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The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority unsealed the bids for the primary contract to complete construction of the Silver Line last week.

Five contracting groups are competing for the project, having made it through an initial review process and then demonstrating their technical expertise to complete the complex project.

MWAA’s contracting rules dictate that the contract will go to the lowest bidder, which would favor a proposal from Clark Construction and Kiewit Infrastructure South, operating as Capital Rail Constructors.

However, MWAA President and CEO Jack Potter said last week, there will still be a review of the proposal terms and conditions before the contract is awarded in May.

All of the bids came in lower than the $1.4 to $1.6 billion that MWAA staff had estimated. Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) said this is good news for users of the Dulles Toll Road.

“These additional cost savings are crucial to our continued efforts to ensure that the tolls necessary to finance this project remain as low as possible,” McDonnell said in a released statement Tuesday. “When combined with the additional $150 million my administration pledged last year and the $300 million in funding identified in my 2013 transportation funding and reform package, there will be a significant reduction in the projected toll increases in the years to come.”

Capital Rail Constructors’ bid was $1.18 billion, followed closely by a $1.19 billion bid from Bechtel, the lead contractor on the Phase 1 construction of the Silver Line.

The other price proposals ranged from $1.29 billion to $1.38 billion.

Clark is headquartered in Bethesda, Md., and has been involved in many local construction projects, including the AeroTrain automated people mover system at Dulles Airport and the Route 28 interchange project. Kiewit is an international construction and mining firm based in Omaha, Nebraska, that has worked on many large infrastructure projects throughout the country.

This contract is the largest of three total design-build packages for Phase 2 and represents about 50 percent of Phase 2 work, according to the airports authority. It includes stations at Reston Town Center, Herndon, Innovation Center, Washington Dulles International Airport and two in Loudoun County. This contract does not include the planned rail yard at the airport, parking garages at the stations or professional services.

kschumitz@fairfaxtimes.com