Archive for Thursday, April 27, 2006

Main Street bid comes in high

Council to discuss quandary tonight

April 27, 2006

Lansing City Council will be asked at a special meeting to increase the city's ante for the Main Street System Enhancement project after the low bid for the project exceeded original estimates.

Maggie Thompson, public involvement liaison with the Kansas Department of Transportation, said a review of Leavenworth Excavating and Equipment Co.'s bid of $10.17 million showed it was about $2 million above the department's estimate.

Since discovery of the discrepancy, Thompson said, KDOT officials and city officials have been in consultation regarding how to proceed, and it appears the Transportation Department will kick in extra money and award the bid to Lexeco if the city will follow suit.

"The bid will be awarded to the contractor if the city increases their financial commitment," Thompson said Wednesday afternoon.

The city and state are partners in the project, with the city picking up 20 percent of the cost and the remaining 80 percent being paid for by the state. Prior to this week's revelation, the cost of the project, including design, engineering and construction costs, had been estimated at $13.3 million with the city's share about $2.8 million.

With the 20-80 split still in effect, council members will be asked to provide in the neighborhood of an additional $400,000 for the project during the special meeting, which is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. today, April 27, at City Hall, 800 First Terrace. The special meeting will precede a regularly scheduled work session scheduled for 7 p.m.

Should the council reject the increased commitment, Thompson said, there are several moves that can take place. They include KDOT rebidding the project to try to get a lower bid or for KDOT and city officials to huddle to see whether the project can be pared to come within the already-budgeted parameters.

Any rebidding of the project would delay the construction start date.

This Main Street System Enhancement project calls for widening Main Street from Connie to Ida streets to include a center turn lane, rebuilding the bridge over 7-Mile Creek, reconstructing medians from Gilman Road to Ida Street and constructing a "reverse frontage road" north of West Mary Street to West Kansas Avenue.

The projected timetable calls for work to be completed by spring 2008.

Bids for the project, along with 35 other projects statewide, were opened April 19. Many of them, Thompson said, came in above KDOT's estimates.

"I do know we've definitely seen an increase in the cost of projects with rising oil prices," she said, noting oil is used in road materials, in the transporting of those materials to work sites and to run highway-building equipment.

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