America's Cup bidding may receive key waiver 

click to enlarge SF EXAMINER FILE PHOTO
  • SF Examiner file photo

In the race to prepare The City’s waterfront for the 34th America’s Cup, the Port of San Francisco is proposing to eliminate the usual competitive-bidding process for $17.1 million worth of construction work.

The waiver is necessary, the Port says, because the standard process of three to four months would not leave enough time for work to be done for planned August events.

A competitive-bidding process, which is required under city code, is meant to ensure The City receives the best deal for the best work. The Board of Supervisors will vote on the waiver Tuesday.

The legislation comes to board a week after supervisors approved a scaled-back agreement to host the prestigious yacht racing event.

Under that agreement, the Port will at its own expense make infrastructure improvements to waterfront properties that will serve as the America’s Cup venues — piers 19, 23, 27 and 29, and Piers 30-32. The Port also will remove piers ½ and 64, Budget Analyst Harvey Rose said.

The largest of the seven projects is the $8 million in improvements to Piers 30-32, which will include a driveway between The Embarcadero and Pier 30 and a support system for tower cranes to launch 72-foot catamarans.

The work could end up going to two well-known companies — Turner Construction, which rebuilt Laguna Honda Hospital, and AECOM, a professional technical and management company that is working on the Central Subway. Both companies also already work with the Port.

The infrastructure work must be done in time for a series of 45-foot catamaran races scheduled for Aug. 21 to Aug. 26. That event will be followed by races in October. In July 2013, a series of races are planned for 72-foot catamarans.

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