Due to the large volume of questions, the answers have been roughly grouped according to topic area. There is some overlap in these topic areas, so if your team proposed a question that is not listed in, for example “Fees/ Budget/ Schedule”, you may want to check other sections as well.

In some places, questions have been edited for length, clarity, grammar, or spelling and to remove personally identifiable information. In a few places, where there were multiple similar questions with the same response, for example within Fees/ Budget/ Schedule”, those have been consolidated into a single question.

If you believe a question submitted before the deadline (4/17 @ 5PM EDT) was inadvertently left out of these responses, please contact us directly.

 

Community Engagement

The RFP notes a parallel community engagement process. What is the role of the design team in this process?

The design team will be expected to interface with the community to get important information, but Make Communities is currently retained to both manage the Land Conservancy’s day to day interaction with the selected design team and direct the community engagement process. Contingent on travel and social distance restrictions that may be in place, the expectation of the design team is to attend major meetings participate at meetings and respond to specific questions as needed. While Make Communities and the Land Conservancy will handle on the ground logistics and community based connections, the selected design team will provide collaborative input to Land Conservancy on the method, content and phasing of public engagement. The engagement activities listed in the RFP are considered a baseline level of engagement, and the Land Conservancy welcomes additional thoughts and methods for consideration in any proposed scope.

What will the Community Engagement process look like? Will slides need to be prepared in advance with dry runs with the Land Conservancy prior to the public meetings? Will dry runs need to be presented to any other stakeholders prior to community meetings?

For public meetings, presentation materials will need to be prepared in advance, which may include slide, posters, models and other hands on activities. We envision these meetings to be as participatory as possible. The consultant will work with the core team at the Land Conservancy on the agenda and preparation for these meetings to maximize meaningful and productive input to guide the design of the project.

Can the Conservancy reveal who the engagement consultant has been, and what has the strategy been so far for this phase?

Make Communities has been the engagement consultant on the project. The approach emphasizes relationship building, and collective work with existing community institutions and partners, and working jointly on community input, programming and capacity building.

The RFP mentions the history of the Haudenosaunee people and reiterates that one of this project’s goals is to connect communities, histories, and heritage as well as establish a connection between nature and people. Given the heritage of the Haudenosaunee and their role in protecting the land prior to colonization, are there (or have there been) any community engagement efforts directly focused toward relinking precolonial history and descendants of the Haudenosaunee with the land or the project?

The Western New York Land Conservancy continues to actively participate in far reaching conversations highlighted among land conservancies across the nation regarding the appropriateness and efficacy of traditional non-profit ownership in land conservation in light of colonial history and its ongoing impacts. The Land Conservancy has consulted with multiple Native American and First Nations representatives throughout the course of its projects throughout Western New York. This project, in particular, highlights the Haudenosaunee heritage of the area in the section name “The Basswoods”, which will be the most naturalized area of the project. Native Americans referred to the land where the project site now sits as Tehosororon or Dyosowa, which translates to “the place of the basswoods.” The name was a descriptive reference to the abundance of basswood trees that then stood at the banks of the Buffalo River. This name is intended as an homage to what the land once was and the project’s mission to let nature reclaim what humans took from it in the name of industry and progress. The Land Conservancy received a letter of support from the President of the Seneca for this project and looks forward to building deeper personal and organizations with native populations and institutions throughout this project.

 

Contact Information

Can the attendee list be shared to help with identifying project partners to meet MWBE goals?

We have send a request to all registrants for the RFP with a link to submit contact information if they would like to have their information shared. This is opt-in, and not mandatory. If your firm has not received a link to the form, please check your junk/spam mail and then contact us directly.

Would the Land Conservancy be willing to share the contact information (i.e. email addresses) of the juried and community choice Design Ideas Competition winners?

Each of the teams that won prizes or awards during the design ideas competition have been invited to share their contact information through the The Riverline Design Services RFP Registrant Contact Info Sharing Opt-In available to all registered firms.

 

Design Ideas Competition

Why is this contract not being awarded to the finalists of the Design Ideas Competition? /

What role will competition winners from the Design Ideas Competition have in the concept and schematic design phase? /

Can you clarify how this request for Proposals is different that what the WNYLC requested of those firms that participated in the design competition?

The Design Ideas Competition was never intended to identify a design team for the next phase of the work. Rather, submissions were a presentation of ideas and a chance for the Land Conservancy and the community to explore the possibilities of and preferences for this unique corridor. More information regarding the competition is available at https://wnylc.org/dlw-design/

 

Are those from the Design Ideas Competition in the best place to win the RFP? /

We wonder if those firms that participated in the design competition will have a leg up on the competition?

The RFP represents an open call for submissions. The design team for this phase of the work will be determined using the criteria and process set out in the RFP.

 

Will the winning design idea Hill and Del be the basis for design for the 30% Concept and Schematic design effort?

No. The Design Ideas Competition was not intended to identify a design for the next phase of the work. Multiple design ideas from each of the submissions provide value to an open process for determining the concept designs.

 

 

Design Details

The Riverline abuts much of Red Jacket River Front Park; will there need to be a boundary between the Riverline and the park or can the development of the Riverline extend into the park at this terminus? Or is this a type of issue we should be addressing in the design?

Red Jacket Riverfront Natural Habitat Park is owned and operated by Erie County, who have and continue to be advisors and collaborators on this project. The intent of the process is that The Riverline and habitat park would be mutually reinforcing assets. Addressing how this is accomplished should be an outcome of the design.

 

The west end terminus: it is adjacent to an open space which abuts the River Fest Park on the river; this seems to be a natural extension; is this a possibility?

Connectivity and complementary uses are important components of this design phase. This includes Father Conway Park, River Fest Park, Lanigan Playground, existing greenways and Canal Side.

 

The project boundary shown on page 6 of the RFP document appears to differ from the boundary shown on the competition submissions. Will a river crossing at the eastern end be included or will the project boundaries be limited to the NFTA owned properties only?

It is envisioned that crossing(s) of the Buffalo River may occur in future phases and the conceptual designs should consider this possibility. While this design process will necessarily consider the NFTA owned parcels, additional right of way and adjacent parcels may also be considered within the framework of the broader project goals listed in the RFP and the Community Vision Plan.

 

Connecting to the DL&W terminal (and points beyond) at this terminus seems fanciful since there are other properties between; will fanciful solutions be acceptable?

It will be necessary to connect seamlessly from The Riverline to the DL&W terminal and assets within and adjacent to downtown. Innovative and inspirational solutions that are achievable are certainly welcome.

 

Please confirm that the Riverline’s method of connection/continuity at street crossings by pedestrian bridge versus street-level crossings are to be determined during the project

Yes. The design phase will determine whether and where street level and/or pedestrian bridge crossings will be implemented.

 

Has the land owner established design requirements for ensuring Riverline design is compatible with future public transit use in this corridor (e.g., min. right-of-way width, required alignment/geometry, etc.)?

The NFTA has not at this time formally provided right-of-way width, alignment or geometry standards for future considerations of transit along the corridor. It is expected the NFTA will be an important partner in major design and alignment decisions throughout this process.

 

Is it to be assumed that the entire trail/greenway should be fully accessible by emergency vehicles or only at to be defined access points?

There is no assumption of direct vehicle access along the corridor at this time.

 

How much of the former rails remain? Will removal be required?

Per visual examination, all rails have been removed from this section of the corridor.

 

 

Equitable Development Framework

Who is preparing the Equitable Development Plan? /

You mentioned that you are working with one or more firms to prepare an equitable economic development plan for the project. Could you share with us what the timing is for the completion of that work and who is producing it for you? /

When will the Equitable Planning Framework be complete and made available?

Make Communities and the University at Buffalo Regional Institute (UBRI) are contracted to conduct the equitable development planning in cooperation with the Land Conservancy. The document is scheduled to be completed in late May.

 

On page 2… “The framework is preliminarily focused on five priority areas that have been identified through outreach and engagement efforts as key considerations for this project and similar projects across the United States: housing, economic access and development, social capital and capacity, cultural and artistic inclusion, nature access and engagement.” Can you explain how the housing consideration affects this project?

The equitable development planning process is engaging various partners with expertise in each of the fields under consideration in the study. Residents have raised considerations of housing availability and displacement as an ongoing concern in the communities along the corridor. Recent higher income rentals along the Buffalo River as well as price spikes on homes within the neighborhoods, and uncertainty over the future of the municipal housing site within the neighborhood were all present before the notion of The Riverline, but this process has highlighted and given voice to the communities’ concerns. While the Land Conservancy views its individual role as remaining adherent to its core mission, strategic partnerships and facilitating external projects are under consideration.

 

Fees/ Budget/ Schedule

Multiple questions regarding the budget or fee for this phase of the work and the NYS Parks grant referenced on the webinar:

The Western New York Land Conservancy received a $369,000 grant from New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Environmental Protection Fund. There are additional administrative and pre-development costs associated with this phase of the project, and the grant will cover up to 75% of project costs, up to a limit of $369,000 referenced on the webinar. The Land Conservancy has raised and will continue to raise both the required matching percentage and additional funds for this portion of the project as appropriate.

 

What is the current budge for the project build out? /

Has a construction budget been established for the entire project?

The budget for project build out will be based off the selected design and resource availability. Ideas explored through the Design Ideas Competition were broadly assumed to cost somewhere from $15Million to $50Million for addressing the components proposed for the NFTA owned parcels along the corridor.

 

What are the estimated design and construction costs?

Construction costs will be contingent on the design. This RFP is specific to the development of concept and schematic designs needed for project evaluation by the NFTA, and does not include a budget for future design phases such as further design development and construction documents.

 

How can we establish fees if bridges may or may not be included in the design?

Overall, we are looking for design approaches that get us to 30% design for the purposes of review by the land holder(s) and prospective lessor(s). If there are contingencies in your proposal that are required to achieve that threshold, please list these as separate line items in your scope and fee.

 

Is there a component in the design dedicated to art, sculptures, wall art, etc?

Based on the community vision, public art is a priority for this project. However, this phase of the project – and this design services RFP – does not anticipate funds being directed to the conceptualization or implementation of specific works of art.

 

What is the preliminary schedule for services?

We anticipate that this will be a 12 month project. However, the time frame depends on schedule ultimately agreed to by the selected design team and the Land Conservancy.

 

Have project commencement and completion dates been established?

It is anticipated that contract negotiations and approvals will commence as soon as practical after selection of the preferred consultant or consultant team. It is during this time that a final timeline and schedule will be negotiated. Though firm deadlines for this phase are not currently in place, it is anticipated that work will be able to commence in summer 2020 and require approximately 12 months for completion.

 

There is mention of monthly submissions to the Land Conservancy for review, comment, modification and approval. How quickly will the Land Conservancy turnaround review comments and will these need to be addressed before the team can keep moving forward?

Generally, designers can expect feedback within one week, but ideally a project schedule will set specific timeframes and reduce turnaround time. It is the Land Conservancy’s preference to have an ongoing and continuous engagement between the selected designers and the client team throughout this design phase. The “minimum of a monthly basis” is to prevent misdirection or miscommunication regarding the evolution of the concept designs and schematic designs. A working and collaborative relationship that goes beyond monthly/ episodic delivery of design iterations is preferred.

 

 

Future Phases

Does the selected design team have a role moving forward with construction and implementation of the project?/

What is the anticipated process beyond vision/SD? Would design phases beyond the scope for this RFP go through another RFP process, or is there a possibility for the selected team to continue work through these design phases?

This RFP is specific to the concept and schematic design functions as outlined within the document. The bidding and selection requirements of future phases will be dictated by future funding sources, which may differ from those sources for this phase. As such, there cannot be any commitments for future work or future phases at this time.

 

What is the ultimate funding source for full buildout of the project?/ Is there any desire to pursue Federal TAP or CMAQ funds for final design or construction phase services?

The ultimate funding source for project buildout is unknown at this time, but is anticipated to be a mix of public and private sector resources.

 

Would participation as a sub-consultant for this 30% design contract preclude a company from participating in the construction/restoration phase of the project?

At this point, there is no foreseeable reason that the firm(s) or consultant(s) chosen for this phase of the work would be excluded from participating in future phases of design. Ultimately, a final determination of eligibility will be contingent upon regulations associated with the eventual funding source(s).

 

Which authority will take on preparation of the final design and constructions documents, once approved by the Land Conservancy, its partners, and the NFTA? Please describe this handover. Is it possible for the selected Consultant to have a continued role on the project, perhaps in the role of “Design Guardian”?

The Land Conservancy is anticipated to manage the design, construction and operation of The Riverline. Contractors for design development and additional phases of work will be determined in accordance with the regulations and requirements of future funding sources.

 

Will the three contexts for each sub area be tied to certain funding levels?

If this is referring to public/private funding levels, the answer is no. The conceptual design and phasing plan may determine the timing for how the sections of The Riverline move to construction, but that is an ongoing conversation as the design develops.

 

 

International Firms

As an international can we participate in this project separately or we must have American partner?

As stated in the terms and conditions on page 16, professionals requiring special licenses must be licensed in the State of New York and shall be responsible for those portions of the work as may be required by law and additional New York State contracting requirements throughout the RFP. Firms must be able to independently determine if they meet the legal and licensing requirements which would make them eligible to perform this work.

 

Can we complete the Legal requirements after awarding the project?

The Western New York Land Conservancy reserves the right to terminate negotiations with the selected firm(s) if the firm(s) is(/are) unable to produce and meet all of the legal requirements necessary for project commencement in a timely manner.

 

Can the owner provide us the assistance regarding visa letters if needed?

The Western New York Land Conservancy will provide necessary diligence in facilitating the ability of the selected firm(s) to accomplish the project. However, in the event the Land Conservancy deems the requirements placed upon it in this regard, or the time delay that such assistance delays unnecessarily the commencement or completion of the project, the Land Conservancy reserves the right to end negotiations with the originally selected firm.

 

 

Management Structure for The Riverline

What entity will have operations and maintenance responsibility for trail/greenway elements (e.g., hardscape, plantings, lighting, irrigation, security call boxes, signage, etc.)? /

Who will ultimately maintain The Riverline?

The Land Conservancy is envisioned to have operations and management responsibilities along the length of the corridor.

 

How does the 30% design lead to negotiations with the NFTA?

The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority (NFTA) has been a partner in allowing the Land Conservancy to explore this concept since the beginning of this project and has provided an access agreement for the purposes of this design phase. We are in close communication with the agency and any decisions about the ultimate use of the land, and any ongoing relationship that the Land Conservancy has with the corridor will need to be evaluated at the executive and board level of the agency. This design phase will facilitate that review.

 

What entity is anticipated to own and maintain proposed new bridge structures over public street rights-of-way and railroad rights-of-way (e.g., Land Conservancy, City of Buffalo, NFTA)? The entity’s expectations and requirements would be better to know at project start up to avoid backtracking mid-way through the design process.

Ownership of any new bridges over public rights-of-ways has yet to be determined, however it is the intention of the Land Conservancy to maintain facilities for The Riverline.

 

 

MWBE

What % of MBE participation within the team would be most preferred by the conservancy? 30%?

It is the Land Conservancy’s intention to meet or exceed the MWBE goals established by OPRHP.

 

What is the MWBE target percentage?

Funding for this project comes in part through an Environmental Protection Fund grant administered by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (OPRHP). Under Article 15A, Executive Law, the State of New York is committed to providing Minority and Women Owned Business (MWBE) equal opportunity to participate in government contracts. The following goals have been set for this project: 13% Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) and 17% Women-owned Business Enterprise (WBE).

 

Is diversity compliance a goal or a requirement? Would it be acceptable for the diversity to grow over time such that it equates to 30% over the life of the project but be less than 30% in this initial phase?

The MWBE targets are listed for this specific contract phase. Where MWBE Contract Goals have been established by OPRHP, the Contractor must document “good faith efforts” to provide meaningful participation by MWBEs as subcontractors or suppliers in the performance of the Contract. It is the Land Conservancy’s intention to meet or exceed these goals.

 

Please confirm scoring for MWBE participation. If the stated goal is 30%, should not any Prime, whether MWBE or non-MWBE, receive full points if its team meets the 30% MWBE goal? As stated in the RFP, a non-MWBE Prime that meets the 30% goal would only be awarded 3 out of 10 points.

The 30% minimum goals (13% MBE/ 17% WBE) established by OPRHP should not be construed as a ceiling for MWBE participation. A team with 30% participation would receive 3 of the 10 possible points in this section.

 

Will MBE and WBE be treated as interchangeable?

For the purposes of the percentage goals established through OPRHP, MBE and WBE are not interchangeable.

 

Is the 30% MWBE goal for the life of the project (through construction), or for this specific contract phase (Concept-Schematic)?

The MWBE targets are listed for this specific contract phase.

 

If our firm is registered as an MWBE for New York State but not with the city of Buffalo or County of Erie will that still satisfy the desires of the Conservancy? Also if our partner firms are registered as MWBE’s outside the state of New York will that also be taken into consideration?

Per OPRHP regulations, New York State “Certified business” shall mean either a business certified as a minority or women-owned business enterprise pursuant to section 314 of the Executive Law in New York State, the Statewide Certification Program. Municipal certifications are not a requirement of this funding source. For firms not yet certified in NYS, please indicate a submittal date and estimated approval date as part #4 of the Cover Letter and Disclosure Statement.

 

What’s the best way to articulate that our firm is in the process of registering as an MBE with the state of New York and our application is being reviewed?

Please indicate a submittal date and estimated approval date as part #4 of the Cover Letter and Disclosure Statement.

 

 

Project Scoping/ Tasks

During the Community Understanding and Engagement Phase, for out-of-town firms, how many separate trips do you anticipate for the site visit, key constituency meetings and three community-based meetings? Could these be tightly scheduled to occur over one to two trips?

It is anticipated that these could be accomplished in one or two visits for out of town firms.

 

Are parcels besides the NFTA ones able to be included in this scope of work?

While this design process will necessarily consider the NFTA owned parcels, additional right of way and adjacent parcels may also be considered within the framework of the broader project goals listed in the RFP and the Community Vision Plan.

 

If the selected consultant will be identifying schedule, scope and further consultants with the The Riverline, how will the workplan and fee be evaluated with this in mind?

As per the evaluation criteria listed on page 13, we will be considering the extent to which proposed approach value engineers the design process in service of presenting schematic design to the NFTA (30% design).

 

Are the bridges going to be rebuilt?

This is an open question that will be determined during the concept and schematic design process.

 

Will the community engagement process deliver programming priorities? Should that be factored into the design contract?

Design firms should consider places along the trail for community programming based on the community vision as well as ongoing input received throughout the design phase, but a detailed community programming plan, schedule, or strategy is not anticipated as part of this phase of the work.

 

Can you expand on the anticipated architectural scope? Do you foresee the restroom/comfort and concession facilities being 4-season, conditioned structures? How many do you feel might be needed?

The community vision plan anticipates this trail being open for year round use. Comfort station would need to be designed to suit that aspiration. The number of facilities will be dependent on overall design and use nodes, and considerations of whether these are stand alone facilities or integrated into other buildings and uses.

 

Will 30% of schematic design of potential bridges, buildings, and other structures be included in the base scope of services?/ Refer to page 9 of the RFP, “The design refinements will be documented appropriately in a set of 30% design documents to include……structural details and calculations.” Please confirm you are seeking 30% structural details and calculations for any new proposed bridges.

We do not anticipate a high level of design detail when it comes to proposed structures during this phase. However, we are looking to the consultant selected to help guide us in these areas dependent on their design approach to meet the objectives of this phase, including a preliminary opinion of probable cost of construction.

 

What are the expectations for rehabilitation of existing structures, such as the half bridge? Will evaluation be needed for these structures?

The half bridge and double bridge on the east end of the corridor are iconic and vital elements to this project. It is assumed that the design phase of this work will propose solutions for integrating, highlighting and interpreting these important elements. For this phase of the work, it is only required that the conceptual elements proposed for these structure can be accomplished within a reasonable cost for rehabilitation and reinterpretation. These can be provided within ranges of observed condition depending on the selected team’s design approach.

 

Will the inclusion of a structural engineer on our team be required?

To the extent your submittal anticipates the need for a structural engineer for this phase of the work, these capabilities should be included on your team.

 

Will cost estimation services and consultants be required under the designer or will this service be provided by The Riverline?

Cost estimation and consulting services should be provided by the design team.

 

Will Economic advisors be required under the designer or will this service be provided by The Riverline?/ Are there any requirements for producing an economic impact analysis?

Economic impact advisors are not required of the design team.

 

Will a public art strategy be required as part of the preliminary and schematic design phases?

Based on the community vision, public art is a priority for this project. However, this phase of the project – and this design services RFP – does not anticipate funds being directed to the development of a public art strategy.

 

Is The Riverline providing the consultant for ‘equitable development strategies?’ Do the teams need to provide consultants for this and/or provide fee and scope for this work?

The equitable development framework will be an input to the design process, but the design firms do not need to think about creating a fee or scope for this work. The equitable development strategies are not a piece of this RFP. The consultants for this process have substantially progressed their work. The equitable development planning process will be finalized by the time a design consultant is selected.

 

Do you envision having a wayfinding/branding firm as part of the team or do you have a firm you are already working with? If so, can you share who they are?

Block Club (blockclub.co) is presently the branding firm for The Riverline.

 

What is the extent of environmental investigations to be included in the fee?

During this phase of the work, the Land Conservancy anticipates procuring only those environmental investigations required to advance the concept and schematic design, as defined by final scope of work with the design contractor. It is anticipated additional environmental investigations may be required for future phases of design development.

 

To get the most value out of this initial phase, is it acceptable to defer additional investigations to future phases? Specifically, analysis like geotechnical investigations, EIS/EA/SEQR and detailed surveys may be more strategically developed, thus providing more value, once the concept and schematic design are more clearly flushed out.

If there are efficiencies that can be achieved to delay resource investments until this phase of the project is completed and site control can be acquired, those are welcome.

 

From page 4 of the Project Principles…..“Study the potential of soil contamination along the rail bed and develop implementation strategies to mitigate or remediate any potential negative impacts of disturbing the existing conditions.” Will the consultant be responsible for this? /

Please clarify the expectations for soil testing scope, outlined in the RFP.

During this phase of the work, the Land Conservancy anticipates procuring only those environmental investigations required to advance the concept and schematic design, as defined by final scope of work with the design contractor. It is anticipated additional environmental investigations may be required for future phases of design development.

 

While it is anticipated that both SEQRA and Section 106 / 14.09 will be an inherent part of this process, can you please clarify the level of effort The Land Conservancy anticipates for environmental compliance and identification of environmental permitting needs within the stated Schematic Design Phase, versus the design development phases that will follow?

Design contractors are not expected to complete SEQRA during this phase of the work. As per page 9 of the RFP, respondents should consider identification of permits needed and anticipated cost to produce the permits, which would include environmental permitting needs.

 

Will the consultant be required to prepare an EIS for the project?

Design contractors are not expected to complete an EIS during this phase of the work.

 

Will the land owner (NFTA) provide existing soil characterization information for the corridor, if any exists?

Currently The Land Conservancy has publicly accessible information regarding soil types, but does not have access to soil studies or samples for the corridor.

 

Does the WNY Land Conservancy/NFTA Access Agreement allow the Land Conservancy and its consultant team to perform soil sampling/borings for environmental and geotechnical analyses?

The current access agreement permits visual inspection, measurement and survey activities. Additional activities necessary for the design phase would be subject to additional negotiated agreement(s).

 

Will an instrument survey, including topographical information, be required for the whole corridor?/

Whether survey should be included in the team’s services.

A list of currently available resources is listed in the RFP and on the wnylc.org/theriverline website. Materials that are not available at this link and that are necessary to complete the project according the approach proposed by the design team should be included as separate line items in the proposal.

 

Are there any project length expectations or critical dates to help us determine the schedule (and fee) for each phase or for the total scope of work? Or is this to be determined strictly by the design team?

We anticipate this will be a 12 month project, which would fall well within the parameters of our funding requirements.

 

Since this project is now Concept and Schematic Design, it would seem the team could be lean for now: for example, the concerns of removal of invasive species and the nurturing native plants could be stated as an intent without an environmental engineer; please confirm whether or not the team’s expertise need cover every aspect of design for this phase of the project.

Proposed scope, fees and teams should be reflective of the tasks required to advance through concept and schematic designs which represent this phase of the project. Additional tasks and disciplines can be engaged as appropriate in future phases.

 

Can you provide more clarity on the level of detail expected in the Schematic Design Phase (30% design documents)? Some of the deliverables outlined in the RFP (ex. product selections, irrigation plans, lighting plans, structural details and calculations) go beyond the level of detail that is typically provided as part of a “Schematic Design” document package. That said, additional detail may be needed to generate a reliable cost estimate. Any additional guidance would be appreciated.

The examples listed in the schematic design phase – specifically product selection, irrigation plan, lighting plan, planting plan – should be thought of as general location and application parameters and criteria for continued design development as well as for informing the production of a range of costs for construction and O&M.

 

Are there any traffic studies required as part of the preliminary and schematic design phases?/ Has a recent traffic study been produced for the corridor and surrounding areas for all modes of transportation?

Traffic studies are not anticipated to be included in this phase of the work. At this point it is not anticipated that the project will impact right of ways or traffic patterns in the vicinity. A separate project currently underway by New York State regarding the future of the Buffalo Skyway expressway is undertaking extensive traffic studies and simulations in the area. These are available at http://www.buffaloskyway.dot.ny.gov/.

 

Is ownership aware of any project permitting hurdles beyond coordination with the railway, such as flood mitigation, major utility conflicts, or environmental implications?

The RFP highlights the major considerations in each subsection of The Riverline.

 

 

Project Vision

What does success look like at the end of the Schematic Design Phase?

This design phase will produce a tangible and achievable design for The Riverline that reflects community’s – and the organization’s – priorities and values, and meets the needs and requirements of the land holders and public and private constituencies necessary to move the overall project to fruition.

 

Are there any public improvement projects adjacent to the project limits that are in the design phase? Will these designs be shared with the project team?

The NFTA has initiated a project to redevelop the DL&W Terminal. That project remains in its early phases. New York State has initiated a project re-envision the Buffalo Skyway. The project website is http://www.buffaloskyway.dot.ny.gov/ The Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority has issued a request for Development Partners for the Marine Drive and Commodore Perry apartments. Proposals were due 4/1.

 

Are there adjacent future developments that could provide synergies to this project?

There are multiple recent or proposed private sector projects and developments taking place along or near the corridor. A map of these and existing assets is available on page four of the design ideas competition brief available at https://wnylc.org/site/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/Land-Conservancy-DLW-Design-Ideas-Competition-Brief-Final-for-website-11-16-2018.pdf

 

Is the Riverline interested in pursuing any specific sustainability certification frameworks such as SITES, WEDG, etc?

The Land Conservancy suggests referring to the RFP and project vision to understand the objectives and goals determined by the organization and the community. The Land Conservancy has not stated the intention to seek any specific certifications at this time.

 

 

RFP/ Document Link and Data Questions

Under header D. Fee & Workflow Proposal, number 1, there is mention of an attached template recommended for guidance regarding the lump sum and reimbursable expenses. I’m having trouble locating this template./

Where is the template for guidance on fee and reimbursables located?

This attachment of this document was inadvertently left off the original digital copy of the RFP. It has now been included in the PDF available at wnylc.org/theriverline. In addition, it is available in .xlsx format at the following link: https://www.dropbox.com/s/modzk1fdxyctg7y/The%20Riverline%20Design%20Services%20Proposal%20Fee%20%26%20Workflow%20Template.xlsx?dl=0

 

I was trying to download somethings from the RFP and the links were broken. Is there another place I can obtain them? / It appears that several of the links to documents listed on Page II of the RFP are not working. Is there another location where they can be accessed?

There were a number of broken links on page 11 of the RFP document as originally posted. These links are now available from wnylc.org/theriverline or directly at wnylc.org/rfp-links/ and have been corrected in the PDF version of the RFP now available online.

 

Can you clarify the deadline for questions on the RFP? It is listed as both April 8 and April 17 on the first page of the RFP.

The questions were due in writing via email by 5PM EDT on April 17th. Internally, the dates were shifted back last minute because of the disruptions, and the original date was not changed in the body of the text due to an editing oversight.

 

Will questions be answered on a rolling basis or will responses be posted all at once?

Where possible, questions will be answered on a rolling basis and posted to wnylc.org/theriverline, with all answers posted by the 24th of April.

 

Are the active rail lines (at The Junctures) that must be crossed owned by NFTA? If not, what authority owns them and are they aware of the proposed redevelopment plans?

The Land Conservancy has not begun formal conversations with CSX Transportation, the owners of the active rail right of way known as the Buffalo Terminal Subdivision.

 

Are there any environmental investigation reports available for any section of the railway corridor?

All currently available documentation is available at https://wnylc.org/rfp-links/

 

Are there conditions reports on the historic bridges?

All currently available documentation is available at https://wnylc.org/rfp-links/

 

Are there any existing site surveys?

All currently available documentation is available at https://wnylc.org/rfp-links/

 

Can you share any existing environmental or geotechnical information that’s been done on the existing corridor?

All currently available documentation is available at https://wnylc.org/rfp-links/

 

Have there been any cultural/archeological investigations conducted along the corridor? If so, can you share them?

All currently available documentation is available at https://wnylc.org/rfp-links/

 

Has a compiled background base map been created that depicts all of the existing information that the Land Conservancy has to date?

All currently available documentation is available at https://wnylc.org/rfp-links/

 

Is there a dial in number for the webinar?

We encourage participants to use the weblink if possible. If not, the dial in numbers are as follows: (for higher quality, dial a number based on your current location): US: +1 312 626 6799 or +1 346 248 7799 or +1 669 900 6833 or +1 929 205 6099 or +1 253 215 8782 or +1 301 715 8592

 

Will a copy of the webinar be sent to registrants?

Yes. The webinar was recorded and has been made available online to everyone who has registered. If your firm is registered and has not received information regarding how to access the recording, please check your junk/spam mail and then contact us directly.

 

 

Selection Process

Can you clarify what would constitute a conflict of interest that could potentially disqualify a person or a firm from participating in the RFP?

A disclosure statement listing all potential conflicts of interest related to this project is required of all applicants. As concept and schematic design represents a discrete phase of work on The Riverline project, prior participation in the design ideas competition – either as a consultant, respondent, award winner, juror, advisor, or public participant – would not constitute a conflict of interest. A conflict of interest would be present, for example, for those consultants, firms, individuals, or agencies that have participated directly in the creation and pre-release review of this RFP for Concept and Schematic Design services.

 

When will the jury be established? /

Who will make up the jury deciding the project team?

The RFP review committee will be comprised of individuals internal to the Land Conservancy – including executive and board level representation – and external parties including consultants and advisors. The committee includes individuals who have an ongoing history with the project, have designed substantial landscape and public space projects, have managed major construction projects, and possess applied expertise in planning, community participation and natural spaces and habitat.

 

Multiple questions regarding the request to “[p]rovide three profiles of past project experience for similar work…” listed on Page 11 of the RFP.

Teams are permitted to submit more than three project profiles at their discretion. However, we strongly encourage prioritization of those projects that represent work similar to that being proposed, and a cumulative maximum of ten projects for the entire team.

 

State Parks is a primary source of funds for the project. Will State Parks play a role in selecting the consultant? Will State Parks have a role during the design phase?

State Parks has reviewed a copy of the Solicitation/RFP for Design Services prior to starting the Bidding Process; will Review applicable Design Documentations for Planning Grants (i.e. Conceptual, Schematic); will approve the bid award; will approve M/WBE Utilization Plan and M/WBE Required Reports; Cumulative Payment Statements; payment reimbursements, and all related documentation – including final reports/final inspections for close-out, etc.

 

Page 11 of the RFP under Design Approach Item 1, states that a 2-page maximum narrative is to be included on the team’s design approach. Item 4 then alludes to the 2-page limit when discussing the staffing chart and resumes. Please clarify what components of the proposal have a page maximum./

Is the 2-page limit (in Proposal Requirements, C. Design Approach) for the short narrative only, or is this inclusive of the project management staffing chart (item 4 in this list)?/

In C. Design Approach, are all of the parts of paragraph C.4. excluded from the 2-page limit?

Elements 1-3 of Item C. Design Approach are subject to the two page limit referenced in this section. All of item 4. is excluded from this limit.

 

The 2 page limit for Design Approach gives us very limited space to answer Questions 1-3 in the Design Approach section. Could this section page limit be expanded to more pages?

Respondents should limit C. Design Approach items 1-3 to the two page limit. Additional clarification is possible, for example, in the description of budget/ fee and schedule.

 

Is there an overall page limit to this proposal?/

Please advise if there is an overall page limit for the RFP response.

Respondents are encouraged to be concise in their proposals, however, there is not a hard limit on overall number of pages.

 

Is there a total page limit and file size limit for the PDF submission?

(see page limit response above)

PDFs are to be emailed to The Riverline. Most e-mail systems are most reliably able to handle file attachments fewer than 10MB. The Western New York Land Conservancy cannot be held responsible for failure of electronic communications due to connection speeds, size limitations and the like. If respondents so choose, in addition to a complete PDF attachment, they may submit, in the same e-mail message, a link to an online file storage system (such as DropBox or similar service) commonly accessible through major web browsers containing a higher resolution PDF identical in content to the required email attachment.

 

What is the preferred format orientation of the RFP? Landscape? Portrait?/

Can the format be 11×17 and not the typical letter size? Please confirm page format and size and type size limitations.

There is no preferred page orientation for the submittals (landscape/portrait), however, please refrain from using oversized page formatting.

 

For the SECTION 139-D OF THE STATE FINANCE LAW Form, must this be completed by all team members or just the prime contracting firm?

As per the form on page 33-34 joint or combined bids by companies or firms must be certified on behalf of each participating firm.

 

Please confirm if the following forms are required as part of the response to the RFP:  Non-Collusive Bidding Certification; Equal Employment Opportunity Policy Statement

These are required as part of the response to the RFP.

 

On the provided Fee & Workflow Template, should a “Time Frame” be provided for general phases (i.e. Pre-Design), or each individual task within those phases?

A time frame for general phases is sufficient; however, additional detail is welcome as available.

 

Excel formulas were not provided in the Fee & Workflow Template. Is it assumed that the fees should be tabulated in the following manner? The sum of individual phase tasks = phase subtotal, and the sum of each phase = the total project cost. Is this correct?

That is correct. The template is provided as a guide for the general information we will be evaluating. Respondents may make adjustments or use other formats that better suit their proposed approach provided the critical elements and distinct tasks/ phases are clearly depicted.

 

We see a potential need for several services, tasks, and deliverables that are not requested in the RFP. How would you like that scope and fee represented in the Fee & Workflow Template?

Please list services, tasks and deliverables as separate line items in the Fee and Workflow Template.

 

Would WNYLC consider requesting a fee proposal from the shortlisted teams or the final team, rather than from all firms responding to the RFP?

Each respondent should include a fee proposal based on their suggested design approach and scope of services. Upon selection, the design team will work closely with the Land Conservancy to develop a detailed scope of work for site assessment, design, and community outreach, and engagement. They will negotiate a mutually acceptable fee and project schedule based on this final scope.

 

For the EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY POLICY STATEMENT Form, must this be completed by all team members or just the prime contracting firm?

The provisions of New York State Executive Law Article 15-A are applicable to all contractors and subcontractors with a contract value in excess of $25,000 for labor, services, equipment, materials, or any combination thereof. The EEO Policy Statement form will be completed by primes and subs (not required of individual team members).