The Village of Flossmoor is cutting its street rehabilitation project workload in half this year after the three bids it received all came in more than $2 million over the engineer’s total estimates.
The village board voted unanimously Monday, April 4, to reject all bids for the project and rebid select streets at what officials hope will be half the price of the original project plans.
The village in February had finalized a list of streets to be included in this year’s project and released a base bid for 30 streets plus six alternate street options, according to a report by Public Works Director John Brunke. The engineer for the project estimated costs using current market pricing at the time as well as past village resurfacing projects, to determine which streets could be included in a $5 million project.
The engineer estimated a $4.94 million base bid, plus five alternatives ranging between $58,497 and $142,831 for a possible total of $5.58 million. But total bids came in at $7.67 million, $7.89 million and $8.55 million. Brunke said he assumes the disparity in pricing is related to the current state of the economy, high inflation, and higher fuel and material costs. But he recommended throwing out the bids because all were well over the project budget.
Eight streets were selected for the rebid, which are expected to cost the village $2.5 million with construction engineering. The remaining streets would be slated for construction next year, Brunke said.
He added the move would also allow Flossmoor to reserve some fund balance for the Flossmoor Road Viaduct project, if that cost comes in higher than expected next year.
The streets proposed for the revamped rehabilitation bid are: Ballantrae Way from Crawford Avenue to Tiree Court, Braeburn Avenue from Flossmoor Road to Butterfield Road, Douglas Avenue from Flossmoor Road to Maryland Avenue, Evans Road from Carroll Parkway to Flossmoor Road and Evans Road to Hutchison Road, Sterling Avenue from Heather Road to Park Drive, Springfield Avenue from Flossmoor Road to 189th Street, 189th Street from Crawford Avenue to Hamlin Avenue, and Tina Lane from Dixie Highway to North End.
“The sad part is we’re not going to get as much work done as we hoped,” Brunke said. “That’s the reality of it.”
Trustee Rosalind Henderson Mustafa said it was an unfortunate turn of events after the work that was put into the bid process but it was better to move forward with half of it. Brunke said the positive is that the engineering work already done will still be good for next year. Mayor Michelle Nelson thanked residents for their patience, noting it is the correct course of action but still a disappointment.
“It’s sobering to go from 30 streets down to eight, especially when you guys did everything right,” Nelson said.
Brunke said at the meeting that staff is ready to release the next bid package as early as “tomorrow,” with plans to get the reduced project done this summer.
Board awards $1.28 million bid for sanitary sewer rehab work
The village board voted unanimously to approve its consent agenda, which included awarding a bid for $1.28 million to Benchmark Construction Company Inc., of Bartlett, for Phase 4 of Flossmoor’s Sanitary Sewer Rehabilitation Project. The project is to be funded through an Illinois Environmental Protection Agency Low Interest Revolving Loan, which was allocated to the village for this construction season.
The project includes 12 sewer point repairs, 60 sewer lining segments, 60 new manhole covers, 20 manhole repairs, the cementitious interior coating of 75 manholes, and pavement and lawn restoration in Flossmoor Hills and Highlands, according to a report by Brunke.
The bid comes in just under the $1.3 million allocated in Flossmoor’s fiscal year 2022 budget. It was one of two bids the village received after putting the package out to 10 contractors. The other bid was higher at $1.38 million. Brunke noted Flossmoor has not worked with Benchmark before but the company comes with good references and experience.
Brunke said staff is planning to host a resident open house event related to the project closer to the start of construction. It is anticipated that construction will be completed by Nov. 15, he said.