Village Board rejects lone quote for Linden St. repaving project that came in $430,000 over projected cost
Spring in Wisconsin traditionally signals the start of the road construction season, but Village of Saukville officials have found contractors reluctant to tackle one local paving project.
The Village Board unanimously agreed last week to reject a single bid received for the repaving of Colonial Parkway and Linden Street.
Public Works Director Roy Wilhelm told the board the bid received from paving contractor Payne & Dolan for the work came in at $984,562. That figure is $430,000 higher than the estimated cost calculated by Wilhelm.
He told trustees the lack of bids can be blamed on speculation that soil along Linden Street may be contaminated in the area of the former Freeman Chemical plant, now known as Arkema.
Village Administrator Dawn Wagner said the village’s engineering firm, Ruekert & Mielke, identified a contamination site on the Arkema property which came into play in the project.
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources also identified the area for possible soil problems.
“If it were just curb and pavement, there would be no issue,” Wagner said, “but because we are planning to dig at least water main and sewer laterals, we fall under the regulations.”
The contamination report was seen as a red flag for prospective paving contractors.
“I am disturbed that the issue of Arkema contamination came into play with the WDNR,” Wilhelm said in a memo on the paving project.
The combined project calls for the installation of a new binder course and asphalt surface, replacement of about 2,000 linear feet of curb and gutter, 3,000 linear feet of stormwater sewer lines and 2,500 linear feet of sanitary sewer lines.
Wilhelm said preliminary cost estimates for the project were right on, but the concerns related to taking on a project with possible soil contamination scared off virtually all paving contractors.
An alternate bid on the project showed the contractor expected it to cost $144,000 to haul away and dispose of contaminated soil.
Reukert & Mielke has recommended taking soil borings and performing testing to determine if soil contamination exists along Linden Street.
That testing is expected to cost between $3,000 and $4,000.
If the tests show there is no contamination, officials are hopeful more competitive bids will be received when the paving work is rebid.
“I would recommend stepping back and rebidding,” Wilhelm said.
Alternatively, he said the two projects could be separated, since there appears to be no problem related to the repaving of Colonial Parkway.
Wagner said the lone paving bid was unreasonably high.
“We don’t feel it would be the best use of taxpayer dollars to proceed at this time,” she told the board. “We will get very competitive bids for Colonial Parkway. It is a very straight forward project.”