EDITOR'S NOTE: THE WESTSIDE SEWAGE TREATMENT PLANT AT FAYETTEVILLE IS ONE OF SEVERAL PLANTS PROPOSED TO SERVE THE RAPIDLY GROWING NORTHWEST ARKANSAS AREA. ALL WILL DISCHARGE TO THE ILLINOIS RIVER BASIN AND ALL ARE TO MEET THE 1 MG/L PHOSPHORUS LIMIT IMPOSED ON OKLAHOMA WASTEWATER TREATMENT FACILITIES. IS THIS GOOD ENOUGH? OKLAHOMA RECENTLY OBJECTED TO THE PERMIT FOR THE FAYETTEVILLE WESTSIDE TREATMENT PLANT BECAUSE IT HAS NOT BEEN PROVEN THE ADDITIONAL SEWAGE WOULD NOT DEGRADE THE ILLINOIS RIVER IN OKLAHOMA. THE ISSUE IS PHOSPHORUS IMPAIRMENT AND EVEN THOUGH FAYETTEVILLE WILL BE LIMITED TO 1 MG/L PHOSPHORUS, IT WILL CONTRIBUTE ABOUT 83-LBS. OF PHOSPHOURS PER DAY TO THE ILLINOIS RIVER IN OKLAHOMA.
Bid for sewer line project comes in $1 million less than expected
BY ADAM WALLWORTH Northwest Arkansas Times
Posted on Friday, November 04, 2005
The lowest bid for the westside sewer line project came in at $4.6 million, roughly $2.6 million less than Fayetteville certified and $1 million less than officials expected.
The bid will be reviewed by RJN Group, the company that engineered the project and estimated the cost of the project at $7.1 million. The city had certified $7.2 million for the project, which involves the construction of pressurized sewer mains between the Hamestring lift station and the site of the westside treatment plant.
The engineers were told to provide a high estimate to reflect volatile market conditions and to prevent a repeat of the results of the westside treatment plant bid, said Dave Jurgens, water and sewer director.
The lowest bid on the westside plant came in at $62 million, roughly $14 million more than the city had certified. "Nobody wants to be embarrassed like with the plant job," Jurgens said.
Jurgens said that while he told the engineers to provide a conservative estimate, he expected the bids to be in the range of the three higher ones, which were between $5.6 and $5.7 million.
Four bids were submitted to the city:
• Garney Construction, based in Kansas City, Mo., $4,582,536.60.
• Kraus Construction Co., Fort Smith, $5,617,699.
• W. N. Couch Inc, Tulsa, Okla., $5,633,185.50.
• T-G Excavating, Catoosa, Okla., $5,777,777.
Mayor Dan Coody said he was pleased with the bid and expressed his confidence that the contractor will provide quality work without excessive change orders. There have been some firms the city would be nervous about submitting a very low bid from, he said. "This is certainly good news, and we expect more good news as we move forward with the Wastewater System Improvement Project," Coody said.
Jurgens also expressed his confidence in the contractor completing a quality project. The former program manager, Burns & McDonnell, performed an excellent value engineering process for the sewer line projects, he said.
Burns & McDonnell completed its contract with the city after initial allegations that the company had not provided adequate communication on the fact the Wastewater System Improvement Project was falling off schedule and over budget.
Ward 2 Alderman Kyle Cook, chairman of the Sewer Committee, said that while he is glad to see progress on the project, he didn’t have an opinion of the bid results. "It is what it is," Cook said. "As far as the estimate is concerned, I don’t know how we can believe any of the estimates after the original plant estimate.
" I’m not saying estimating is easy, but... we’ve got to get closer than that. "
What is important is the final cost of the entire project and that the scope of the project is not reduced, Cook said. He said he wants to make sure the assisted line work is not removed from the project.
" If we don’t give ’em that and don’t give ’em a $125 million product, we haven’t given the voters anything we promised them, " he said.
The City Council recently approved a $62 million contract with Brasfield & Gorrie to build the westside plant. The plant is expected to be completed in 2008, nearly three years late, and the total project, which includes the line work, has most recently been estimated at $170 million.
Jurgens said he is not ready to release estimates for the additional sewer line projects and did not want to publish the estimate for the force main project before the bid opening, for fear contractors would artificially increase their prices.
The city’s land agents have secured 66 percent, or $1 million worth, of the easements needed for the project.