Six Mile Creek Trail - Feasibility Study - Request for Qualifications

To Whom would you like your solicitation available: Open to the Public

Project Title: Six Mile Creek Trail - Feasibility Study - Request for Qualifications

Project Solicitation Number (if any):

Project Description: SUMMARY
The City of Ithaca, New York is soliciting qualifications from firms interested in working collaboratively with City staff on the preparation of a feasibility study to help advance the implementation of the City of Ithaca’s Six Mile Creek Trail Plan. 
The study will serve to refine the project scope outlined in the Six Mile Creek Trail Plan and will collect data necessary to develop a reasonable cost estimate. Work will include geotechnical investigations, hydrology calculations, trail and bridge design, and environmental review. The study will also suggest feasible project design and construction funding and phasing strategies for the City’s consideration. The selected firm will compose a very concise and visually engaging written document that summarizes the feasibility study’s findings. 

Six Mile Creek Trail is the name of a route of existing and proposed sidewalks and trails along Six Mile Creek in the City of Ithaca between the Six Mile Creek Natural Area and Cayuga Lake. The character along the trail varies considerably from urban sidewalks and the wide Six Mile Creek Promenade west of Aurora St., to a stone dust trail and natural surface hiking trails east of Aurora Street. The long range vision is to establish a route that travels from the Ithaca Commons westward to the Cayuga Waterfront Trail (which connects to the Black Diamond Trail northward to Taughannock Falls State Park), and from the Ithaca Commons eastward through the Six Mile Creek Gorge to the South Hill Recreation Way (which connects to the future Gateway Trail, Buttermilk Falls State Park, and the Finger Lakes Trail … which then connects to the 4,600 mile long North Country National Scenic Trail). 
The City of Ithaca is currently working to establish a natural surface hiking trail connection from the existing stone dust trail just east of Aurora St. to the existing trails in the Six Mile Creek Natural Area (this new connecting trail will be just under 1 mile in length). Establishing this trail is complicated due to the steep gorge topography which will require three new bridges to cross the creek three times, as well as a few smaller bridges to span ravines along the gorge. The Six Mile Creek Trail Plan produced in 2016 provides a good overview of this section of trail. A copy of this plan can be viewed at: 
In the spring of 2019, the City of Ithaca was awarded funding from the Tompkins County Tourism Program to commission a feasibility study to better understand the soil conditions, creek flow impacts, and other issues associated with developing this trail. Results from this study will allow for the project scope to be clearly defined and will allow for the development of an accurate cost estimate. This information will then be used when seeking future funding for design and construction costs.  

The scope of topics are expected to include: 

- Evaluation of the existing stream banks and trail alignment areas 
- Evaluation of possible bridge designs for the three locations where new bridges will be needed to cross the creek
- Evaluation of impacts to the hydraulics along Six Mile Creek from new bridge abutments, other trail work along the creek, and possible stream bank restoration/stabilization impacts 
- Environmental evaluation to minimize construction impacts and to assess opportunities to restore/enhance habitat conditions
- City of Ithaca staff are anticipated to evaluate the following topic areas with limited support from the selected firm:
- Opportunities for interpretation materials regarding the area’s history, heritage, and environment
- Opportunities to provide for accessibility for people with disabilities in accordance with the Forest Service Trail Accessibility Guidelines (FSTAG)
- The City will be working with Cornell Engineering regarding the design of short-span bridges needed to cross ravines along the trail alignment

NOTE: It must be kept in mind that this is a feasibility study so the findings are not expected to have full engineering-level detail, but enough detail to determine feasibility and opinions of cost for budgeting and applying for grants.

The City intends to work with the selected firm to develop a detailed scope of services – this effort will likely include a site visit with the selected firm, a discussion of the overall project objectives outlined in the Six Mile Creek Trail Plan, and a review of available data such as survey/topographic data and USGS StreamStats data. This effort will determine which work items will be the responsibility of City staff and which will be the responsibility of the selected firm. The City will then solicit a cost proposal from the selected firm based on this more detailed scope of services. 

At this point, it is anticipated that approximately $20,000 of funding will be available for the production of the feasibility study. City of Ithaca staff are currently working to try to secure additional funding for this effort, so the total available funding might be greater than $20,000. Therefore, interested firms should demonstrate their ability to successfully undertake the types of work outlined in this solicitation with a similarly constrained budget. Responding firms are encouraged to discuss creative and cost-effective approaches that they may pursue for this study. 
There is some flexibility in the timeframe available to produce this study to both accommodate the firm’s staffing availability and to possibly accommodate work that can only occur at certain times during the year. It is hoped that the study can be completed by late fall 2019. 

- A cover letter containing the firm name, address, telephone number, and email address of the primary contact person
- Names of key staff who will be assigned to this project and a short resume of each
- A detailed narrative of the approach that will be used to accomplish the tasks
- A listing of similar projects completed by the firm and key staff 
- Written document samples that are concise and visually engaging
- Materials demonstrating the key staff’s level of experience with: 
- Geotechnical investigations
- Hydrologic and hydraulic engineering
- Trail design (Class 2-4 types)
- Trail bridge design 

One electronic version and three bound copies of the Statement of Qualifications must be submitted by July 12, 2019, 3:00 PM EST to: 

Kent Johnson, Assistant Transportation Engineer
Engineering Office
City of Ithaca
108 E. Green Street
Ithaca, NY 14850

The Statement of Qualifications will be used to select the consulting firm, and will be evaluated on the basis of:
- Firm/key staff experience with similar projects 25%
- Understanding of the proposed scope of work 25%
- Compelling project approach* 20%
- Relevant samples of work 20%
- Familiarity with, and proximity to, Ithaca 10%

*NOTE: This project does not have a specific DBE/MBE/WBE goal; however, responding firms MUST state how they will strive to support diversity and under-represented populations in their project approach.

As mentioned above, the City will work with the selected firm to develop a more detailed scope of services and will negotiate fees based on this more detailed scope. 

Questions regarding this solicitation can be sent to

This program was made possible in part by a grant from the Tompkins County Tourism Program.

Company/Organization/Agency Submitting Contract: City of Ithaca

Primary Contact for Contract Information: Kent Johnson

Email Address:

Closest City to Project: Ithaca

State/Province/Region: NY

Country: US

Application Deadline: 7/12/2019