State panel rejects low bid for work along a Black Hills highway

Capitol News Bureau

PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — Twelve projects totaling more than $40 million on South Dakota highways have received approval.

But the state Transportation Commission also turned down the low bid on a project in the Black Hills because the price was unusually high.

The project was to remove trees and replace fence along US 85 in Lawrence County from the Wyoming border to Cheyenne Crossing.

The state Department of Transportation estimated the work would cost $546,381. The two bids came in much higher. The lowest, from Quinn Construction of Rapid City, was for $999,002.55.

DOT official Sam Weisgram told the commission Thursday that the department couldn’t recommend paying the extra 82.8 percent.

He said talks were under way with the U.S. Forest Service about possible changes to the project. The commission agreed the department could continue working with the federal agency.

Weisgram recommended two other projects with low bids that were above the estimates but not quite as far. The commission approved both.

One is milling and resurfacing more than eight miles of SD 37 north of Springfield to SD 50 in Bon Homme County. The estimate was $2,503,659.40. Spencer Quarries of Spencer submitted the only bid at $2,996,357.42.

Weisgram said other contractors probably weren’t confident about competing because Spencer Quarries already has a temporary plant there. The bid was 19.7 percent above.

The other project was milling, resurfacing, pipe work and disability improvements on 14 miles of US 12 in Corson County, from two miles west of McLaughlin to 14 miles east. The estimate was $4,648,892.87. Bituminous Paving of Ortonville, Minnesota, had the low bid at $5,658,129.70.

That was 21.7 percent above but still better than the offers from four other contractors.

“Prices were consistent and competitive among the five bids received,” Weisgram said.

The commission chairman agreed. “If we say no and do it over again, we may shoot ourselves in the foot,” said Mike Vehle of Mitchell.

After the commission finished voting on the various projects, commissioner Benj Stoick of Mobridge returned to the Spencer Quarries award. He asked Weisgram, “Isn’t it rare when there’s only one bidder?”

Replied Weisgram, “It’s not real common.” Weisgram added that the bid seemed competitive.

Other projects approved were:

Resurfacing the westbound lanes of I-90 in Jackson County from Belvidere to the Jones County line, and work on SD 248 from Cactus Flats to Kadoka, went to Complete Concrete of Rapid City, the only bidder at $23,055,554.50. That was 6.1 percent more than the estimated $21,727,197.87.

Replacing a structure, and regrading the approaches to it, over the Redwater River in Lawrence County, about four miles north and two miles west of Spearfish, went to Corr Construction Services of Hermosa. Its bid of $619,963.55 was lowest of two received and was 2.9 percent more than the estimated $602,583.70.

Milling and resurfacing shoulders on 20 miles of US 12 in Grant and Roberts counties, from Summit to west of Milbank, went to Bituminous Paving of Ortonville, Minnesota. Its bid of $2,949,904.93 was lowest of four received and was 13.3 percent below the estimated $3,402,501.90.

Sharpe Enterprises of Fort Pierre was chosen to install concrete sidewalk in the community of Wood in Mellette County. The bid of $163,650.20 was lowest of two and was 9.6 percent below the estimated $181,113.35.

A pavement-marking project on 10 miles of I-229 in Minnehaha and Lincoln counties went to Traffic Solutions of Harrisburg. Its bid of $433,245.40 was lowest of two and was 1.9 percent more than the estimated $425,098.60.

Crack leveling on 19 miles of various routes in Day and Marshall counties was awarded to Northwest Asphalt and Maintenance of Thief River Falls, Minnesota. Its bid of $597,023.99 was lowest of five and was 18.9 percent below the estimated $736,498.20.

Surface work on 66 miles of various routes in Brown, Day, Edmunds, Faulk, Marshall and McPherson counties went to Bituminous Paving of Ortonville, Minnesota. Its $2,412,986.35 bid was lowest of three and was 2.7 percent below the estimated $2,479,177.20.

Simon Contractors of Rapid City was the only bidder for milling, resurfacing, sidewalks and ramp upgrades on a 1.2-mile stretch of US 16A through Keystone in Pennington County. The $1,438,746.76 bid was 7.2 percent above the estimated $1,341,850.95.

Quinn Construction of Rapid City had low bid for intersection improvements at the Croell Quarry junction on US 16 in Pennington County. The $412,833.90 bid was less than two others and was 30.8 percent below the estimated $596,373.45.

The bid summaries are here.

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