Capital Project Strategies, LLC
11710 Plaza America Drive
Suite 2000
Reston, Virginia 20190
t: 703.871.5079
f: 703.433.9313

Transportation Industry

Capital Project Strategies is widely experienced in the transportation sector, having worked on a variety of highway, rail, aviation and toll facilities that have used either design-build or public-private partnership (P3) delivery mechanisms.  Most of our experience in this sector involves representing the public agency on “front-end” services, with the work ranging from broad, policy-type assignments to discrete, project-specific assignments.  We typically work as a member of the agency’s project team, under either a direct contract with the agency or a consulting agreement with the agency’s outside engineering firm.  Our goal is to provide advice that anticipates how an owner-designer-contractor team will behave in real life – giving our agency clients practical advice on how to manage and administer their contracts and mitigate the potential for claims.

Front-End Experience

As will be evident from the representative assignments discussed below, our “front-end” services to public agencies involve a wide range of issues confronting today’s transportation sector.  These services include:

  • Providing advice on innovative project delivery arrangements, including design-build, design-build-operate-maintain, and public-private partnerships.
  • Designing and implementing procurements that use qualitative scoring process, best value selection, proprietary meetings, alternative technical concepts, industry draft reviews, and post-selection negotiations.
  • Developing appropriate risk allocation strategies, designed to balance marketplace realities and the needs of our public agency clients.
  • Drafting and negotiating contracts on behalf of our public agency clients with design builders and utility companies.

Included among our most notable assignments are the following:

  • Virginia Department of Transportation (Design-Build and P3 Projects).  Mr. Loulakis has provided a variety of services to VDOT involving its design-build and public-private partnership projects.  Capital Project Strategies currently has a Staff Augmentation Contract with VDOT to provide ongoing support for business management services under Virginia’s Public-Private Transportation Act (PPTA) program, and is currently involved on a major PPTA tunnel project for Hampton Roads, Virginia.  Prior to establishing Capital Project Strategies, Mr. Loulakis created procurement documents for the proposed Fairfax County Parkway project, which included the RFQ, RFP, design-build contract, and modifications to Division 1 of the VDOT's standard specifications.  In undertaking this work, he met regularly with key individuals of VDOT and brainstormed policies and best practice approaches.  The Fairfax County procurement documents served as VDOT's baseline for its standard form design-build contract documents.  In addition, Mr. Loulakis had substantial involvement in conducting the “ten year review” of contract documents developed under the PPTA program.  This ultimately led to the creation, under Mr. Loulakis’s direction, of VDOT’s standard forms of Preliminary Agreement, Comprehensive Agreement, and Concession Agreement. 

  • Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project).  Mr. Loulakis has provided a variety of services to MWAA, the lead developer of this high-profile, politically-charged project.  The project involves a 23-mile extension of the WMATA subway system from West Falls Church, Virginia, to Dulles Airport, with a total cost expected to be in excess of $4 billion.  Major issues include FTA funding, intergovernmental agency agreements among several major state and local agencies, and the realities of constructing the project through Tysons Corner, Virginia, the major commercial center for Washington, D.C.  Mr. Loulakis has been lead counsel and one of the lead negotiators on Phase 1 of this project, and, to date, has had responsibility for drafting and negotiating the design-build contract with Dulles Transit Partners (a joint venture of Bechtel and Washington Group), creating project control specifications and risk mitigation strategies, creating the Division 1 Specifications, determining compliance with federal laws, and drafting utility agreements.

  • Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (Scheduling and Project Controls).  Mr. Loulakis has worked on several front-end assignments for WMATA.  One of his major assignments involved a “best practices” review of WMATA’s standard scheduling specification.  He conducted this review, and then led the effort to modify WMATA’s existing specifications to meet these best practices.   

  • Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (Whittier Tunnel)Mr. Loulakis was one of the lead members of the project team advising ADOTPF on the $60 million design-build-operate-maintain (DBOM) contract for the Whittier Tunnel, the country’s first major design-build tunnel projects.  The engagement included working with the Federal Highway Administration to ensure compliance with SEP-14; developing a detailed procurement feasibility analysis (addressing over 40 separate federal and state procurement and federal grant requirements); leading a risk identification and allocation workshop; and drafting major portions of the RFQ, RFP, and contract documents.  Mr. Loulakis also assisted ADOTPF in training on design-build principles and establishing selection criteria for the project.  Finally, he was part of the team tasked with reviewing and resolving a variety of miscellaneous claims that arose on the project.

  • Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (Glenn-Parks). Mr. Loulakis served as a member of the ADOTPF project team for the $45 million Glenn-Parks Interchange Project, a design-build project involving an interchange between the Glenn Highway and the Park Highway in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough.  In addition to reviewing the RFP and contract, he provided legal and procurement advice to the team and ADOTPF.

  • Bay Area Rapid Transit District (SFO Airport Extension).  Mr. Loulakis represented BART in providing contract administration advice in the execution of the $600 million design-build contract for the San Francisco Airport extension.  The engagement started with a complete review of the design-build procurement and contracting documents for the project, and concluded with Mr. Loulakis assisting the project team in conducting an industry-wide assessment of the contract documents.

  • New York City Metropolitan Transit Agency (Best Practices Analysis and Project Delivery Advice).  Mr. Loulakis has had several engagements with New York City MTA.  One involved reviewing and modernizing MTA’s standard form design-build contracts.  This work involved a comprehensive review of several contracts that had been awarded by MTA, discussions with senior representatives from MTA about lessons learned, and then modifications to the documents.  Another assignment was related to the East Side Access project, where Mr. Loulakis was brought in to assist in assessing the most appropriate project delivery system for the project.

    Project Administration and Conflict Resolution Experience

We have a broad range of experience in assisting transportation agency teams in assessing and defending claims and change orders.  In this capacity, we work closely with all members of the project management team – and in particular with in-house and litigation counsel – to evaluate the problem and find solutions.  If the dispute moves to a more formal setting, we help the team create effective “litigation” or “arbitration” strategies and give our clients unfiltered, “peer review” assessments of where they stand.  Included below are some of our representative experiences in this sector:

  • Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (Largo).  Mr. Loulakis represented WMATA in a conflict with the design-builder on the Largo Metrorail project over claims for constructive acceleration, project delays, and unique design-build issues.  In this capacity, he helped develop the overall claims defense strategy for WMATA.   

  • National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Sunnyside).  Mr. Loulakis represented Amtrak in connection with disputes relating to the design and construction of the Sunnyside power conversion facility located along the Northeast Corridor improvement project.  Amtrak had awarded a design-build contract to Adtranz for a cycloconverter facility.  Adtranz’s 60% design submission indicated that the specified performance criteria could not be met.  As a result, Adtranz modified the design to call for the installation of dc-link converters rather than cycloconverters.  Adtranz sued Amtrak, among others, seeking damages in excess of $15 million for the higher cost of furnishing the dc link converters.  Amtrak counterclaimed for damages in excess of $10 million for the converters’ failure to meet the contract requirements and performance standards.  The matter was ultimately resolved in mediation.

It is noteworthy that in addition to our experience in advising public agency owners on transportation industry disputes, we also provide assistance to contractors and design professionals that have claims (such as differing site condition, performance specifications, delay and disruption) on transportation projects.

Training and Industry Research

We have substantial experience in providing high-level, “industry-focused” training to the staff of public transportation and transit agencies.  This training usually involves design-build and public-private partnerships issues, as well as contract management and best project execution practices.  In-house training has been performed for VDOT, WMATA, New York City MTA, and Los Angeles MTA. 

Mr. Loulakis has been actively involved in several major research projects for the transportation industry.  One is being conducted under the Strategic Highway Research Program (SHPR II) on behalf of the National Academy of Sciences, and is entitled “Performance Specifications for Rapid Highway Renewal.” Mr. Loulakis’s role is to assist in the evaluation of the risks associated with performance specifications.   Another is for the Transportation Research Board, and is focused on the procurement approaches and experiences for design-build, P3, and at-risk construction management systems in the transportation industry.



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