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Concord gets only 1 bid again for Main Street construction project

Concord again received an offer from only one contractor on Main Street construction, and it was even higher than the lone offer that came in during the city’s first attempt to bid the project.

The city’s base estimate was $7.1 million for streetscape construction. During the public bid meeting today, Purchasing Manager Doug Ross announced the city received a proposal for night construction from Concord-based E.D. Swett Inc that would cost $13.83 million.

City Engineer Ed Roberge declined comment at the bid meeting today, but he told the Monitor earlier this week he hoped to have five or six bids to consider after today’s deadline.

Based on the number of contractors who attended required pre-bid meetings, the city could have received as many as six proposals.

“We’ll have to see how high they come in,” Roberge said Wednesday. “It’s hard to speculate, but if they’re like the first bid that was at $12 million, we’d probably have no choice in rejecting and likely starting over . . . but we’ll have to see.”

This is the city’s second attempt to bid the construction project. In September, Concord also received only one offer from Pembroke-based F.L. Merrill Construction. Their proposal was $12.23 million, and the city reissued its request for bids in November. At that time, the city’s estimate for construction was $6.2 million, a number that was adjusted during the course of this bid process.

(Megan Doyle can be reached at 369-3321 or mdoyle@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @megan_e_doyle.)

If the city really thought it was going to get more than a few bids it was delusional. It was obvious from the companies attending that there weren't going to be that many bidders. In fact, most of the attendees at the second meeting seemed to be from vendors interested in supplying their products (lights, pipes) or services (window cleaning, signs) to the project rather than real contractors

Well, for me with this economy you would think companies would be lining up to bid on this huge job, but they are not. The other curious thing is the cost seems to be double what the city estimates. That tells you they are underpricing the cost. Looks like we have been fed baloney on the actual cost. Either that or the folks have no clue what they are doing. Which seems to be happening a lot these days. The estimates always turn out to be way off.

Maybe this is a wake up call for being unrealistic in your requirements and expectations. This is a construction job that is going to require a lot of kissing----.

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