7th, Pike bid above estimate; project still a ‘go’

The lone construction bid came in at more than 15 percent above the engineer’s estimate for Marietta’s traffic and pedestrian safety upgrade of the Seventh, Pike and Greene streets intersection, elevating the estimated cost by $264,256.

City engineer Joe Tucker announced the discrepancy after calling an emergency joint meeting of city council’s finance and streets and transportation committees Tuesday afternoon.

“I received an email from the Ohio Department of Transportation who opened bids for the project Thursday,” he said. “The email said the city needed to come up with an additional $55,986 to pay for our portion of the project, and I didn’t budget for that.”

Tucker said the project, being administered by ODOT, was originally estimated to cost $1.7 million, but the sole bidder, Shelly and Sands, submitted a bid of just over $2 million.

“Don’t they have to re-bid the project if it came in at 15 percent over estimate?” asked Councilman Tom Vukovic, D-4th Ward and chair of the finance committee.

Tucker said, unlike municipalities, ODOT does not have to re-bid the project but the agency apparently has the ability to make an adjustment to the original engineer’s estimate so that the bid amount will fall within the acceptable limit of 10 percent above the estimate.

He said no monies would have to be taken out of the city’s streets budget in order to cover the needed $55,986.

“I went to WWW (Wood, Wirt and Washington counties interstate planning commission) and they will cover $45,307 of that cost,” Tucker said. “The city would have to pay $10,679.”

He said that money would come out of the county’s $5 permissive tax fund and he had already approached the county engineer who said there would be no problem with the city making use of that funding.

“When do these additional monies have to be in place?” Vukovic asked.

Tucker said there is no rush to have the funds immediately available, but ODOT officials did want an answer from council members by today that they would support the city’s additional cost for the project.

All seven council members agreed to the extra funding.

“But what about any contingencies or change orders that may crop up on this project?” asked Councilman Mike McCauley, D-2nd Ward.

Tucker said WWW had also agreed to pay 80 percent of any change orders, although each order would have to be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Preliminary work on the intersection upgrade has already been under way for the last couple of weeks as crews began relocating approximately 12 utility poles on Greene and Pike streets.

Horizontal drilling to re-route some power lines beneath the intersection continued on South Seventh and Pike streets Tuesday afternoon. Some traffic delays can be expected in the area as work on the intersection continues.

Tucker said the entire upgrade project is scheduled for completion by Nov. 1.

Construction on another intersection at Pike, Acme and Jefferson streets is already under way and impacting traffic in that area.

The $1.6 million project, which includes widening of the roadway on Acme Street, and lane and traffic signal improvements at the intersection, is slated for completion by Aug. 15, Tucker said.