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Main Avenue construction bid accepted

Dick Rutherford presents one of two different options for granite sidewalk inlays along Main Avenue. (Anna Erickson / Enterprise)

Bids came in lower than estimates for the 2010 Main Avenue utility and street reconstruction project in Park Rapids.

"Very good news," said city engineer Jon Olson at Tuesday's Park Rapids City Council meeting.

"Eight bids were received last Thursday and definitely came in very favorably. We were expecting good bids as we saw the bidding climate was very favorable for the southwest project."

The design estimate for the base bid was just under $4.4 million. That included Main Avenue south to 8th Street, side streets and streetscaping. The base bid plus the alternate includes the addition of new street lighting on the side streets for a design estimate just under $4.6 million.

The low bid came from R.L. Larson of St. Cloud at $4.147 million base bid and $4.396 for the base bid plus alternate.

"Given the bids were right where we were hoping, a little under, I would recommend we go with R.L. Larson. They are certainly capable of doing the work," Olson said. "If side street lighting is ever a consideration, certainly now would be the time to explore it."

The street lighting would be on Second, Third and Fourth streets, one block east and one block west of Main.

City administrator Bill Smith said the council should keep in mind that at the next meeting the Capital Improvement Plan will be presented and it contains several projects.

"In looking at our CIP that we'll be presenting to you shortly, there is a fairly aggressive effort to do several projects over the next several years," Smith said. "The city will be increasing its debt quite a bit."

The side streetlights are relatively new - about 10 years old.

The council decided to accept the base bid from R. L. Larson - without new streetlights on the side streets - for $4.147 million.

Construction is slated to begin Aug. 2.

In connection with the Main Avenue project, examples of granite inlays were presented to the council.

David Collins, Hubbard County Regional Economic Development Commission executive director, presented an example of a granite sidewalk inlay that was in the original RDG downtown plan. It includes blue marble in the shape of a lake with pieces of other granite put together like a puzzle.

Donor names would be etched in the bottom and across the top would be the lake's name sand blasted in.

"What we're working on now is trying to get 100 percent of these donated," Collins said. "The city committed to buy two and there are potential donors out there."

The cost is about $2,000 uninstalled.

A second example for a granite sidewalk inlay is to have the lake colored in with the name sandblasted on top and donor sandblasted on bottom.

The cost of the second inlay is $1,200 if just two are made or $1,000 each if all the inlays are completed at once.

The council made no decision on the inlays at Tuesday's meeting.

Another Main Avenue project item was approved Tuesday by the council.

The Downtown Business Association requested to place off site signage on the city's light poles along Highways 34 and 71 and Central Avenue.

The city council approved a temporary sign district for the downtown construction project at the June 8 meeting. The Minnesota Department of Transportation gave permission for the additional signage.

The DBA will place four "Where's Parker" signs on the community entrance signs and fourteen "Positively Park Rapids" signs on the light poles.

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