Bids are $70,000 to $300,000 more than expected
By Bert Lehman
The cost estimates to repair the bridge on Hemlock Street in Clintonville came in higher than expected.
The city had thought repair costs would be in the $80,000 to $100,000 range. When the three bids were opened at the Street Committee meeting on Oct. 13 the estimates ranged from around $150,000 to $400,000.
Because some of the bids included different options, the committee decided to have Clintonville City Administrator Chuck Kell and Clintonville Public Works Director Toby Kersten analyze the bids closer before making a recommendation.
The city had also wanted to complete the bridge repair project this year. Prior to opening the bids, Kell informed the committee that probably wouldn not be possible. He said Kersten was informed by companies bidding on the project that it could take several weeks to obtain the necessary parts for the project.
“I think the idea of getting this project done this year yet is probably almost impossible,” Kell said. “I don’t see a rush. I think we can consider the bids, and if we can afford it after we see this, have the work done next spring.”
At the council meeting that same night Kell informed the council about the huge cost difference in bids, and that the bids included different options. Since the item was on the council agenda, Kell recommended the council postpone any action regarding the matter. The matter will be discussed at the November council meeting.
Kell updated the Finance Committee, at its meeting on Monday, Oct. 26, about the bridge bid proposals. He said after looking at the bids closer, Pheifer Brothers Construction Company out of Neenah submitted the lowest bid of $159,000. This is the same company that did the bridge work on the recent Main Street project.
The $159,000 bid was based on the specs supplied by the city, Kell said. The bid also included painting options. The different painting options would have an impact on the longevity of the paint.
Kell added that the bridge repair project is not in the budget and the city will have to figure out how to finance it, if the city wants to approve the project.
“The bridge does need work. It’s the kind of thing if you let it go it’s going to get to a point where you’ll be looking at a replacement bridge instead of a rehab job,” Kell said. “So it’s not the kind of thing that you want to let go for a long time.”
Kell said he has been in contact with Pheifer Brothers, and that the issue will be on future Finance Committee and Street Committee agendas prior to approval by the council.