1 STATE OF FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION PROFESSIONAL SERVICES EXPANDED LETTER OF RESPONSE Page 1 Advertisement No.: DOT FM Number: TBD Project Name: Natural Disaster Monitoring/Construction Engineering & Inspection Consultant s Name: Target Engineering Group, Inc. Street Address: 359 Alcazar Avenue City: Coral Gables State: FL Zip: Office Location: 735 Primera Blvd, Lake Mary, FL Contact person: Jamal Hassouneh, PE Phone: (407) Contact By submittal of this letter the Consultant certifies that all information provided in the letter is true and accurate. The Consultant further affirms that staff proposed are currently employed by the firm(s) identified, or the Consultant has provided a statement of when staff will become employed by the identified firm(s). Please refer to project advertisement for evaluation criteria. Other required submittals are specified in the advertisement. Consultants: Please be aware that all font (including in graphics, tables, and captions on photos) must be standard Arial Narrow, 11 point, single line spacing with no modification of font or spacing allowed. ½ clear margin on all sides must be maintained on all pages. It is the Consultant s responsibility, due to font and format restrictions within this form, to work within the constraints of the form and its format. Character styling such as use of color, bold, and italics is allowed. Use of a table is recommended for text boxes. The page layout may be modified to add columns, tables, graphics, and photos. All graphics and photos must be created in a clean, blank word document and the text wrapping square option applied before cutting and pasting into this form. Consultants may add their logo at the top of the first page (directly underneath the header), however, the Consultant shall not extend the form beyond the pages allocated for the Letter to accommodate insertion of the logo. Consultants are not permitted to insert any other information in the header other than the logo. After pasting your letter into this form, highlight all text and ensure the font size of Arial Narrow, 11 point was retained. Once your content is inserted, delete any additional blank pages that are generated by pressing your delete key after the last word in the Letter of Response. Recreation of the form in another software application to modify the form format is not permitted. This form works best when saved with a.docx extension. *Please retain the source document as it may be requested at a later date in the procurement, to verify adherence with aforementioned restrictions. Note: You may begin typing on this page. Target Engineering Group, Inc., in association with RS&H, Rummel, Klepper & Kahl, PI Consulting Services (DBE), Parsons Brinkerhoff, Page One Consultants (DBE), Mehta & Associates (DBE), KTA-Tator, GAI Consultants, Elipsis Engineering & Consulting (DBE), Civil/Site Engineering (DBE), Infrastructure Engineers (DBE), England-Thims & Miller, Sustainable Road Engineering (SBE) and CDM Smith is pleased to submit this letter of response to provide CEI services for the Natural Disaster Monitoring/Construction Engineering services. Target Engineering Group is prequalified in FDOT 10.1 and We commit to 10 % DBE and 3% SBE participation. The Target Team has provided emergency response services for seven different hurricane emergency relief CEI Contracts in different FDOT Districts, which include eight named storms that impacted Florida between 2004 and Target Engineering Group s approach to Natural Disaster Monitoring/Construction Engineering & Inspection services in the past has proven to be effective after several audits with FEMA, FHWA, and the Inspector General. We believe it is of a great benefit to Department to have an experienced local Florida firm based in District Five working on a contract such as this. It is the intent of the Target Team to support and act as an extension of the District Five Emergency Response and Recovery Team. 1. UNDERSTANDING THE SCOPE Target Engineering Group, Inc. has performed hurricane recovery services for Districts One, Four, Six and the Turnpike during the unprecedented hurricane seasons. Since that time we have honed our inspection processes, reporting functions, and IT platforms to accommodate emergency recovery contracts similar in scope to this important contract for District Five. a. Understanding of the Scope and Approach to the project The goal of the Department regarding a natural disaster event is to quickly and effectively respond to all emergencies to the District s multi-modal system ensuring public safety while maximizing the Federal Assistance Reimbursement programs. The Natural Disaster
2 Page 2 Monitoring/Construction Engineering & Inspections contract requires a Consultant with prior monitoring recovery/repair operations expertise, ample staffing with a wide range of construction related experience, and a significant regional presence. The task of restoring the infrastructure, administering contracts, and seeking FHWA/FEMA reimbursement is based primarily on integrating people, processes and technology. The Target Team completely understands the responsibility and objectives of the FDOT s Emergency Management Plan (EMP). The FDOT s prime objectives regarding its Emergency Management Program are: to develop plans to support employees and places of work to ensure continuation and continuity of Department s business; to respond to local emergencies that directly or indirectly have an impact on or disrupt the state multi-modal transportation system; to support Mutual Aid requests; to respond when state emergencies are imminent or declared; to protect life and property by providing general law enforcement and security services by OMCC staff. FEMA and FHWA Documentation Requirements for Federal Reimbursement - The Target Team will place a high emphasis on completing all emergency repairs quickly and efficiently, but it is also equally important to document all aspects of emergency repairs (including sign, signal, debris, and roadway) per the requirements set forth by emergency management agencies: FEMA and FHWA. Critical to any Emergency Response Management Plan is proper documentation to ensure federal reimbursement eligibility. Knowing the requirements for the FHWA and FEMA programs and the documentation required for each could mean the difference in the reimbursement effort taking years rather than months. Both agencies are actively involved with emergency management while each has its own requirements that must be satisfied for the work to qualify for reimbursement. FHWA, in a letter dated June 11, 2012, clarified Chapter II.B-13 of the ER Manual regarding stockpiling and disposing of debris at adjacent sites. The letter concluded that debris removal is only eligible for initial pickup, hauling, and applicable tipping fees. The Stafford Act under MAP-21 went into effect October 1, 2012, the FHWA ER Program will not provide assistance for debris removal on federal-aid highways in jurisdictions designated for FEMA PA. The success of the recovery, financially and otherwise, hinges upon planning for a disaster, having the protocols in place and a record-keeping system that functions well in the field and is already approved by FHWA. FEMA Documentation of Damages - After documenting the loss caused by a natural disaster event, the Target Team begins preparing repair descriptions and a cost estimate of the work to be done based on professional expertise and current local prices. Given a best estimate of costs to do the work, the District can then classify the damages as either a large or a small project based upon FEMA guidelines. For large projects, FEMA will require a listing of potential projects with the name, location, a brief description of each damaged facility; work completed to date, as well as any special considerations that may exist. Included with this package of information will be the supporting backup documentation. Examples of supporting backup documentation are photos, site maps, sketches, calculations, measures, hazard mitigation proposals, and for large buildings/projects a set of plans. For smaller recovery work, FEMA will require a Project Worksheet and a completed Special Considerations Questions Form for each project. The Project Worksheet supplies FEMA the information necessary to approve a scope of work and itemized cost estimate prior to funding. The approved Project Worksheet will then be the basis for funding under the Public Assistance Program. FHWA Documentation of Damages - A repair is classified as an eligible emergency repair by the FHWA if it is performed during (i.e.: after landfall for hurricanes) and immediately following a disaster. Eligible repairs must also meet at least one of the criteria below: The purpose of the repair is to restore essential traffic; this includes proper Maintenance of Traffic (MOT) during emergency operations. The purpose of the repair is to minimize the extent of damage, and to protect remaining facilities. Our experience on the eight named storms since 2004 will help classify and report the needed repairs according to FHWA and FEMA recently changed requirements. Three basic characteristics must be met: 1) the event has been a federally declared event, 2) the site is within the Right of Way (ROW) of a federal-aid highway facility, and 3) the site meets a minimum threshold amount of $5,000. The intent of the Emergency Recovery (ER) program is to restore the transportation system to pre-event conditions. Emergency repair work under FHWA guidelines can begin immediately without FHWA's prior approval. An eligibility determination is made by FHWA after a site review and documentation with a DDIR. However, permanent repairs require FHWA review and approval prior to contract advertisement. A detailed engineer's estimate and competitive bids are required as with normal federal-aid projects, but the use of abbreviated plans, a shortened advertisement period, etc.; are appropriate depending on the work. We are also aware of the procedural and financial impact of the Strafford Disaster Relief 2012 ACT and the Sandy Improvement Recovery ACT b. The Target Team s Plan of Action Since hurricanes have the potential to cause widespread devastation, an Emergency Response Plan must be developed prior to the beginning of Hurricane Season and implemented prior to landfall of the storm event. An effective Emergency Response Plan first involves: Preparation This effort includes establishing contacts and chains of command in the event a storm should occur. We deploy reconnaissance teams to perform post-storm damage assessment, establish communications with FHWA/FEMA and other
3 Page 3 state and local agencies, monitor evacuation routes, and pre-position contractors so that they quickly open roadways poststorm to maximize the response effort. Response Immediately after the storm passes, proper assessment of the degree of devastation takes place. We coordinate with all field personnel and contractors to clear the state primary system and Interstates for movement of goods and services. Addressing organizational and manpower needs begins immediately. Initiating scopes of work and contracts needed with approximate quantities shall address all FHWA and FEMA contract requirements for federal reimbursement. Recovery This effort involves providing regular damage assessment updates to the Director of Operations of State Roads On-system and Off-system Roads, providing weekly progress updates on emergency contracts, offering technical assistance to local agencies, seeking reimbursement on all approved DDIRs (Detailed Damage Inspection Report), and keeping the FDOT PIO informed of recovery progress. Based on our previous experience in managing emergency recovery/repairs, we have prepared the following action plan of activities to be in place before and after a hurricane or catastrophic event occurs in the District. Upon NTP, we will immediately meet with the District, Operations Centers, and Maintenance personnel to review and adjust this plan as necessary to fit the needs of the entire District. PRIOR TO THE START OF HURRICANE SEASON (upon award) Provide support to the Department in identifying, securing and/or entering into agreements on debris staging areas along with helping to complete all environmental clearance tasks Assist the Department in preparing and letting Emergency Pre-Event Contracts in accordance with FEMA/FHWA guidelines. - Cut and toss, debris removal, sign repairs, signal repairs & generator installation, van and/or bus evacuation support, and advanced lighting repair Support the Department by establishing management processes to ensure proper management and execution of the hurricane recovery efforts. Provide support to the Department in interacting with the cities and counties regarding federal reimbursement. - Informing counties and cities of current documentation reimbursements, their role on Federal Aid roads, and provide FHWA ER requirement training to local governments Establish an internet/intranet natural disaster information/management website. Develop GIS plan delineating fire, emergency, police, and hospitals Develop Computer Based Training to include debris monitoring, cut and toss, inlet cleaning, and street sweeping. Develop invoice payment flow chart. 5 DAYS PRIOR TO STORM EVENT Meet with Emergency Management Officer Preparations begin for readiness and discussion of potential pre-positioning areas. Assist the District with activating additional contracts needed and distributing contracts to field personnel. Collect contact information for key leaders (i.e.: Operational and Logistics Chiefs) and share with all field responders. Ensure all field personnel are equipped with Federal Aid Maps, fuel, and other equipment necessary to perform their monitoring/inspection duties. Initial coordination with sub-consultants consultants are given information about possible emergency response activities and supplies needed for monitors. Review availability of TDSR sites 3 DAYS PRIOR TO STORM EVENT Meeting with Emergency Management Officer final preparations for readiness, identify pre-positioning areas to contractor. Final coordination and preparation of sub-consultants meeting with sub-consultant managers to distribute contact numbers and identify several meeting locations for monitoring staff after the storm. EOC support staff identified and prepared to assist the Department as needed during the storm event. Initial meeting with cut and toss and debris removal contractors addressing pre-positioning areas, safety, invoicing and other crucial elements like work sequence and zones. Initial meeting with sign contractors addressing staging areas, priority corridors, work sequence/zones, safety, and invoicing. Initial meeting with signal contractors addressing priority corridors, material availability, the removal of signals heads, safety, and invoicing. Ensure contact information and post event field meeting place have been distributed to all parties. 1 DAY PRIOR TO STORM EVENT Acquire Governor s Declaration w/mission Number
4 Page 4 EOC support personnel reports to the District POST HURRICANE ACTIVITIES Post Hurricane Activities involve inspection, administration, and Quality Assurance services: Inspection Service Activities Damage assessments (debris, signs, signals, roadway & drainage, structures & facilities, and environmental impact as per NEPA) Prepare damage /repair estimates Prepare Daily Situational Reports (update the status of all emergency response activities, and update the website) Debris removal monitoring (cut and toss: 1 st 24-48hrs) Identify additional emergency repair H contracts needed Support the Department in coordinating/responding to local government assistance requests/inquiries Administration and Quality Assurance Perform quality assurance of the consultant monitoring efforts Monitor recovery efforts - Provide daily assessment reports of progress of work - Provide recommendations of resources needed Review invoices and recommend approval for payment Support the Department in preparing FHWA DDIR and FEMA PW for approval and reimbursements Support the Department in documenting improvements (Lessons Learned) Monitor expenditures and provide support to the Department - Work Program - Federal Aid Program, Financial Services, and Professional Services 2. PROPOSED APPROACH TO CONTRACT The main lesson we have learned through experience is that the District, the contractor, and the consultant must be prepared to perform a number of activities on very short notice. Therefore, we offer the following suggestions to be taken by the District prior to each hurricane season. Lessons learned from previous storms can be captured by review of final reports. Any operational weaknesses or recommendations in the reports may be taken as potential recommendations for future activities for this contract. Other recommendations include: Develop Technical Special Provisions - Develop Technical Special Provision for the Emergency Hurricane Contracts that effectively defines the scope of work, include all applicable portions of the Standard Specifications, and establish a basis of payment and method of measurement for the contracts pay items, identify materials on the Approved Products List, and include applicable design standards. Have the material available to all prospective contractors at the beginning of Hurricane Season to allow contractors to prepare their bids in advance of a hurricane so that execution of the contract can be performed as soon as the State of Emergency is declared. Develop a Procedure Manual for Local Municipalities Coordination - We ve learned that communication is a key component to successfully coordinating the work effort between all involved parties. Having a procedure manual for local municipality forces would help local forces achieve the District s expectations for quality of work, invoicing, and proper documentation for federal reimbursement. This would be especially helpful for those who have never participated in recovery events associated with a natural disaster. Develop an Emergency Contacts Procurement Database - Creating a procurement contact database would serve as a great tool in accessing vendor information quickly. Information on each vendor could detail type of services previously performed, cost, and the latest contact information. Having quick access to this information would save the Department time in acquiring contractors for emergency repairs both pre and post-storm. Establish Memorandum of Understanding with each Local Municipality - An MOU with each local municipality would prevent duplication of work, which can cause delays in the overall work effort and allow for a more concentrated effort in the recovery/repair process. The contractor s work force will benefit by being more productive, because their area of work will be clearly defined. MOUs also help the Department to identify duplication of costs when reviewing invoices for payment. Train local municipalities personnel regarding FEMA/FHWA documentation- Local municipalities tend to have a high turnover of personnel therefore, we recommend that the Department conduct an annual training session for local municipality personnel involved with either documenting or reviewing documentation for debris operations, sign and signal repairs. This would help prove to be a great assistance to all municipalities as well as vital to ensuring federal compliance that all FEMA and FHWA requirements are being met by local agencies.
5 Page 5 Develop a list of all debris management sites and landfills areas within the District- Debris removal is only eligible for reimbursement for the initial pickup, hauling and tipping fees within the general proximity of the roadway. Therefore, we recommend identifying available Debris Management Sites and Landfills where debris can be taken immediately after being picked up. Taking this approach will allow the District to maximize the reimbursement by FHWA ER funding. 3. MANAGEMENT PLAN The biggest challenge of a Natural Disaster Monitoring/Construction Engineering & Inspection services is the ability of the firm to promptly pre-position and provide experienced, qualified and trained staff when the residents of the local community are facing difficult and strenuous times. Our Team has the strength, experience, and technical support of more than 500 qualified CEI associates in the Central Florida area. The majority of our proposed team members were selected based on the successful completion of their assignments during previous natural disaster events that occurred in Florida. Due to the proposal page limitation please refer to the Organizational Chart and individual resumes for the members of the Target Team. Project Management Technology: Management of multiple projects under a single contract is always a challenge. Target Engineering Group over the years has made significant investments in Project Management related technologies to provide FDOT a great system to manage multiple projects, which includes electronic management of debris operations. Our portal TEG PORTAL is currently in use on the I-75 Corridor Project in District Four, which has four major construction contracts totaling over $450 Million. We will use this system to monitor damage assessments, debris monitoring (progress, quantities), invoice payments, signal and lighting restoration. Standard FDOT EDMS filing template has been already uploaded into our portal, and it can be reused for multiple projects. We will use this same technology with modifications to fit the needs of District Five emergency response/recovery efforts. The Target Team will use detailed photo documentation for assessment, to track progress and document issues more efficiently. Using proprietary Apple/Android apps, our senior inspectors can store photographs, video and project documents into a SharePoint document library. We are able to manage the disaster recovery program easily by creating site mailboxes to keep track of all communications and to track project details. We are using a robust cloud system that ties into our service allowing inspection staff to share large project documents using tablet computers in the field. We will also use this documentation, during the course of the recovery effort to highlight issues and to document contractor progress. We have developed a web-based punchlist database to track outstanding work, which includes descriptions, locations and photos. We have made this database viewable to the Department and contractor to see the most current punchlists. We will ensure that photos are included after corrections are made; especially for the District Five produced punchlists. District Five s management team, Project Managers, PIO and contractor s PM will have access the system and as a result most of the project day-to-day, functions will be automated. Our senior staff and inspectors are already well versed with this system. EEO/Wage Rate Compliance - Because the contracts are federal aid, the Target Team will monitor the contractors compliance with FHWA 1273 and Davis Bacon wage rates. Based on our past experience on similar contracts these documents are voluminous; our RCS are trained to handle multiple contracts at a fast pace. Task Work Orders (TWO) The Target Team has a detailed understanding of the TWO process. We will prepare an Estimated Cost Proposal for the positions and duration requested based on the CEI Contract Rates and multiplier for each consultant. Final TWO will be completed and signed by Mr. Hassouneh and the FDOT Project Manager. A copy of the executed TWO with a Subconsultant Agreement will be immediately forwarded to the appropriate subconsultants. We will establish a Blanket TWO for short term notice work or emergency assignments. Action Request Form (ARF) - The ARF will be forwarded for FDOT approval with the Cost Proposal Estimate. Computer Security Access Request - Submit the FDOT Computer Security Access Request for use of FDOT Data Center Facilities and access to the Department s computer systems to the Construction Project Manager for approval in a timely manner. Time Sheets approval - Time sheets will be signed by the FDOT Project Manager of the TWO and will be submitted as supporting documentation to invoices. We will ensure that all timesheets are submitted for approval to the FDOT PM on a timely basis by assigning one person on the team to streamline the timesheets to the FDOT PM for that specific project. Timeliness of Response for Additional Staff - Our approach to timeliness of response is technology driven, and process based. We will compile a database of our personnel including subconsultants. Sub-consultant Agreements - After the fully executed TWO is received from the Department, we will prepare and execute a Subconsultant Agreement in accordance with our master FDOT CEI Contract. CITS Invoicing - Accurate invoices will be submitted monthly by the prime consultant for all work completed by the prime consultant and subconsultants. All invoices will be submitted to the Department in electronic and hard copy formats in accordance with District Construction and Consultant Invoice Transmittal System (CITS) procedures. We will provide the subconsultants with an annual Invoice Scheduling Chart so they may submit invoices in a timely manner. A Final Invoice will be submitted to the Department no later than the 60th day following Final Acceptance of the individual TWO or as requested by the Department. 4. OTHER CONSIDERATIONS Past Performance on Similar Disaster Projects: As Prime Consultant, Target Engineering has assisted District Four and Six with their Natural Disaster Recovery effort including taking a major role in emergency restoration in District Four. Our Team s emergency response experience covers all aspects of Natural Disaster Monitoring and CEI Services from providing personnel support at the EOC pre-storm to providing personnel support for contract closeout, FHWA and Inspector General Audits.
6 Page 6 We also have experience with assisting municipal staff in STORM NAME RESTORATION COST YEAR preparing invoice packages for FEMA and FHWA Hurricane Frances $ M 2004 reimbursement. There is no learning curve with the Target Hurricane Jeanne $ M 2004 Team; our staff is already trained and experienced in emergency Hurricane Katrina $ 0.50 M 2005 restoration recovery work. We have kept abreast of all FDOT, Hurricane Wilma $ M 2005 (D 4) FHWA and FEMA procedural changes. Hurricane Wilma $ M 2005 (D 6) Project Communication & Coordination: To ensure the successful completion of all assignments under the CEI Monitoring Pre Event Contract, it will be necessary to maintain close coordination among all parties and individuals involved. The Target Team coordination efforts will include: Maintaining open lines of communications before and after a storm event occurs with each Operations Engineer and staff. We will have a representative at each Operations Center to assists with their specific needs as they occur. Providing each Operations Engineer and staff daily updates of the progress of work and project matters Meeting frequently with the District s Incident Commander to ensure that all assignments are being executed effectively and in compliance with FHWA and FEMA guidelines. The Target Team is led by Jamal Hassouneh, PE, CEI Consultant Senior Project Engineer (Incident Commander), who is currently leading the successful administration of the District Five Areawide Group 9 Contract. Mr. Hassouneh understands the importance of providing quality staff, supervising their work, and monitoring the budget requirements of the contract. Responsible Office: our Lake Mary Office is located at 735 Primera Blvd, Suite 100, Lake Mary, FL The Target Team will coordinate the Natural Disaster services from this office even though we may have administrative staff working other specific project site locations. Quality Assurance Plan: Target Engineering Group, Inc. is committed to the promotion of quality and professional excellence. The Target Quality Assurance Program will ensure that we meet the needs of our client and consistently deliver quality services. The Quality Assurance plan will be structured to interface with the FDOT s Quality Assessment (QA) reviews as outlined in the CPAM. Our QA program will focus primarily on inspection procedures, verification of material sampling and testing, field documentation including log books, field books, computation books and daily reports, DDIRs, as well as contract administration. We will utilize a multi-level program that ensures the Department that all work performed on each task assignment is carefully reviewed and verified. Our Team s Quality Assurance plan will be tailored to specifically cover CEI PROCESS ON THE HURRICANE RECOVERY EFFORT FOR VARIOUS CATEGORIES OF STORM and will be submitted to the Department for review and approval within 30 days of issuance of a Work Order Authorization. Disadvantage Business Enterprise (DBE) participation: Target Engineering Group, Inc. is committed to ensuring minority and women owned businesses have an opportunity to obtain work on Florida transportation projects. As a DBE graduate, DBE participation and Florida Department of Transportation s race neutral goal is important to us as a company and as a member of the engineering community. We were very concerned when we received our 2013/2014 DBE participation grade this past February. In review of our EOC submittals we noticed an input error on our part. Unfortunately, we are not able to correct the error for the 2013/2014 Federal fiscal year report but request that you look at our last four years of performance instead of a one year snapshot. You may contact Terry Watson, State DBE Program Coordinator ( ) for confirmation of the information in the table. Commitment to Satisfy the Department s Needs: Our track record and experience on similar projects will play a major role in the success of providing services for District Five on this Natural Disaster Monitoring/Construction Engineering & Inspection contract. In short, the Target Team has the capability, capacity, and experience to assist District Five in achieving its goals of successfully completing each task while maximizing federal reimbursement. Our impressive FDOT record of accomplishment will give the Department the confidence needed to select Target Engineering Group again as your consultant for this contract. We are looking forward to the opportunity to providing excellent CEI services to District 5. Sincerely yours, TARGET ENGINEERING GROUP, INC. Year DBE Participation (%) DBE Participation ($) 2010/ % $2,208, / % $1,864, / % $8,661, / % $856, Year Combined 16.45% $13,590, Jamal Hassouneh, P.E., Senior Vice President/Senior Project Engineer
7 Page 7 Prequalification of Prime Consultant and any proposed Subconsultants by advertised type(s) of work: Project Advertised Major & Minor Work Types Consultant Name DBE SB UU Prime Target Engineering Group, Inc. Elipsis Engineering & Consulting, LLC Sustainable Road Engineering RK&K CDM Smith, Inc. Civil Site Engineering, Inc. England-Thims & Miller, Inc. GAI Consultants Infrastructure Engineers, Inc. Subconsultants KTA Tator, Inc. Mehta & Associates, Inc. Page One Consultants, Inc. Parson Brinkerhoff Inc. PI Consulting Services, LLC RS&H, Inc. SB = Small Business UU = Under-utilized work type; subconsultant is fulfilling an under-utilized work type My firm has submitted a Bid Opportunity List through the Equal Opportunity Compliance System for this project.