Engineers are typically on the proverbial money when estimating costs of municipal projects because they use normal unit pricing tables that reflect the current construction market.
That didn’t happen with bids for the Sunbury’s Village Square Street Improvements Project. The project was estimated at $349,000 when it went out to bid. An Ohio Public Works Commission Grant would have paid for $149,000 of the improvements, the village was approved for a $50,000 OPWC loan, the village’s project share would have been $150,000.
During last Wednesday’s Sunbury Village Council meeting Sunbury’s consulting engineer Wes Hall, CT Consultants, reported that two bids were received, both for way more than anticipated.
Decker Construction bid $507,923.13 to complete the project; Strawser Paving Company bid $515,999.25.
Village solicitor David Brehm said roofing and paving contractors are backed up at least a month because of the recent wet weather, possibly having an impact on bids.
That may be the reason, but the problem is, if all bids that come in exceed the estimated cost of a project by more than 10 percent the project must go out to rebid.
Hall offered two options to council members.
“Option one is to increase the project’s estimated cost and rebid the project with no change in the scope of the work,” Hall said. “Option two, reduce the scope of work and re-estimate the cost and then rebid the project.”
Hall said any scope reductions could be an alternate bid item so the village could still award a base bid and move forward if the village did not want to approve an alternate bid item.
Part of the street improvements included storm sewer work that a paving contractor would typically sub out, increasing project costs, Hall said. He proposed taking proposed storm sewer work leading to Morning Street out of the project, taking $93,548 out of the project’s cost.
A revised construction bid would be $414,375, with an additional $10,000 added for contingencies, rounded off with contingencies to $425,000.
The OPWC Grant would remain at $150,000. With the OPWC $50,000 loan, $150,000 local share, $41,000 for brick sidewalk and planters, and an additional $35,000 local share, the project cost to the village swelled to $276,000.
Council members approved the second option. Hall said the project would go out to bid this week.
“It will take two weeks, then time to execute the contract, that’s a four to six week process,” Hall
“It will take two weeks, then time to execute the contract, that’s a four to six week process,” Hall said. “Construction on the project should begin after Labor Day. It has a 90-day time frame, although most of it would be done in 60 days.
“It’s a small bid,” Hall added. “I can’t guess what contractors will do, but I hope we’re within 10 percent.”