Bids come in low for first two phases of county bridge project

This box culvert bridge on Topeka Avenue, or Old Highway 75, about 1/4 mile north of U.S. 56, is one of six bridges in Osage County that will be replaced in the first two phases of the county’s $4.3 million bridge project.

LYNDON-The first bid opening on two phases of Osage County’s bridge repair project gave hope to county commissioners that more bridge repairs than planned might be funded with the project’s $4.3 million bond. Low bids offered on the two phases Monday were about $460,000 lower than engineers’ estimates.

Phase 1 bids included replacement of two haunch or concrete slab bridges, one on Davis Road north of 125th Street and the other on 133rd Street east of Carbondale. Ebert Construction Co., Wamego, offered the low bid of $533,765 for the two bridges, with six companies offering bids. Project engineers Cook, Flatt and Strobel estimated the bridges at $731,602.

Phase 3 of the project replaces four concrete box bridges: on Topeka Avenue ¼ mile north of U.S. Highway 56 near Four Corners; on East 165th Street, between Berryton and Croco roads; on West 125th Street between Fairlawn and Wanamaker roads;  and on Ratner Road north of East 121st Street. Ebert also offered the Phase 3 low bid at $421,661; engineers’ estimate was $683,456. Eight companies bid on Phase 3.

Noting Ebert appeared to have the low bid on both phases, Bob Chambers, of CFS, said he would review the bids to check calculations and specifications, and will make a recommendation as to which bids the commissioners should accept at next Monday’s commission meeting.

“We’re glad to get those kinds of bids,” said Osage County Commissioner Carl Meyer.

“If the other two (phases) go this way, we might be able to scrounge out another bridge or two,” Chambers said.

The commissioners have previously said they would consider rebuilding two wooden bridges on east 221st and 229th streets if enough funds were left over from the bridge bond after all planned bridge repairs are completed.

Osage County Commissioner Ken Kuykendall said the two remaining phases of the project could cost more than expected, due to cost of materials. Phase 2 will replace two steel bridges; Phase 4 will replace five concrete box bridges.

“We’ve got to save the money first before we worry about [repairing more bridges],” Kuykendall said.

Glen Tyson, county road and bridge supervisor, said the cost of resurfacing the bridges with rock or asphalt will also need to be considered in the total project amount.

The winning bidder will have 140 days to complete the bridge repairs.

Tyson said later that the county will attempt to notify the public of when the bridges will be closed for repair – through local media or with signage posted at the sites. Three of the bridges are on county-maintained roads and the others are on township roads.

Chambers reported to the commission that right of way acquisition is almost completed on the next two phases of the project and bids would be let for the two steel bridges in about a month.

Kuykendall invited the bidders present at the bid opening to bid on the next two phases.

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