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Metro Board Approves $25.9-Million Contract to All-Female Owned Consultant Support Services Group for Airport Connector Project

Friday August 30, 2019

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) Board of Directors recently awarded a contract to KDG+DE Construction Support Services for $25.9 million to provide construction support for the Airport Metro Connector (AMC) 96th Street Transit Station project. This is the first time a female-led consultant group has been selected to work on a large Metro project. 

KDG+DE is a partnership of KDG Construction Consulting and Destination Enterprises. The AMC station will be built at the intersection of Aviation Boulevard and 96th Street and will serve Metro Rail and local bus lines. The station will also be the transfer point between local transit and the future Los Angeles World Airport (LAWA) Automated People Mover that will provide quick rides to and from LAX passenger terminals.

“This is a vital project for the entire region as we strive to provide better connections to LAX and it’s good to see Metro provide work opportunities to a wider and more diverse cast of consultants,” said Metro Board Chair and Inglewood Mayor James T. Butts. “This group of all female consultants will help shape the design of this important station that will finally link the Metro Rail system to LAX.”

Metro expects to begin heavy construction in mid-2020 with the station forecast to open in 2023, the same year as the LAX people mover is scheduled to debut. 

“This group of talented individuals has the experience and competence in construction support service, design-bid-build and integrated team structure on some of the most challenging and complex projects in the country,” said Metro CEO Phillip A. Washington. “It’s nice to have this highly professional team of females take the lead on a major transportation project in a field traditionally dominated by men.” 

KDG Construction Consulting was founded in 1980 and provides program and construction management services to public and private clients in California and the western United States. Lydia H. Kennard, at right, the President and CEO of KDG, served as Executive Director of Los Angeles World Airports from 1999 to 2003 and 2005 to 2007. Since 2007, Ms. Kennard has also served as a founding principal of Airport Property Ventures, an operator and developer of general aviation facilities. 

“The 96th Street Station is critical transit infrastructure which will serve millions of rail and airport passengers for decades to come,” Kennard said. “I am proud that the KDG+DE team was selected as the most qualified to assist Metro in connecting the Los Angeles’ public transit system with LAX.”

Destination Enterprises (DE) is a construction management firm that also provides claims and litigation professional services to the public and private sector in Southern California. Marcy Szarama, at right, the President and Founder of the company, has been a trailblazer in Construction Management and was one of the first women Resident Engineers on the Metro Red Line prior to founding DE. 

“The AMC Project is important to me as I began my construction management career on the Metro Red Line and it has been an unrealized goal for Metro to tie its rail projects into LAX since that time,” Szarama said. “It is exciting that this project will realize that goal and even more rewarding that we have a team of mostly women-owned firms who were selected to deliver this project, demonstrating that woman-owned firms have the capacity and capability to provide these services on the most significant projects in our industry.”

The KDG Construction Consulting partnership has hired the following subconsultants to work on the team: 

Rohadfox Construction Control Services Corporation is an Atlanta-based professional services firm founded in 1976 under the leadership of Joy Rohadfox, at left. Her work, integrity and commitment to excellence has built a solid reputation for the firm in the rail and transit markets.

Fariba Nation Consulting has more than 27 years of experience working on transit projects, programs and operations. Fariba Nation, at left, PE, PMP, has worked closely on many Metro projects to ensure the devel­opment of effective test implementation plans and procedures.

•CER Scheduling Consultant’s Randa Jarjour, Ph.D. , has 20 years of industry experience and is a seasoned scheduler and manager. Ms. Jarjour provided expert scheduling support to Metro on both phases of the Expo Line light rail project.

•The VIRTEK Company is a certified Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business, Disadvantaged Business Enterprise, Small Business Enterprise, Minority Business Enterprise and LA Metro/BART certified small business, among others. VIRTEK will support the team by providing project administration services on this project.

The AMC 96th Street Station is a design-bid-build project, meaning that all design plans and specifications will be completed by Metro’s design consultant prior to award of a construction contract. The CSS consultant will provide review support of the technical bid documents, administrative and inspection services and technical support throughout the project’s construction lifespan.

About Metro
The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) is building the most ambitious transportation infrastructure program in the United States and is working to greatly improve mobility through its Vision 2028 Plan. Metro is the lead transportation planning and funding agency for L.A. County and carries about 1.2 million boardings daily on a fleet of 2,200 low-emission buses and six rail lines.

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