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Riverside project delayed to 2015

By Anna Erickson

The Park Rapids Riverside area utility and street improvement project will be delayed to 2015 due to the current bidding climate.

The Riverside project includes an area east of Highway 71, south of Highway 34 and west of the Fish Hook River.

The proposed project cost was estimated at approximately $2,696,400 with a city share of $1,341,400 and the rest assessed to property owners in the area.

Jon Olson, with Apex Engineering Group, updated the Park Rapids City Council on the project Tuesday night.

While the design is nearly complete and is ready for bidding, he recommended delaying the bid for all work to be completed in 2015 except for the final lift of bituminous for 2016.

Construction was originally scheduled to start in 2014 and continue in 2015.

“Contractors are busy. We are hearing most are booked for the rest of the season,” Olson noted in his recommendation. “As a result of this, recent bids have been coming in well over the estimates.”

Other benefits for delaying the bid are that it will consolidate the construction into one season instead of being spread over two, reducing the disruption to property owners and the first bond payment will also better align with the first assessment revenue. Olson also suggested adding north Main Avenue improvements to the Riverside construction contract for next year to get a better deal.

Olson suggested calling for bids in December and opening them in January. This will then be one of the first projects contractors will bid on for the 2015 season, he said.

The Riverside project has been on the radar for several years due to poor existing sanitary sewer conditions. The pipes are likely pre-1940. A video camera has been used to examine the pipes and the video showed joint separation, heavy root intrusion, sags, cracks and breaks. They require frequent maintenance.

The water main and storm sewer are also old throughout some of the area.

The proposed improvements include complete replacement of sanitary sewer, with PVC upgrades of the mains and replacement of services to the property lines.

Proposed water main improvements include upgrading mains to PVC on Washington and 3rd, looping the water main on 2nd and replacing services throughout the area to the property lines.

The project would also include street and sidewalk improvements. In several areas curb and gutter will be added, along with new sidewalks.

Water main and sanitary sewer replacement is 100 percent assessable for the standard size. Storm sewer is 90 percent assessable for standard size. Sidewalks are 50 percent assessable and street replacement is 60 percent assessable for standard size.

Preliminary average assessment amounts were estimated at $11,100 for a 50 foot lot on Riverside Avenue, $19,100 for a 100 foot Riverside Avenue lot, $29,000 for a Riverside corner lot, $20,900 for a 100 foot Washington Avenue lot and $15,900 for a 100 foot lot on 5th Street.

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