Three of the four bids for street maintenance materials and services through a regional consortium spearheaded by the city of Coon Rapids came in higher than estimated.
But the Coon Rapids City Council approved contracts for all four projects – seal coating, traffic markings, street sweeping and crack sealing.
The other cities involved in the 10-city North Metro Regional Street Maintenance Materials – Andover, Anoka, Brooklyn Center, Circle Pines, Columbia Heights, Coon Rapids, East Bethel, Fridley, Ham Lake and Mahtomedi – have signed off on their bid numbers.
The group was put in place by the city of Coon Rapids some years ago to save money by jointly purchasing street maintenance materials and services.
Had Coon Rapids gone it alone on the four projects without the economies of scale, the bids would have been higher, according to Steve Gatlin, city public services director.
“This is the first time the seal coat bids have been above estimate,” Gatlin said.
The reason is the increase in costs of petroleum products, he said.
“In checking with communities, they have seen the same increases,” Gatlin said.
The engineer’s estimate for the seal coating work, through which the city plans to seal coat 30 miles of residential streets this year, was $1.2 million.
The low bid from Allied Blacktop Company, which was awarded the contract, came in at $1,439,392.88, 6 percent higher than estimated.
There is enough money in the city seal coating budget to cover the higher cost, Gatlin said.
Not only were the costs for the bituminous materials higher, but also fuel for transporting the materials and applying them, according to Gatlin.
The bid was based on regular asphalt emulsion seal coat oil and trap rock cover aggregate, Gatlin said.
“Again this year, staff will be using a polymer additive to the seal coat oil and different cover aggregate in high traffic areas, including cul de sacs and higher volume collector streets,” he said.
“We have seen through our experience that this application has minimized scuffing and bleeding of seal coat material.
“The use of these materials has also increased the cost of the total program slightly.”
For traffic markings the contract was awarded to AAA Striping Services in the amount of $168,086.72, which was 7 percent under the engineer’s estimate of $180,000, .
The street sweeping contract for spring and fall went to Pearson Bros., whose low bid was $50,240.
Broken down the hourly rate for both spring sweeping is $75 and $73 for fall sweeping compared with $74 an hour for both fall and spring sweeping in 2011, according to Gatlin.
American Pavement Solutions submitted the low bid totaling $124,768.56 for the crack sealing work. The engineer’s estimate was $120,000.
The increases in petroleum and fuel costs, especially for the seal coating work, prompted Councilmember Scott Schulte to ask if they were having an impact on other parts of the city’s budget.
Schulte recalled a few years ago during another time of petroleum and fuel price hikes, the council had to make budget adjustments to absorb the increases, he said.
City Manager Matt Fulton said he would provide a report to the council on the budget impact of the petroleum and fuel increases.
Money was left over from last year when petroleum and fuel costs were less than expected, Fulton said.
The cities of Andover and Anoka opted out of the seal coating contract this year.
“The work will begin in early June,” Gatlin said.
“We anticipate a completion date for work in all cities on or about Sept. 7 for seal coating and crack sealing.
“Pavement markings and street sweeping will continue beyond Sept. 7 and possibly into the spring of 2013.”
The program has saved the city considerable amounts of more in the purchasing of street maintenance materials and services, according to Gatlin.
Peter Bodley is at firstname.lastname@example.org