The low bids from contractors competing to build the city’s new City Services Center to replace the city’s Public Works Facility at 1201 Sixth St. SW exceeded the pre-bid estimates by $1.6 million, the City Council learned this week.
The apparent low bid of $19.185 million for the project’s general contract came from Miron Construction Co. Inc. of Cedar Rapids. The bid exceeded the pre-bid estimate of $18.3 million by 4.8 percent, or $885,000.
In a second contract for the project’s mechanical and plumbing work, Modern Piping Inc. of Cedar Rapids submitted the apparent low bid of $4.57 million, $420,000 or 10.1 percent higher than the pre-bid estimate of $4.15 million.
Acme Electric Co. Inc. of Cedar Rapids submitted the apparent low bid of $4.24 million for the project’s electrical work, an amount $459,912, or 12.2 percent, more that the pre-bid estimate of $3.78 million.
Bids on a fourth contract, for demolition work at the site, came in lower than the pre-bid estimate of $640,000. D.W. Zinser Co. of Walford is the apparent low bidder with a bid of $489,000, or 23.6 percent lower than the pre-bid estimate.
Together, the four bids exceed the combined pre-bid estimates by $1.6 million.
Sandy Pumphrey, the Public Works Department’s building facilities capital project manager, told the City Council on Tuesday that the department would review the bids and try to determine the reasons why three of the four exceeded the pre-bid estimates.
At Tuesday’s council meeting, council member Chuck Swore, chairman of the council’s Infrastructure Committee, noted that the city staff and the City Council had extended the deadline for the bidding on the City Services Center project.
Swore said the extension of bidding appeared to make sense because bids from contractors for the individual contracts were relatively close to one another, even if they exceeded the pre-bid estimates. His point was that the relative closeness of the bids meant that the contractors each understood the details of the project in similar fashion.
Five contractors submitted bids on the general contract, six on the mechanical and plumbing contract, four on the electrical contract and three on the demolition contract.
Swore, who runs a consulting business called CRS Small Business Services, works as a consultant for Miron Construction Co. Inc., Modern Piping Inc. and other local contractors, he has said.
He has added that he only consults on the companies’ private-sector contracts, not those with the city.