Two bids were received to replace the Wolf Hill Road Bridge in New Scotland, which suffered significant structural damage during Tropical Storm Irene. Unless the low bid is disqualified, the project will total nearly $315,000.
New Scotland called for bids to replace the bridge and only received two bids by the 3 p.m. deadline on Thursday, June 27. Around five people purchased bid packets and attended a mandatory meeting regarding the project, according to town officials. The low bid was below the town’s estimates for the project, though.
The low bidder was Stephen Miller General Contractors, Inc., and their offer was around $70,000 less than a bid from James H. Maloy, Inc.
Town Supervisor Tom Dolin said project was delayed because of dealing with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which administers federal funding for the project and had to OK plans.
“(The bridge) was hit by trees that had washed down the stream … and the streambed was eroded,” Dolin said.
The town sought to replace the damaged one-lane bridge with a two-lane bridge, but FEMA originally denied the proposal and wanted to replace it as a single-lane bridge, according to Dolin. Eventually, the town was able to get FEMA’s approval for the more modern two-lane design.
Dolin said the town had safety concerns connected to keeping it a one-lane bridge. The new bridge will also have a higher weight capacity than the older bridge.
“The old bridge couldn’t handle high-tonnage vehicles,” Dolin said.
The new bridge will also not have a center support, so it would be more resistant to the kinds of circumstances that brought about the structural damage it received from debris flowing down the stream during Irene.
Dolin said the most impact aspect of replacing the bridge is it would reduce the response time for first responders to surrounding residences by about 10 to 12 minutes.
All of the work within the stream must be “substantially complete” by Sept. 15 and the remaining work outside of the stream will be completed by Oct. 25, according to the bid requirements.
The Town Board is expected to award the project at its next meeting on Wednesday, July 10. The recommendation from town-hired consultant Dave Hansen, of Stantec Consulting Services, wasn’t completed before The Spotlight went to press. The recommendation to the Town Board is expected during first week of July.
Miller plans to subcontract a portion of the project, but didn’t identify any proposed subcontracts as required by the form. The second bidder, Maloy, also identified subcontractors would be used with the project, but similar to Miller wrote, “To be determined.”
If a bidder was proposing to subcontract any part of the project, the bid form required bidders to indentify any subcontractors. Any work assigned to each contract also must be stated.
Hansen said he is still reviewing both bids and would determine if there is a problem with not listing subcontractors.
“I haven’t made the official recommendation yet, so I have to still run through those documents,” Hansen said Friday, June 28. “I’ll have to certainly look into that and call them and find out.”
Hansen said oftentimes, bidders will not list the subcontractors, or will list several different ones for the same work. He said subcontractors often get hired for work they didn’t know of before the bid was submitted.
“It is not a major issue, typically. It is more just for the control of the quality of work,” Hansen said. “If it is an issue we will tell them that they didn’t list anybody and they are not allowed.”
If both bids were invalidated the town would have to rebid the project.