Bid approved for Anoka street renewal

Anoka has approved the bid for its 2012 street reconstruction project.The low bid of just under $1.68 million from Douglas Kerr Underground was unanimously approved by the Anoka City Council at its meeting on Monday.

Douglas-Kerr Underground was also responsible for last year’s street renewal project, as well as the 2006 project.

The bid came in about 11 percent below the engineer’s estimate, said Greg Lee, the city’s public services director and city engineer.

“We’re still getting very good bids for our street projects,” said Lee.

Lee expects the cost savings the city has been seeing on these road projects will likely start to decrease soon, as the cost of bituminous is directly linked to oil prices, which continue to rise, he said.

More than a mile of streets will be replaced in the southeast corner of the city as part of the 2012 reconstruction project.

The city received an unprecedented 13 bids on the project. Typically, seven or eight companies bid on city street projects, said Lee.

There wasn’t much separation between the most competitive bids on the project.

“It give me great confidence that the bottom three were only 2 or 3 percent apart,” said Councilmember Steve Schmidt.

Only $34,000 separated Douglas-Kerr and the second lowest bidder, LaTour Construction.

“That’s really fine pencil bidding,” said Schmidt. “It also tells me we’re not going to have a contractor that is going to be surprised.”

Over the past three years the gap between the engineer’s estimates and the project costs has been narrowing.

Last year’s street renewal bids came in 18 percent lower than the estimate. In 2010 they were 23 percent under, said Lee.

The engineers use the cost of the projects over the last three years to formulate their estimates, said Lee, so the low bid climate is now being reflected in those estimates.

“They are trending down,” said Lee.

The 2012 project includes street reconstruction as well as upgrades to utility infrastructure including storm sewer, sanitary sewer and water mains.

The project area includes: Queens Lane (from East River Road to River Lane), Eastwood Lane (from Birch Street to the south cul-de-sac), Ninth Avenue (from Oakwood Drive to River Lane), Oakwood Drive (Queens to Ninth Avenue), Birch Street (Eastwood Lane to Ninth), Pine Street (Queens to Ninth), River Lane (Queens to Ninth) and Elm Street (Queens to East end).

The majority of the funding – 28 percent – will come from the city’s street renewal fund. Also helping pick up the tab will be utility funds for water, sewer, storm sewer and electric.

Assessments to property owners will total $449,000 or approximately 20 percent of project costs.

Mandy Moran Froemming is at editor.anokaunion@ecm-inc.com

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