S.D. road project that drew one high bid will be pushed back one year and offered anew

Capitol News Bureau
KELO South Dakota Department of Transportation SDDOT logo

PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — A plan to repair pavement and improve sidewalk access along two federal highways in Aberdeen won’t start this year after all, the South Dakota Transportation Commission decided Thursday.

The commission unanimously rejected the only bid received for work on 9.9 miles of US 12 and US 281.

Sharpe Enterprises, based in Fort Pierre, offered to do the project for $6,326,274.00. That was $1,967,016.33 — more than 45 percent — above the official $4,359,257.67 estimate.

Sam Weisgram, who oversees the bid process for the state Department of Transportation, recommended the commission refuse the bid because it was too high.

Weisgram said he’s talked with DOT staff in the Aberdeen office and they are comfortable having the project put up for bids again this fall.

The project will take two years to complete either way, but Weisgram said that the contractor who gets the job would have time next winter to figure out how to get more of the work done in 2021.

“We really wanted to get this project constructed this year, or at least a big portion constructed this year,” Weisgram acknowledged.

Commission member Benj Stoick of Mobridge said he talked with Kyle Jensen of Jensen Rock and Sand, which has offices in Mobridge and Aberdeen. Stoick wondered about spreading it over two years as two projects, with pavement repairs separate from ADA upgrades and sidewalk work.

“The work is all related, and all work a prime contractor can pretty much do,” Weisgram replied. He noted that only 40 percent of the work had to be completed this year.

The commission approved 11 other sets of bids.

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