Bids come in over budget on Weiser's West 9th Street project

Steve Lyon
Construction planned for this summer on West 9th Street in Weiser has been put on hold after bids came in substantially higher than estimates.
 Two bids were received and reviewed at the offices of Keller Associates, the city’s contracted engineering firm on the project. 
 The low bid came in at $2.79 million, which was nearly $800,000 more than the estimate of $2 million. 
 Mayor Diana Thomas recently told city council members that the city had no choice but to reject the bids. 
 “Right now, things are so high that it was just outside of what we could possibly do. There just wasn’t any way that we saw that we could fund it,” she said.
 City officials said they would review the options in the wake of the high bids with LTHAC, the project engineer and city departments and decide how to proceed. 
 City officials said the state LTHAC was able to find another $340,000 for the project, but that still leaves the budget short by about $600,000.
 Thomas said the city will probably have to reduce the scope of work to cut costs and send the project out to bid again, possibly in August. 
 The West 9th Street project has been in various stages of planning for nearly a decade, even before Thomas took office.
 “We had hoped to have this thing done by the end of this year,” she said. “Needless to say we don’t have an extra $800,000 in our budget.”
 The current scope of work includes widening and realigning the stretch of West 9th Street from Pioneer Road to beyond Indianhead Road to Upper Road. 
 City officials have wanted to transform the narrow street into a wider city street and replace the one-lane bridge over the Galloway canal with a new 40-foot structure. 
 The work also calls for straightening the street at the intersection of West 9th Street and Indianhead Road. The current configuration of the intersection is a modified “T” that requires an abrupt change in direction when negotiating the uncontrolled northbound and southbound directions.
 As part of the project, design, curbs and gutters will be constructed on both sides of the street.  
 The plans also included a continuous sidewalk on the east side of West 9th Street that will enhance safety for pedestrians and bicyclists. 
 The work on West 9th Street will be paid for by federal highway grants administered by the Idaho Department of Transportation through the LTHAC program. 
 The city will be required to pay 7.34 percent of the project cost as matching funds, which totals more than $190,000.
 In anticipation of the project starting this summer, city crews tore up part of West 9th Street between Pioneer and Flintlock Road to do water line, electrical and sewer work in advance of the project.  
 Now that the project has been delayed, the city will have to go back and smooth out those streets, the mayor said.
 “We can’t leave the road the way it is right now,” Thomas said. 


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18 E. Idaho St.
Weiser, ID 83672
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