Request for Qualifications (RFQ)

Consulting Engineering Services for the State Route 547 Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Trail

The Whatcom Council of Governments (WCOG) solicits Statements of Qualifications (SOQ) from qualified applicants to perform preliminary engineering and associated tasks for the development of the State Route (SR) 547 Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Trail (“the Trail”) in the Kendall-Columbia Valley community in unincorporated Whatcom County.  WCOG will review all SOQs received and select the top-rated firms, which will be invited to make a presentation to and interview with WCOG’s Technical Review Team.  It is anticipated that the selection process will be completed by September 14, 2018.  The target date for the completion of this project is January 18, 2019.

WCOG reserves the right to amend the terms of this RFQ, to circulate various addenda, or to withdraw the RFQ at any time, with or without notice.

SOQ Submittal Requirements

Consultants submitting proposals in response to this RFQ must be capable of providing the products and services described in the RFQ criteria attached as Exhibit “A.”  Joint ventures and/or the use of sub-consultants is allowed.  WCOG assumes no obligation of any kind for expenses incurred by any respondent to this solicitation.  Responses to this RFQ should be no more than twenty (20) sheets (ten double-sided pages), submitted on 8.5” x 11” paper with type size no smaller than 11 point.

Ten (10) hard copies of the Statement of Qualifications must be received at the offices of the Whatcom Council of Governments no later than 4:00 p.m., Friday, August 17, 2018.  Late submittals will not be accepted, nor will they be returned.  Faxed or e-mailed submittals will also not be accepted.  Please mail or deliver SOQs to:

Attn: SR 547 Safety Trail RFQ
Whatcom Council of Governments
314 East Champion Street
Bellingham, WA 98225

WCOG accepts no responsibility for misdirected or lost documents, and it reserves the right to reject any and all proposals, and to waive any irregularities and/or informalities at its sole discretion.

All questions regarding this RFQ should be directed in writing via email to Bob Wilson at



State Route 547 Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Trail

Project Background

State Route 547 – also known as “Kendall Road” and “Kendall Highway” – is located in west-central Whatcom County.  SR 547 is the only route that ties together several communities in this area: Kendall, Balfour, Paradise Lakes and Peaceful Valley.  SR 547 is a vehicle-focused corridor with narrow shoulders, no lighting, no sidewalks and on which vehicles regularly travel at speeds of 45 MPH and greater.  Since 1997, one person walking and three people bicycling on SR 547 have been killed due to being struck by a vehicle, including a 14-year-old boy in 2016.  In response to these tragedies, concerned residents established the Kendall-Columbia Valley Connectivity Plan Association (KCVCPA), which includes community leaders, the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) and WCOG.  KCVCPA has been meeting since 2013 to develop strategies to enable people living in these communities – especially the children – to safely access nearby resources, such as the North Fork Community Library, the East Whatcom Regional Resource Center, commercial services, places of worship, transit stops, fire station, and Kendall Elementary School.  One of the strategies included is the Kendall/Columbia Valley Connectivity Plan, which was the precursor to the State Route 547 Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Trail Risk and Cost Analysis Report that was completed in 2017.

The project area is the SR 547 corridor from the Kendall Elementary School at MP o.32, north to North County Christ the King Church at MP 3.47, approximately 3.15 miles.  The proposed Trail will connect numerous communities and neighborhoods to essential services by developing a shared-use, non-motorized walking and biking facility that would provide safe access to important community destinations.  It is anticipated that the Trail would significantly improve the safety of pedestrians and bicyclists by reducing conflicts with cars and trucks.  Although the primary users of this facility will almost certainly be area residents seeking safe access to community resources, it could potentially also serve recreational users accessing existing and future parks and secondary trails as well as the proposed Bay to Baker Regional Trail.

Available Reports

The following reports are available on request from WCOG:

General Scope of Work

The work to be performed by the consultant will consist of performing preliminary engineering – applying WSDOT’s “practical solutions” approach – associated with the construction of a low-cost pedestrian and bicycle trail to the 30 percent design level.  Paramount in this process will be close coordination with Puget Sound Energy (PSE), which is currently planning for the replacement of existing utility poles along the SR 547 corridor.  PSE has agreed to coordinate its planning process with that of WCOG’s Trail consultant to achieve economies of scale in both this preliminary engineering effort and, ultimately, in the construction phase.  The selected consultant’s scope of work will include, but not necessarily be limited to, the following activities:

Evaluation Criteria

The selection of a consultant for this project will be made from the list of qualified consultants responding to this RFQ.  All firms responding will be evaluated, scored and ranked using standardized evaluation criteria, as listed below.  Those firms ranked highest will be invited for an in-person interview, including a presentation on the firm’s proposal, to allow WCOG to select the firm best-suited to completing the project successfully, on time and within the agreed-upon budget.

  1. Qualifications and résumés of the project team (30 Points)
  2. Proposed project approach and vision (20 Points)
  3. Demonstrated ability to meet schedules and references/past performance (10 Points)
  4. Experience with similar projects involving preliminary engineering and public outreach (25)
  5. Familiarity with WSDOT Design Manual, “Shared Use Paths,” Chapters 1510, 1520 and 1515 (10)
  6. Familiarity with Federal Highway Administration policies and standards for shared-use trails (5)

The SOQ shall include information for each evaluation criteria listed above and a list of clients who may be contacted and for whom similar work has been completed in the past five years. If the SOQ does not include these items, is not submitted on time, or exceeds the specified page length limit, it will be deemed non-responsive and may not be eligible for further consideration.  All submittals become the property of the Whatcom Council of Governments and will not be returned.

Americans with Disabilities Act Information

This material can be made available in an alternative format by e-mailing Bob Wilson at, by calling WCOG at (360) 685-8389.

Title VI Statement

The Whatcom Council of Governments, in accordance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 78 Stat. 252, 42 U.S.C. 2000d to 2000d-4, and Title 49, Code of Federal Regulations, Department of Transportation, Subtitle A, Office of the Secretary, Part 21, nondiscrimination in federally assisted programs of the Department of Transportation issued pursuant to such Act, hereby notifies all bidders that it will affirmatively ensure that in any contract entered into pursuant to this advertisement, disadvantaged business enterprises as defined at 49 CFR Part 26 will be afforded full opportunity to submit bids in response to this invitation and will not be discriminated against on the grounds of race, color, national origin, or sex in consideration for an award.”

Dates of publication in The Bellingham Herald: July 30 and August 6, 2018

Tentative Schedule

Advertise RFQ July 30 and August 6, 2018
Technical Review Team to Review SOQs


·  County



August 13-24, 2018
Interview Consultants and Select August 27 to September 7, 2018
Negotiate Scope of Work and Agreement September 10-14, 2018
Project Kickoff meeting with consultant and sub-consultants September 17-21, 2018
Commence Project

Example Activities:

·  PE Design, Survey, Environmental, etc.

·  Technical Committee Review at Key Milestones

·  Alternatives selection

·  Environmental

·  Public Outreach

·  Select Preferred Alternative

·  Draft PE

·  Final PE

September 24, 2018
Submit Draft Report to WCOG January 4, 2019
Technical Review Team review of Draft January 7-11, 2019
Submission of Final Report to WCOG January 18, 2019