Indianapolis’ much-anticipated Red Line project hit a major milestone in September when the Indianapolis Public Transit Corp. issued bids for construction.
Bids were due Nov. 15. In all, seven firms submitted bids to build either the 13.1-mile bus rapid-transit route itself, stations at the 28 stops along the way, or both.
IndyGo selected Indianapolis-based F.A. Wilhelm Construction Co. Inc. and Goshen-based Rieth-Riley Construction Co. Inc., which has an office in Indianapolis, as the apparent low bidders.
Wilhelm submitted a base bid of $12.1 million to build the Red Line stations, and Rieth-Riley submitted a base bid of $30.3 million to build the route.
Wilhelm was the only contractor to submit a bid for both the route and the stations, and its base bid was $46.9 million.
IndyGo formally awarded Red Line bids on Dec. 7.
The project, considered Phase One of the Red Line, will run from East 66th Street at College Avenue south to the University of Indianapolis. Proposed later phases would extend the line south to Johnson County and north to Hamilton County.
IndyGo has budgeted $96.3 million for Phase One Red Line construction. A $75 million federal Small Starts grant is expected to cover most of that cost.
Plans call for two additional rapid-transit lines to follow, which are east-west routes called the Purple Line and the Blue Line.
If plans progress according to schedule, Red Line construction will begin in January and finish by year’s end. The Red Line will go into service during the first half of 2019, and IndyGo will roll out other major route changes at that time as well.
IndyGo achieved another big Red Line “win” earlier in 2017 as well.
In February 2017, the Indianapolis City-County Council voted 17-8 to approve the Marion County transit tax, which will generate at least $54.4 million annually for transit improvements beginning in 2018. Without the additional tax revenue, IndyGo said, its bus rapid-transit project would not be possible.
Tax collections began in October.
The 0.25 percentage point tax increase means Marion County residents with $100,000 in annual income will pay $250 more annually.