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    DATE: July 28, 2016 from http://www.tam.ca.gov/index.aspx?page=185 AGENDA page 65


    TO: Transportation Authority of Marin Board of Commissioners


    FROM: Dianne Steinhauser, Executive Director

    Dan Cherrier, Principal Project Delivery Manager David Chan, Programming Manager

    Li Zhang, Chief Financial Officer

     

    TAM's Response to Grand Jury Report on Traffic Congestion in Marin


    SUBJECT: Funding for approaches to the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge and Connector Study (Action), Agenda Item 9a



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    RECOMMENDATION:


    The TAM Board program and allocate available Measure A Bond Reserve for the Richmond San Rafael Bridge approach improvements totaling $7.45 M and

    to start conceptual planning for the NB101 to EB580 Connector, including scope, cost, and schedule options totaling $250,000.


    The TAM Board adopts a construction capital reimbursement schedule for remaining large Major Roads projects- 3 years for Novato Blvd and 4 years for City of San Rafael 3rd Street and County of Marin Sir Francis Drake, if need be for cash flow purposes.


    The TAM Board recognizes and agrees that cash flow needs may require the temporary use of Measure A Reserve and Measure A interest which will be replenished as soon as feasible.


    Citizen’s Oversight Committee


    The TAM Citizen’s Oversight Committee met on July 18th and considered the above request- allocating Bond Reserve, reimbursing Major Roads over a three or four-year period, and utilizing Measure A Reserve or interest revenue temporarily for cash flow purposes. They unanimously and resoundingly concurred with staff’s recommendation.


    BACKGROUND:


    MTC/ BATA and Caltrans continue their efforts to implement an eastbound third lane on the lower deck and a barrier separated pedestrian and bicycle path on the upper deck of the Richmond San Rafael Bridge. The current schedule is advertising the Third Lane in August 2016, placing the third lane in operation in the fall of 2017. The current schedule to place the bicycle facility in operation may lag slightly due to right of way issues related to the Francisco Boulevard East improvements, advertising in late 2016 and opening a facility in late 2017.


    In considering the usage of the Third Lane eastbound, TAM staff have been aware that the Northbound Highway 101 approaches to the I-580 Richmond San Rafael Bridge will continue to operate at deficient levels even if the third lane is opened to Eastbound I-580 traffic. Once the third lane is opened, traffic forecasts predict the congestion on the I-580 leg from Highway 101 to the Richmond San Rafael Bridge will dissipate. This is especially beneficial for Southbound 101 traffic entering I-580 in San Rafael headed to the bridge in the afternoon commute. However, traffic operations on the two routes from Northbound 101 that provide access to the bridge may show only minor initial improvement, specifically traffic travelling eastbound on Sir Francis Drake east of Highway 101, and traffic traveling through the intersection of the Northbound 101/ Eastbound 580 offramp to Bellam Boulevard. TAM staff remain concerned that access to the Richmond San Rafael Bridge will remain deficient and that congestion may continue to impact Northbound 101.


    DISCUSSION/ANALYSIS:


    Short term solution


    At the beginning of last year TAM initiated a series of meetings with Caltrans, MTC, Golden Gate Transit, Marin Transit, the County of Marin, the City of San Rafael, and the City of Larkspur to coordinate a possible set of improvements to be done on Sir Francis Drake and at the NB101/ EB580/Bellam intersection. The group generally agreed any improvements to East Sir Francis Drake Blvd and Bellam Blvd would need to have a positive effect in providing access to the bridge while not damaging access to the adjacent business districts and communities. Ideally, any recommended improvements should have a positive effect on local access as well, not just through trips to the Richmond San Rafael Bridge. The team considered needs of cyclists that will traverse the Richmond Bridge; they should have safe and sufficient connections to bike/ped routes and facilities in Marin. A concerted effort has been underway to identify improvements that could be reasonably funded and implemented in a timely manner, in place around the time of the opening of the third lane and multi-use path on the bridge.


    East Sir Francis Drake Boulevard (ESFD)


    While close coordination must continue, and additional detailed design is necessary for final approval, the local jurisdiction partners in the East Sir Francis Drake (ESFD) corridor are in general agreement on a set of improvements. The following vehicular and bicycle access improvements are recommended for implementation:



Note that Preliminary studies have indicated an improvement at the Bellam intersection with the ramps from Level of Service (LOS) E to LOS C during the afternoon commute.


Short Term Solution Cost Estimate:


TAM staff are recommending the use of Measure A Bond Reserve for these approaches which otherwise have no source of funds.


The current estimate for the East Sir Francis Drake improvements is $2.5 million. The capital cost for the work on Bellam is expected to be $3 million. Project management, environmental clearance, design, and construction support for both projects is expected to be $1.95 million. Total funds needed are approximately

$7.45 million.


NOTE: At the TAM Board meeting of July 11 th, staff indicated a need of $7 million for this work. Since that time, staff have been made aware of the likelihood of support costs exceeding the estimate and are now requesting $7.45 million.


It should be noted that these improvements do not negatively affect traffic in-and-out of the adjacent business and residential communities. In fact, the improvements have a positive effect on the facilities being improved even when Richmond San Rafael Bridge traffic is light.


TAM reached out to BATA and to Caltrans regarding participating in the funding of these improvements. BATA declined to participate, inviting Marin to fund this approach work ourselves. Note BATA has funded significant bicycle and pedestrian improvements in Marin (estimated to exceed $4 million) as part of the upper deck project for the bridge including a 10-foot side walk on Francisco Boulevard East and Class II bike Lanes under the Main Street Undercrossing.


Caltrans declined to participate in funding the approach work to the Bridge as well, leaving funding responsibilities for these improvements to local jurisdictions.

TAM Board Item 9a Page 4 of 6

July 28, 2016


Long Term Solution


A direct connector has been considered for many years as being necessary between Highway 101 and Interstate 580. First addressed in the 1990’s as part of a package of solutions on Highway 101 in central Marin, the connector has been considered numerous times by transportation leaders in Marin. In 2006, TAM initiated a study of the connector layout to determine possible costs and whether it could be a candidate in the Prop 1B bond program. The cost and difficulty prevented the project from moving forward as a candidate in the accelerated Prop 1B CMIA program. Nonetheless, the seed was planted to continue to work towards a solution. Note the Prop 1B CMIA program funded widening the connector from one to two lanes, from Westbound I-580 to Northbound Hwy 101 in the vicinity of Bellam Boulevard. That program also allocated substantial funds to the Marin Sonoma Narrows.


In 2012 and 2013, while local jurisdiction analysis peaked over the Greenbrae Corridor Improvement Project, the connector again came up in discussion, as a suitable mechanism for relieving congestion along Northbound Highway 101. When TAM abandoned the Greenbrae Improvement Project, it set aside

$500,000 for beginning more detailed studies of the connector, led by TAM and San Rafael. Unfortunately, MTC, keeper of the Regional Measure 2 toll funds TAM intended to use, rejected the proposal, in favor of projects that could move quickly into construction- the North South Greenway improvements and SMART’s extension to Larkspur.


Long Term Solution Cost Estimate


When analyzing costs to construct a direct connector from Northbound 101 to Eastbound 580 in 2006, an approximate estimate of over $80 million for the project was developed. Since that time, additional analysis was done as part of the Greenbrae redirection of funds, in concert with San Rafael over their support for that connector, A new alternative was developed which exited the connector just past Calpark Hill, and hugged the hillside until a point where it could join I-580 Eastbound. Staff believe this option will cost over

$100 million, but do not have sufficient detail to know either cost or scope issues with any certainty.


Staff believe the upcoming Regional Measure 3 toll increase discussions provide an opportunity to attract substantial funding in order to build the new connector. In the meantime, it would benefit TAM and San Rafael, along with the entire TAM board of Commissioners, if we understood the scope, cost, and benefits more thoroughly for that connector, including whether it can be built in both directions, to-and-from the Richmond San Rafael Bridge.


Staff propose that TAM also set aside $250,000 as soon as possible to begin the conceptual and technical analysis necessary for the direct connector.


Potential Fund Sources


Staff have applied for OBAG2 funds in the cycle TAM is currently engaged in. MTC assigns federal gas tax funds under policies and procedures they have developed, entitled One Bay Area Grant, or OBAG Cycle

  1. Marin’s share is approximately $10 million, based on housing formula and an adjustment to keep smaller counties whole with previous cycles. It will be very difficult for the TAM board to assign so much of the funding- $7.45 million - in OBAG 2 funds to this high priority project, when there are a total of $49.5 million in candidate projects for the $10 million in funds.


    Staff will continue to monitor BATA’s funds assigned to the Richmond San Rafael Bridge Third Lane and Bikeway, to determine if project savings or bid savings could still be extended to TAM for this critical approach work.


    NB 101 Connection to EB 580 part of original Highway 101 Improvement Project / Sir Francis Drake a key Major Road


    In the Draft Environmental Impact Study and Environmental Impact Report leading up to the Final EIS/EIR for the Highway 101 Gap Closure set of improvements in 1999, there was detailed analysis and a vision for constructing a new high speed connector directly from Northbound Highway 101 to Eastbound I-580. This connector was part of the original Ultimate Project, considered in the 1999 EIS/EIR. There were limited funds, however, to build the connector as a first phase, and so that element of the overall corridor set of improvements was set aside until future funds could be found. A phased approach was taken that allowed TAM to finalize plans for finishing the carpool lane first, closing the 3.2-mile gap through San Rafael by dedicating the ½ cent Transportation Sales Tax under the 2004 Measure A program.


    In the Measure A Sales Tax Expenditure Plan, there was recognition that a series of major roads of countywide significance should be included for funding. A total of 15 roads were included. Sir Francis Drake from Interstate 580 to Platform Bridge was one of the roads called out for improvements.


    The 2004 Measure A Sales Tax Expenditure Plan clearly recognized the need for advancing sales tax for both the Highway 101 Gap Closure set of improvements, along with other capital projects under the Major Roads Strategy. The Plan called for the set-aside of $2.65 mil annually off the top as Bond Reserve for debt service associated with a bonding effort. In its first Measure A Transportation Sales Tax Strategic Plan, developed in 2005-06 and approved by the TAM board in July 2006, a set aside of $2.35 million annually was adopted, to pay for the debt service associated with bonding sales tax forward for both the Highway 101 Gap Closure and Major Roads projects.


    Due to a very favorable loan from MTC, and the staggering of Major Roads projects over time, TAM has not had to utilize the full Bond Reserve revenue. After completing the MTC loan payment in FY2015-16, revenue is accumulating for any needs of Measure A sales tax Major Roads projects, as the Highway 101 Gap Closure is fully completed and paid for.


    By the end of the sales tax program in FY2024-25, there will be over $15 million accumulated in Bond Reserve. But in the time between now and then, our Major Roads projects will need to dip into those funds to stay on schedule. Note that using Bond Reserve directly for cash flow is preferable to trying to secure a short term debt financing vehicle, as there will only be a few years left in the sales tax program, which expires in FY2024-25.


    Bond Reserve dedicated to cash flow for Major Roads


    TAM staff are closely coordinating with Major Road project sponsors on when they will be needing Major Roads funds. Several projects are yet outstanding, including Novato Boulevard improvements in Novato, Third Street improvements in San Rafael, and Sir Francis Drake improvements in the County of Marin between Highway 101 and the Town of Ross. All of these projects are at various stages of development.


    Based on coordination with project sponsors, staff believe there will be a need for advancing Major Roads funds beginning in FY2019-20. At that point in time, the Bond Reserve will be needed directly for cash flow purposes. Eventually, revenue collection under the sales tax program will catch up with cash flow needs. But to meet demand, Bond Reserve will also need to be directed to Major Roads during this cash- strapped period of FY19-20 to FY2021-22.


    Staff request the TAM Board remain committed to funding all programmed Major Roads projects, using direct Bond Reserve to overcome any cash flow shortfalls due to the Major Roads projects all needing funds during the same period.


    The TAM Board action will assign only a portion of the estimated $15 million in Bond Reserve to the Richmond San Rafael bridge approach improvements and connector study. There will be remaining funds that the TAM board can choose to assign in the future, once the needs of major roads cash flow are better understood, and met.


    Programming and Allocation of Bond Reserve


    TAM staff are recommending that Bond Reserve be dedicated to the Short Term and Long Term Solutions to the Richmond San Rafael Bridge bottleneck. Sufficient Bond Reserve will exist to adequately program

    $7.45 million to the Short Term approach improvements along SFDrake and at 580/Bellam as described above, and $250,000 to the concept and feasibility work for a permanent connector. Both efforts need to proceed immediately.


    Staff are requesting the temporary usage of the $5 million in Measure A Reserve, set aside for any urgent periods of sales tax decline, as needed. In addition, staff request the temporary usage of Measure A interest funds, as needed, for the joint cash flow needs of Major Roads and the Richmond Bridge Approaches and Connector Study. Both of these fund sources will be restored as soon as feasible, with Measure A reserve a priority, then interest funding.


    The emphasis is that overall, there is enough Bond Reserve for both the Major Roads projects to proceed, along with re-assigning funds to the Richmond Bridge approaches and connector study.


    Each annual Strategic Plan update will provide a snapshot of actual funding needs for Major Roads, actual sales tax collection, and actual costs and funding needs for the Richmond Bridge approach work. It could occur that Major Roads projects are slower than anticipated, that sales tax collections continue to grow at a strong rate, and that the Measure A Reserve or interest funding will not be needed


    NOTE as we approach the close-out of the Measure A program, there will be remaining Bond Reserve, Measure A overall reserve, and interest funds that the TAM board can assign as necessary to eligible projects and programs.


    NEXT STEPS:


    TAM is currently conducting a selection process to retain a consult to perform environmental, design and permitting for both projects. Consultant selection requires several months and was started in May to keep the potential approach projects on schedule to closely follow the BATA Bridge Projects. The process is on schedule to award the consultant contract as the following Agenda item.


    ATTACHMENT:


    County Counsel opinion

    MarinCountyLogo.png


    July 11, 2016


    Ms. Steinhauser:


    I am in receipt of your July 5, 2016 e-mail, which presents the following legal question:


    Whether funds previously allocated to the dual Strategy#2 and Strategy#3 purposes of financing 101 Gap Closure construction and

    other local infrastructure projects – financing funds that will be surplus due to TAM’s cost-effective loan strategy through MTC and

     the timing of TAM’s project sponsor’s capital expenditures – can be reprogrammed to other programs or projects within Strategy#2 and/or Strategy#3, per the Expenditure Plan?


    After reviewing (1) the enabling legislation for Measure A; (2) the Measure A Expenditure Plan; and (3) relevant case law, I offer the following short answer to the question presented:


    Yes, the Measure A Expenditure Plan actually requires that the TAM Board reprogram the surplus financing funds into other programs or projects within the same strategies they were originally allocated to benefit (here, either Strategy#2 and/or Strategy #3).


    Background: the $2.35 million/year Debt Servicing & Financing Allocations Stand as Dual Strategy#2 (101 Gap Closure construction) and Strategy#3 (infrastructure projects) Allocations


    The 2006 Strategic Plan, at pages 22 and 23, explains the nature of the $2.35 million/year financing allocations that are the subject of this memo:


    From the net revenues remitted to TAM, the following off-the-top allocations are made consistent with the Expenditure Plan:

Debt service and financing costs needed for up to $30 million in debt incurred for the 101 Gap Closure project and other eligible projects;

•5% of sales tax receipts reserved annually for the first five years of the Strategic Plan


Accordingly, starting with the 2006 Strategic Plan, TAM began to set aside $2.35 million/year for debt servicing and financing costs. Specifically, as stated in the 2006 Strategic Plan, these funds were allocated to financing the “101 Gap Closure project and other eligible projects.” In other words, as allowed for by the Expenditure Plan, this annual “off-the-top” allocation was made for the broad purpose of construction financing for the “101 Gap Closure project and other eligible projects.”




                                            Of the four strategies set forth in the Expenditure Plan, only Strategy#2 and Strategy#3 potentially involve projects that would involve large-scale construction financing.

                                        Thus, the $2.35 million/year debt servicing & financing allocations that were made over the last 10 years now stand as dual Strategy#2

                                             (101 Gap Closure construction) and Strategy#3 (infrastructure projects) allocations.

Legal Considerations Under The Local Transportation and Improvement Act


The Local Transportation Authority and Improvement Act of 1986 (“LTAIA”) specifies that a local transportation authority shall

 “specify the purposes for which the revenue derived from the tax will be used.” (Cal. Pub. Util. § 180202).

Beyond this statement of “specific purposes,” there is no other required content in an LTAIA expenditure plan.

As such, the LTAIA affords a local transportation authority wide latitude to be as specific (or as general) as they see fit when formulating an expenditure plan1.

Thus, under the LTAIA, TAM has the latitude to create an expenditure plan that treats surplus project-specific financing allocations just the same as any other surplus project allocation.

This is exactly what the TAM expenditure plan does, as explained below.


Legal Considerations Under The Expenditure Plan


The California Court of Appeal has set forth the analytical framework for interpreting the meaning of an expenditure plan:


When we interpret a statute, we attempt to determine legislative intent so as to effectuate the purpose of the law. [Citation.] The first thing we do is read the statute, and do so in an ordinary way unless special definitions are provided. [Citation.] If the meaning of the words is clear, then the language controls. [Citation.] But if the meaning of the words is not clear courts can use interpretative aids; with respect to voter-approved enactments, these aids include the ballot analysis, the official summary, and the arguments presented to the voters. [Citations.]” [Citations]. (Hayward Area Planning Assn, Inc. v. Alameda County Transp. Authority (1999) 72 Cal.App.4th 95, 105).


To borrow the phrase used by the Hayward Court, “the meaning of the words is clear” in this matter: the Expenditure Plan requires that the TAM Board reprogram the surplus financing funds into other programs or projects within the same strategies for which they were originally allocated: Strategy#2 101 Gap Closure construction and Strategy#3 infrastructure projects.


This clear requirement can be found in the Expenditure Plan’s Implementing Guideline#6, set forth here:


The actual requirement for funds in a specific program could be higher or lower than expected due to changes in funding outside of this transportation sales tax, or due to changes in project costs or feasibility. Should the need for funds for any program within a strategy be less than the amount to be allocated by the sales tax, or should any project become infeasible for any reason,

funds will first be reprogrammed to other programs or projects in the same strategy area with a two-thirds vote at a noticed public hearing [emphasis added] …


1 Compare to the Bay Area County Traffic and Transportation Funding Act of 1986, requiring that any County Transportation Expenditure Plan address nine specific items, including a “list of essential and transportation projects in the order of priority within the county . . . and their respective sponsoring agencies . . .” (Cal.Pub.Util.Code § 131051).


                                        Conclusion


The Measure A Expenditure Plan actually requires that the TAM Board reprogram the surplus financing funds (the $2.35 million allocated annually, since 2006) into other programs or projects within the same strategies they were originally allocated to benefit (either Strategy#2 and/or Strategy #3).


Respectfully submitted,


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Brian Case

Deputy County Counsel

Attorney(s) for Transportation Authority of Marin



DATE: July 28, 2016


TO: Transportation Authority of Marin Board of Commissioners


FROM: Dianne Steinhauser, Executive Director

Dan Cherrier, Principal Project Delivery Manager


SUBJECT: Richmond San Rafael Bridge Approach Improvements Award of Contract to BKF Engineers (Action), Agenda Item 9b


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RECOMMENDATION


Authorize the Executive Director to award a contract to BKF Engineers for preliminary engineering, environmental document, design, and design support services during construction for the Richmond San Rafael Bridge Approach Improvements. The Not to Exceed amount will be presented at the TAM Board meeting of July 28th, 2016.


BACKGROUND


On June 6, TAM released a Request for Qualifications for engineering, environmental, right of way, and outreach services for the approaches to the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge. The solicitation was designed to be in accordance with the federal acquisition process for Architectural and Engineering services. The required Disadvantage Business Enterprise percentage for the contract was calculated to be 11%.


The RFQ was advertised broadly, including newspaper advertisements and posting on the TAM website. In addition, all known firms offering the requested services were contacted. Several potential bidders attended the optional Pre-qualification meeting held on June 16.


The scope included all the elements previously presented to the Board at meetings in January 2016 and on July 11th, 2016, regarding approach improvements to the Bridge along Sir Francis Drake and at the Bellam off-ramp from Northbound Highway 101.


DISCUSSION/ANALYSIS


TAM received Statements of Qualifications from three teams. The three prime consultants were WMH Corporation from Oakland, BKF Engineers from Pleasanton, and HNTB Corporation from Oakland. TAM’s selection panel opted to interview all three firms.


FISCAL CONSIDERATION


The Richmond San Rafael Bridge Approach Improvements have not yet been approved for funding. A separate Board action is being proposed prior to this recommended action to dedicate funding necessary for the Approach Improvements to proceed.


The approaches to the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge are not currently part of the approved TAM FY 2016-17 Budget. Staff will bring a budget amendment at the time of presentation of first quarter financial results later this Fall. The amendment will include the work expected to be completed during the 2016/2017 Fiscal Year. Depending upon the negotiated schedule, the budget amendment may also include preliminary work by a construction management firm.


Every effort will be made to expedite the delivery of these projects and it is possible that some capital construction costs may be included in the current fiscal budget if portions of the work can be brought forward quickly.


NEXT STEPS


Staff are prepared to execute the contract with BKF the day after Board approval. Staff will present updates to the Board as major milestones are completed. The two-way bicycle track on the Sir Francis Drake connector from I-580 may become a separate project, as it will require Caltrans processing and approval. This will allow the remaining work on Drake to be completed more expeditiously, as most of the Sir Francis Drake work is within the limits of the City of Larkspur and does not involve Caltrans review.