Garfield Bridge project delayed
April 29. 2014 1:31PM
The Garfield Avenue bridge replacement project likely won’t get done this summer after delays forced a deadline extension.
The $2.6-million construction project was slated to begin this spring with a completion date of October 2014. But Dell Rapids City Administrator said delays in the state transportation department, the agency overseeing the building of the new bridge, might keep the job from getting done this year.
With the bridge replacement in the works for several years, bids were to let in October 2013. That didn’t happen.
“I’ve been wondering like everybody else, when is the bridge project happening,” Weiland said at the Dell Rapids City Council meeting last week. “It’s been frustrating because this has been out of our control because it’s in the state’s hands.”
After October passed without opening bids, SDDOT informed City Hall bids would open in early 2014.
“It just kept getting pushed back and pushed back,” Weiland said. “First it was January and then it was February. Now May 7 is the bid opening date.”
But too much time has passed to ensure the project is completed during the 2014 construction season. Weiland said taking bids so late in the spring while maintaining a fall deadline would add significant costs to the project.
“The problem with the May 7 date and the October 31 deadline is there isn’t enough time,” he said. “If they were to stick with that timeline, we would see an increase in price.”
To avoid added expenses – the city’s portion of the bridge project is about $600,000 – Weiland said bidding contractors will price the project with a September 2015 completion date in mind.
“That’s going to give the contractor some extra flexibility,” he said.
With the expanded timeline, the Garfield Avenue bridge could be closed for up to 15 months if work were to begin this summer. But Weiland said construction isn’t likely to start until next spring.
“I don’t anticipate we’d see that action start in 2014,” he said.
To ensure the project moves fast once ground is broken, language in the contract will require substantial progress be made regularly.
“They can’t come in, tear down and leave for six months,” Weiland said.