Osage City Lake dredging bids too high; engineer recommends rebidding project

The only two bids received for a project to rehabilitate Osage City’s lake exceeded the engineer’s estimate enough that the city’s engineering firm has recommended re-bidding the project.

Randy Root, of Burns and McDonnell, explained to the Osage City Council on May 28 that bids opened May 22 were so high they surprised the engineers.

“Essentially the bids came in way too high, excessively high,” Root said, “way over the engineer’s estimate.”

The city’s bid comparison information showed the engineer’s estimate for the project, which will remove at least 100,000 cubic yards of sediment from the lake, was $1.4 million. Cobra Contractors LLC, Overland Park, bid $2,393,000 for the project; Smoky Hill LLC, Salina, bid $3,799,336.60.

Root said after his firm examined the bids, it was believed the bids were high due to several reasons. He said rates for mobilization were higher than anticipated, and it appeared the bidders believed “this was a little higher risk project than anticipated.”

Root said Burns and McDonnell has a plan to reissue requests for proposals, and re-engineer the project to include only mechanical dredging and no hydraulic dredging.

“We’ve recommended to (Osage City Utilities Director) Mike (Gilliland) to reject the bids,” Root said.

Gilliland said the use of hydraulic dredging was included in the first bid specifications because it was expected the lake would have some water in it when the dredging project began.

Since the dredging project is happening at the same time as a dam rehabilitation project, Root said the plan to use only mechanical dredging will also work since the dam project will require lowering the lake’s water level.

He said the dredging project will be delayed for the time it takes to reissue the requests for proposals and examine the bids.

Both Root and Gilliland said that using only one type of dredging is expected to lessen the expense of the project.

“It takes away a lot of confusion that we thought was taking place with partial hydraulic and mechanical dredging,” Root said.

Root said Burns and McDonnell would prepare the new requests for proposals with no additional cost to the city.

Questioned by Osage City Council Member Ed Berends, Root said the requests for proposals should be completed by the end of June, with mid-July as the earliest possible start date for the lake project.

Root also clarified the funding for the lake rehabilitation project comes partially from a state grant award of $1.14 million, which will be disbursed by the state over at least a two-year period. He reported the state’s allotment of funds for the project this year was expected to be several hundred thousand dollars more than expected, from $500,000 to up to $875,000, but the final total grant amount will remain the same. The state’s funding amount also depends on the amount of the city’s matching funds for the project.

During Tuesday’s meeting, Gilliland also reported the dam project is proceeding on schedule, with equipment being unloaded at the site this week. Start date for that project, which will rehabilitate the old concrete dam and raise the freeboard of the lake, is June 3.

Also during the meeting, at the request of Osage City Council Member Duane Peroo, the council met in executive session for 30 minutes to discuss “city personnel and related subjects”. Afterward, the council took no action and adjourned the meeting.

Contact us: Osage County News | P.O. Box 62, Lyndon, KS 66451 | [email protected] | 785-828-4994 | Powered by Osage County, Kansas