Bids opened for Huntingburg downtown redesign

An artist's rendering shows what an updated Fourth Street in Huntingburg may look like.

By CANDY NEAL
cneal@dcherald.com

HUNTINGBURG — The second round of bids for redesigning Fourth Street between Geiger and Jackson streets were more in line with the engineers’ estimate.

That seemed to please the Huntingburg Board of Public Works and Safety as the bids were opened Thursday morning.

Four companies bid on the project: Deig Brothers Lumber & Construction of Evansville, MAC Construction & Excavating of New Albany, Milestone Contractors of Bloomington, and Ragle Inc. of Newburgh. The base bids ranged from $3.7 million to $4.2 million; the engineers’ estimate was $3.7 million.

Alternate bids were also received for alternate materials like pervious pavers and asphalt. Those ranged from $63,941 to $723,838; the engineers’ estimate was $797,250.

Alternate bids of possible deductions were taken — those ranged from $1,000 to $4,000, in comparison to the engineers’ estimate of $10,000 — as well as an alternate bid for other features that the board could consider adding back into the project. Those ranged from $147,825 to $197,325, in comparison to the engineers’ estimate of $229,250.

Because of the various options for changing materials, as well as removing and adding projects, a final cost could not be determined at the meeting.

“The final number of the project may not be representative of the actual numbers we read today,” Nick Jahn of Indianapolis-based VS Engineering told the board. “We will take the bids under advisement and then come back and report to you.”

The redesign includes the street having a driving lane and sidewalk; a lane situated between the two would be used optionally as a walking lane, parking area or space for outdoor uses by a business, like seating. Trees and planters would be placed in what is now the parking lane, leaving about three parking spaces between the planters. Businesses would have the option of using part of the sidewalk or the parking lane in front of their business for enhancements like seating.

The design incorporates part of the Heritage Trail, which is a walking and bicycle path that will ultimately connect the north and south ends of the city.

When the city received two bids for the project in February, the base bids were $3.9 million and $4.2 million, both more than the project’s then-maximum estimate of $3.5 million. The bids were rejected.

The project engineers did research and learned that there were multiple factors for the bids coming in higher than expected, including busy construction season in which the project was slated to be done, the materials required for the project and the short timeline given to get the project done.

Changes made for the second bid round included adding more options, requesting unit-price bids instead of just lump sum bids and requesting alternate bids. Those options give city officials flexibility in their choices. The construction period is longer this time — work can start in January and run through the year, but the street must be clear and open for next November’s Christmas Stroll. Also, the city street department is taking care of the storm sewer work, taking that out of the construction project.

The main objectives of the project remain the same. Those include enhancing the usable space along the street, providing flexibility in using the street and right of way, enhancing the street’s character, making stormwater improvements on the street and preserving the functionality of the street.

 

The public works board also:

• Hired Lindsey Construction of Ferdinand to remodel the former Fox Metal and Truss building on West 19th Street for $1,037,000. The site will become the new street department.

• Gave Street Superintendent Jason Stamm permission to spend no more than $30,000 to enclose the salt storage building that is at the Fox Metal site.

• Recommended that the Huntingburg Common Council accept Stellar Way into the city’s street inventory. The 1,687-foot-long street runs through the Hunters Crossing subdivision, and connects to North Chestnut Street. The council could consider accepting the street as early as its next meeting, which is set for 7 p.m. Oct. 23 in the council chambers, located on the second floor of City Hall, 508 E. Fourth St.

• Were reminded that Market Street Park will be dedicated today at 5 p.m. The park sits between Third and Fourth streets, with its center just east of Old Town Hall. The park will be used Saturday for the Haunted Huntingburg Blues Festival, which will start at 11 a.m. and end with an outdoor showing of the movie “Coco” at 8 p.m.

Heard that the fire department will invite kids to trick or treat at the fire station during the city’s trick or treating hours, which the common council set for 5:30 to 8 p.m. Oct. 31.




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