Monday, July 22, 2024

Leavenworth City Council accepts $1.97M bid for Front Street Park restroom and stairway project

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LEAVENWORTH – The city will be moving forward with construction of its Front Street Park Restrooms and Stairway Expansion Project after accepting a construction contract 31 percent higher than the engineer’s estimate.

“We see no value to the City to re-bid the project in the future a third time, expecting results closer to the engineer’s estimate. We find the current low bidder’s amount to be fair and reasonable,” said Jeff Wandasiewicz of ARC Architects in a letter of recommendation to award to the city.

Prior to the initial bid on March 20, the engineer’s original construction estimate was just under $1.2 million. However, the city only received one bid at that time from Cascade Central Construction, LLC, for just over $2 million. At the Apr. 9 meeting, Leavenworth City Council voted to reject the bid and have city staff reassess the estimated cost and re-bid the project.

The project’s architect, ARC Architects, reassessed the estimate to $1.5 million. The bid re-opened at the end of May, and received three bids. Cascade Central Construction, LLC submitted the lowest bid at about $1.97 million, which was accepted by City Council on June 11. The other two bids came in at $1.99 million, and nearly $4 million.

“The big difference on this round of bids is, yes, the low bid is 31 percent over the engineer’s estimate, but because we received three total bids, you can see that the two low bids are so close in percentage that that indicates that the low bid is competitive. So, therefore, the engineers estimate is just light on this project,” said Public Works Director Tom Wachholder during the meeting.

The project will also incur costs for construction services, such as the architectural firm’s oversight of the construction, but the exact estimate was unknown. The cost of the project will be paid for through the city's lodging tax. 

According to Wachholder, the project could start as early as thirty days after the construction contract is signed. Construction activities will be contained within the fenced area of the project site. City staff plan to pursue restroom trailers while the established restrooms are under construction. The project is estimated to be completed over the course of a year. 

The project will update the downtown restrooms located next to the gazebo with a larger women’s restroom and a family/gender-neutral single-stall restroom. It will also reconstruct the adjacent covered stairs and cover the area above the restroom.

“It’ll make a big difference in this spot,” said Mayor Carl J. Florea.

Taylor Caldwell: 509-433-7276 or taylor@ward.media

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