpretive experiences translated to outdoor exhibits.
• Past performance of prospective firm with like-minded project works.
• Qualifications and experience of the Project Manager directly involved with the project and work group.
• Knowledge of local and regional conditions.
• Proximity of prospective firms to the project site.
• Hourly rates for professional services.
• Flexibility and willingness to work with the group decision making process, and the multiple partners meetings who must approve the plan and construction specifications.

7. Contract Negotiations will include:
(1) Ensuring that the firm and the agency have a mutual understanding of the essential requirements involved in providing the required services;
(2) Determining that the firm will make available the necessary personnel, equipment, and facilities to perform the services within the required time; and
(3) Agreeing upon fair and reasonable compensation, taking into account the estimated value, scope, complexity, and nature of the services and amenities to be placed trail side, and the necessary approvals.
(4) Compliance with all applicable statutes, regulations, conditions, directives, guidelines and such additional requirements as may be provided as determined by PA DCED, including but not limited to the nondiscrimination/sexual harassment provisions, progress reports, prevailing wage requirements, required terms and conditions of the fiscal and contractual responsibilities of the PA DCED grant funds and use of logos and language referencing funding sources.

Reference Material

Figure 1-3: Big Woods Trail Vision
Figure 1-5: Big Woods Trail Overview of Segments
Figure 2-2: Archeologically Significant Areas
Figure 3-6: Trail Segments 5, 5A
Figure 3-7: Trail Segment 6


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