What makes it interesting?
The history of Detroit Streetcars dates back to 1864, when horse-drawn streetcars serviced the public. Detroit was the first city in the United States to establish a municipally-owned transit system, and at the height of its operations there were 910 streetcars in the system. Detroit was a leader and innovator in the transit industry, with continued streetcar service until April 8, 1956. Woodward was the last streetcar to operate in the city. Detroit was the birthplace of the first freeway and played a major role in the development of the freeway system in the United States. Since then, Detroit has experienced hardship and economic decline. M-1 Rail is a unique public-private partnership and model for regional collaboration. Remarkably, this the first major transit project being led and funded by private businesses, philanthropic organizations, in partnership with local government, the State of Michigan, and U.S. Department of Transportation. Z Contractors Inc. is honored to be a part of this the journey for Detroit to prosper again and regain what it once was in the early 1900s.
How HCSS Software assisted with this project
Z Contractors, Inc. uses both HeavyBid and HeavyJob on projects. HeavyBid allowed the bid to be composed quickly. With HeavyBid we are able to use historic production dates set up in our master estimates with simple adjustments on production.
This project was advertised twice for bidding. After the first bid was prepared, Z Contractors was shortlisted to rebid the project with only three other highly-recognized highway contractors in Michigan. HeavyBid was able to compare Z Contractors first quantity estimates with the revised quantities to the original estimate. HeavyBid also identified when the activity was the same as originally proposed and copied it right into the new bid estimate. This provided time efficiencies in the complete process. Z Contractors was able to utilize the Sub Quote system to get low subs at qualifying time to revise quotes if necessary to finalize the second bid. The original project was to be constructed in one year. After Z Contractors was short listed, the progress clause was changed to two years. Z Contractors was able to adjust its labor costs quickly and proficiently with just a few clicks for the actual cost of the construction the following year.
Once Z Contractors was selected as a subcontractor for this project, it was easy to export the project into HeavyJob for field use and accounting. In just a few steps, the job moved from bid to field-ready for foremen to charge labor and track all job costs. All cost codes flowed very easily into HeavyJob, and any notes and production rates also followed.
With the capability of being able to export the bid and budget to Excel, Z Contractors directly imported it to our accounting software, Foundations. This gives even greater access and ease to track all job costs.
Using the HeavyJob mobile app allowed our key personnel to keep track of the project and submit time at their convenience. It allowed our foremen to stay in contact with the main office at all times using a tablet. With HeavyJob, T&M work was easily flagged for the project manager to review. Any issues that come up during the day also have an option to attach pictures to diaries and time cards for project manager review. Using HeavyJob ties the entire process together. Data flows from bid to job and quickly into accounting. No data is required to be entered by hand.
Z Contractors was able to have accurate and quick analysis of the project and how the project was performing daily from a financial perspective with ease. HeavyJob streamlined the process of submitting time and the overall sharing of information about the project.
The M-1 Rail Line, also known as the Woodward Avenue Streetcar, is a 3.3-mile-long streetcar line that is going to run along Detroit’s famed Woodward Avenue, a national byway. The streetcar will connect 20 stations serving 12 locations between Congress Street, in Downtown, to West Grand Boulevard, in the North End. The line will provide access to businesses and connecting neighborhoods and points of interest along the way including major cultural landmarks, sports stadiums, entertainment venues, restaurants, hospitals and universities.
On January 18, 2013, the U.S. Department of Transportation announced that the M-1 Rail would receive $25 million in federal grant support for the streetcar project. Shortly after, M-1 Rail began underground utility relocation along Woodward Avenue, the first step toward full-fledged construction activities of the streetcar line. Stacy and Witbeck, a contracting company based out of California that specializes in constructing rail transportation, was awarded the prime contract, and Z Contractors Inc. was awarded an $18 million subcontract to reconstruct the two bridge overpasses for I-75 and I-94.
Both bridges are being constructed part-width while traffic is maintained on the existing half. With the structures being quite old, each of them has had unique and complex challenges. All concrete on the project uses the latest aesthetic designs to bring complete functionality for the project.
On July 20, 2014, the Ilitch family, a major investor in M-1 Rail, announced that the streetcar line will include a stop at the new $450 million Detroit Red Wings arena in Midtown, which is expected to be open mid-2017. The following day, M-1 Rail officially got underway. When completed, whether going to work, going to lunch, or going to a game, visitors and residents alike will have the option to ride the M-1 Rail Streetcar. The streetcar line is expected to be operational in late 2016. Z Contractors Inc. is helping bring railway public transit back to Detroit.