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Park Rapids receives 'OK' to advertise for bidding of Main Avenue project

The Park Rapids City Council is advertising for bids for the Main Avenue reconstruction project.

"We incurred difficulties in proceeding with the project because we're waiting on federal dollars but MnDOT is making some provisions," said city administrator Bill Smith.

The city was allotted $730,500 in federal money for Main Avenue but a hold up occurred when the money hadn't reached the state.

"We finally did receive word to go ahead and advertise the project so that's a big step," said city engineer Jon Olson. "It's not our formal approval to proceed with the project."

He recommended setting the bid opening date for June 17 with the bid being awarded June 22. The Park Rapids City Council approved the bid advertising.

Two additional items need to be approved. The first is the project memorandum. That document is still being reviewed.

"They're still reviewing the historical importance of that document but I don't see that being an issue," Olson said. "The next month between now and the date we're proposing for a bid opening should be enough time to get that item cleaned up and clarified."

The second item that needs to be completed is the transfer of federal funds to the state and MnDOT.

"I haven't received formal word that transfer has been made but we've been told that it should be in place by our bid opening date," he said. "I guess cross our fingers. They were gracious enough to let us do this. This is definitely out of order."

The timing worked out perfectly, Olson said. The initial public hearing for the Main Avenue reconstruction project was June 23, 2009. After the public hearing is held the deadline to open bids is one year so the June 17 bid date and the June 22 awarding of the bid will fall within that timeline.

"What would happen if the two pieces that need to happen don't," asked councilwoman Sue Tomte.

Depending on the status, it would be a simple postponement of the bid opening, Olson said.

"Unfortunately, that puts us in a situation where we'd likely have to hold another public hearing," he said. "It depends on how severe the reason for the delay is."

If the historical review doesn't come back in favor, for example, there could be reason to postpone the schedule further, Olson said.

Bids could be held for 30 days or even as long as 45 days if needed, he said.

"We can't officially open bids until we get the authorization," Olson said.

He anticipates receiving quite a few bids at a decent price.

"Definitely hoping for favorable bids. The bidding climate is very, very favorable," Olson said.

The project is slated to begin Aug. 2.

Anna Erickson
Anna Erickson is editor of the Wadena Pioneer Journal.
(218) 631-2561