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Archive for Tuesday, December 12, 2006

County sets schedule for Lecompton bridge bids, repairs

December 12, 2006

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After more than a year of discussions and contention, Douglas County has set a date to accept bids for repairing the Kansas River bridge at Lecompton.

Advertising for bids will begin Monday, and bids will be opened Jan. 23.

The county's repair contract calls for construction to start March 12. The bridge will be closed to all traffic once repairs begin.

The contract sets a "substantial completion" date for Aug. 10, which would be before the start of school in the Perry-Lecompton school district.

There would be a $10,000 fee assessed against the contractor for each day the bridge isn't finished after the deadline. The latest estimates put construction costs between $1.7 million and $2 million, excluding the cost of repainting the existing steel on the bridge superstructure.

County commissioners and County Engineer Keith Browning initially hoped to call for bids at least three months ago, but a disagreement with Jefferson County about sharing costs on the project and whether the bridge would be closed during repairs led to delays.

Despite the short period of time between awarding a bid and the start of construction, Browning thinks contractors will bid on the project.

It is not unusual for contractors to have as little as a month to get ready for a construction project after a bid is awarded, said Steve Glass, president of LRM Industries in Lawrence.

"It would be unusual that we would expect more time than that," Glass said. LRM will not be offering a bid because the bridge work is not the type of project it typically handles, he said.

If the bids are too high, that could cause further delays and possibly lead to rescheduling the project in 2008. Some repair work would have to be done anyway, Browning has said.

"The worst-case scenario would be to wait another year," Commissioner Charles Jones said.

Once a bid is awarded, the county can try to negotiate financial incentives with the contractor for completing the work ahead of schedule, Browning said.

"Can you do it in fewer days, and what would it take?" Browning said the contractor would be asked.

If Douglas County doesn't have the money to pay for incentives, that option could be offered to Jefferson County to see whether it is interested in paying that cost.

Two of the three Jefferson County commissioners favored keeping one of the bridge lanes open during repairs because of its importance to Perry and Lecompton area residents, businesses and schools. Keeping the bridge open would increase the cost of the project and the length of construction time. There still would be periods when the bridge would be completely closed.

Even if the bridge project is completed by the time school starts next year, the district still has to deal with the closing during the spring. More bus drivers will be hired and more routes and shuttle sites will be added to try to compensate for using detour routes, Superintendent Steve Johnston said.

"Probably right after the first of the year, we're going to be contacting our parents and our families and getting those plans in place," Johnston said.

Commissioners directed County Administrator Craig Weinaug to set up a Web site that can be used to keep the public informed about the progress of the bridge project.

Comments

budwhysir 8 years ago

The ink has been set a schedule is born

jasonthesane 8 years ago

Painting the steel is required to protect the steel from oxidation (rust). Nothing to do with making it "look pretty."

brendabo 8 years ago

I can't wait to see the web site that is going to be available for the public to see the progreess of the bridge construction. What is the county going to do take pictures of other bridges so all that look at the web site will see what the county wants them to see? The ink has always been set by the Douglas County Comissioners they just wanted to act like they were interested in allowing the citizens of Lecompton and Pery to help with decision on keeping the bridge open. Can't wait until the next elections when the Comissioners are up for re-election.

Angie Dick 8 years ago

Here we go again. it is all a bunch of BS. Ok have it done by this day we will give you extra money. And why in the world would they have to paint the steel on the bridge? It don't gotta look pretty it's gotta work. it is really gonna suck when people from Lecompton and perry are shuttling boat rides across the river. buckle up oops put on your life vest we gotta go to the store. or when a lecompton resident has to go pick up their sick child. oo be there in a jiff.. I'll throw on my life vest, and get my motor started for the boat ride o by the way, a boat don't run on land so there for can you meet me at the dock?? or lets just say, The school calls and you have to tell them be there in about an hour?? Money Money Money.. Just thank how much everyone will save?? NOT A DIME but that's ok since Dg county say's so. If they close the bridge in march of 07.. Last I new kids go to school until the end of May?? There is no guarntee for anything. I understand the bridge maybe in need of repair but is gonna cause so much hardship.. just because Lecompton is in dg county, they are a big part of Perry as well...

budwhysir 8 years ago

I was looking at my map and it appears there is more than one way to get from point a to point b. Yes it would take more time but we arent stuck in one spot

brendabo 8 years ago

obviously budwhysir doesn't realize that those routes are 30-40 miles just to get to the school. And you must not live anywhere Lecompton or Perry. Maybe you are one of the people that was going to be inconvienced by the City of Lawrence closing down kasold between Bob Billingsway and Clinton Parkway to redo that road.

Jeteras 8 years ago

Quit whining! If the bridge is not repaired in this fashion people could get hurt and if the bridge is not repaired there will be no bridge... end of story! Gee inconvenience me once every 10-15 years,, sheesh

budwhysir 8 years ago

brendabo: all of those routes are 30 to 40 miles or the easiest ways to get there are 30 to 40 miles?

I didnt car when they closed kasold, never drive on that road. I like to see my tax money being used to better my roads

Sorry you are so upset about this but I will feel better knowing you are going over a safe bridge to get your kids to school.

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