3/29/2013 10:11:00 AM East Side bid 25% under estimate
by Ken Haggerty
The Cannon Falls City Council approved a low bid of $1,728,778 for the East Side street and utility construction work scheduled to begin around Memorial Day and to be completed by the end of September, possibly by Labor Day if things go well.
The bid was 25 percent below estimates by the City's consulting engineer.
S.M. Hentges & Sons, Inc., Jordan, MN, was the low bidder. It is the same firm that did the work on the city's West Side street and utility project the last two years.
Hentges was also the low bidder on the MnDOT Hwy. 52 interchange project south of Cannon Falls, but had its bid rejected because of a failure to properly submit a form concerning on-the-job training. Hentges is appealing that decision.
Greg Anderson, of Short Elliot Hendrickson, the City's consulting engineering firm out of St. Paul, said the bids were very competitive. Ten bids were submitted, with nine of them under the estimate. Anderson said the project being bid early in the season helped and he thinks blacktop prices have come down significantly from his estimate.
With associated engineering, administrative, testing, legal and other costs added in, the total project cost is expected to be $2,172, 925.01
The City will pay for 80 percent of the project and will assess 20 percent to benefiting property owners, the minimum required by State law. Assessments are broken down into three tiers, depending on location and the amount of work being performed. Some areas will be seeing work done on street, curb, sewer, and water; others will be just street work. The top tier of assessments will be $4,928.44. The second tier will be $2,438.26. The lowest tier will be assessed at $1,140.11. Assessments can be paid over 15 years, with five percent annual interest. Assessments will be due starting in January, 2014.
The Council voted to approve the use of PVC for the water mains, rather than ductile iron pipe. That option saves about $48,000. Council member LeRoy McCusker had requested that bids be submitted with that option and strongly argued for going that route.
McCusker said in his experience he's seen iron more likely to shear, while PVC will just crack, creating less severe repair situations. McCusker thinks the West Side area has a lot of fluctuating soil conditions, going from rock to gravel to dirt. He thinks those conditions could lead to iron shearing, like it did recently at the School. McCusker said iron has not been as long lasting as originally forecast. PVC can require more labor to lay in place and needs to be threaded with a metallic material to help in below-ground locating. Copper will still be used from the main to the residential shut-off. Council member Bill Duncan was the lone vote to go with ductile iron.
The project will impact portions of Bridge St., Water St., Cedar St., Water Ct., Vine St., Grove St., Almond St., Cannon Ct., Stoughton Ct., Oak St., and Hoffman St. Minnesota St. will be done in the next phase.