City aims Center Street project to start in 2020


Project scaled back to reduce cost with plan to complete later with local MFT funds

CLINTON — The city likely will go ahead with the Center Street reconstruction project starting this year despite disappointing bidding results.  Officials concluded that waiting to go through the state process again could delay the work as much as two years.

“This is our second round through the IDOT letting,” said Steve Lobb, public works director.  “We redesigned the project at the council’s direction.”

Lobb said they redesigned the project to try to get better bids for the work.

“We do have prices better,” Lobb said.  “This came in at $1.25 million as opposed to our original bid that came in at $1.5 million.”

He said the bid still was high.  But, he said in both of the bidding processes, multiple bidders picked up bid packages for the project, but only one contractor, Illinois Valley Paving, submitted bids.

Lobb said if the council was not comfortable with accepting the single bid, commissioners had the option to reject it.  

“But, if we reject the bid, that does create a whole host of issues,” he said.  “We won’t be able to do the project this fiscal year; we would have to push it off to 2021.  If we do push the project off to 2021, since we are using federal aid dollars to do this, there is no assurance that the project will make the queue in 2021.”

The city would have to go again through the bidding process.  

“The money is the city’s allotted amount, but there is only so much each fiscal year that is put into what they call the ‘queue’,” Lobb added.  “We would have to, basically, reapply.”

A possible postponement and reapplication could move the project past 2021 and into 2022.

“I’ve spoken to Tim (Followell), and we do have the available money in the infrastructure funds,” Lobb said.  “That’s going to cut us tight, but it is there, and all things considered, I feel it’s probably the best for the city at this point.”

He recommended the city place the bid on file.  The city can officially concur with the bid, but IDOT (Illinois Department of Transportation) is the official agent awarding the contract for the work, Lobb said.

• See the complete story on the Clinton Journal E-Edition or in the Friday, 05/08 print edition.

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