Bid on phase 1 of Hwy. 61 rehab comes in $900K lower

BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
PCC EDITOR

FORT MADISON – A bid from the same firm that was rejected last fall on the 2nd Street to 6th Street Hwy. 61 rehabilitation project, has come in close to a million dollars cheaper.

At Tuesday’s regular Fort Madison City Council meeting, the council will vote on approving a contract with Jones Contracting Corp. out of West Point for $2.39 million to reconstruct the stretch of highway on Fort Madison’s east side.

Jones had submitted a bid of $3.33 million in August last year. City officials rejected that bid after it came in close to double engineering estimates from HR Green of Cedar Rapids.

The work is also being watched carefully by the Iowa State Historical Society because of it’s proximity to the original fort location. Any discoveries during the reconstruction could halt progress and add to the city’s cost.

The city received two bids on the work, the other was from Langman Construction Inc., out of the Quad Cities for $3.42 million.

In September, considering the original bid for the work by Jones, Pat Jones said he could see a potential savings of about $230,000 which would bring the costs to $3.1 million, but Jones said at that time, he didn’t know what impact rebidding the project would have on the cost.

Winter bidding is typically more favorable in regard to costs, Andrew Marsh, a vice president from HR Green said last fall.

The bids were received by the Iowa Department of Transportation on Jan. 22. The project is being funded through IDOT grants and funds the city still has from the $13 million it received from the state to take responsibility of the highway after the bypass was built.

Projected costs from the city’s proposed budget for 2020-21 fiscal year are about $10 million with work possibly being completed on the 2nd to 6th and 6th to 10 streets, and the one way pairs on 18th and 20th streets. That would leave about $3 million in the Highway 61 fund.

In other action, the council is scheduled to:

• vote to adopt a resolution of support for an Iowa Department of Economic Development application for the High Quality Jobs Creation Program in connection with the recently announced planned $32 million expansion at ConAgra Foods. The project is contingent upon receiving state tax credits under the program.

• hold a workshop following the regular meeting to discuss the 2020-21 fiscal year budget.

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