Community Crossings project alive in Ligonier
By Kayla Brennan | KPC Media - The News Sun
The initial sticker shock of the bids for the Community Crossings grant subsided slightly in Ligonier, as the city can now continue to work on part of the planned project.
The Board of Works opened bids for its Community Crossings paving project at a special meeting April 11 that would repair the following city streets: Martin Street, Union Street, Chapman Street and Walnut Street. The engineer’s estimate of the project was $595,760.
The Indiana Department of Transportation awarded the city with the grant money in November. When the bids were revealed, the board was surprised by how much higher the bids were than what the engineers estimated it would cost.
Niblock Excavating provided the lowest bid of $821,891.05; Phend and Brown offered $892,838.15; and API Construction quoted $988,280.50.
It was decided at that meeting that the board would give the money back to the state and apply again for the grant because the city did not have the extra funds to complete the project.
But when Clerk-Treasurer Barb Hawn notified the state that Ligonier was going to forgo the money and try again in the next round, David Armstrong, local programs coordinator with INDOT, informed them that this issue has been prevalent around the area. INDOT allowed Ligonier to adjust the project, allowing the city to keep some of the money granted to them.
Jonathan Moen, city engineer, suggested removing the most expensive street to fix, Martin Street.
According to Hawn, Martin Street was the most complicated street to repair because there are storm sewer drains and utility lines under the asphalt. Because of that, the project would be more intensive.
Moen wrote a recommendation letter to the board. With the adjusted plans, the project would cost $110,879.50. INDOT will pay $83,159.63 and the city will pay $27,719.88.
“Based upon our review, the elimination of Martin Street, we would recommend that tentative award of a contract for this project be made to Niblock Excavating, Inc., in the amount of $110,879.50,” the recommendation letter said.
The complete cost to repair Martin Street, according to the bid submitted, would be $711,011.55. There are 37 line items of materials needed to finish that project, while the other three streets combined required only 38.
In the two-minute special meeting Monday, the board approved the new project. The money is expected to arrive in May or June.
The Martin Street project will be considered in the future when applying for another Community Crossings grant, according to the board.