February 04, 2023

Earthwork bid for Liberty Avenue project awarded

Project came in more than $200,000 under estimate

A bid for the earthwork portion of the new yard and engineer’s office came in more than $200,000 under estimate county engineer Mike Frietsch told the Jasper County Board of Supervisors. McAninch Corporation from Des Moines submitted the low bid which was approved by the board during the regular Tuesday meeting.

“We received nine bids on this site earthwork package. Our department did an awesome job getting the plans put together, surveying it, advertising,” Frietsch said.

The bids ranged from McAninch at $185, 791 to the high bid at $525,440 for work consisting of stripping and stockpiling topsoil onsite, Class 10 excavation for subgrade preparation, providing, installing, and maintaining various erosion and sediment control measures, and associated construction layout and mobilization and demobilization for Phase 1 of the proposed Liberty Avenue Secondary Roads Yard.

“They submitted everything, they actually want to start a week ahead of schedule, next Monday, and it is all cleared with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources,” Frietsch said. “They want to get this thing wrapped up and done and get out of there.”

With such a low bid, the board had a few questions for the county engineer about the work that might get done. With the next lowest bid coming in at $276,296, almost $100,000 more than McAninch, it seemed almost too good to be true.

“There is a lot of spread in the bids and I’m not surprised,” Frietsch said. “McAninch was very excited, they were one of two that came out and looked at the site. They know what they are getting into, this is fill in work for them.”

He also said when figuring the estimate for the project he uses Iowa Department of Transportation bids which typically are roadway and bridge projects. They tend to have more aspects to account for then moving dirt “from point ‘A’ to point ‘B’.

“They are also only 33 minutes down the road,” board chair Brandon Talsma said.

The earthwork is the first part of a multi-million dollar project creating a new yard and engineer’s office along Liberty Avenue. Early work of the project will involve the development of the eastern side of the new yard and the construction of a plow truck shed, salt storage structure and fuel pumping and storage systems. This completed portion of the project will provide an enclosed heated space for plow trucks in the winter months.

As the project progresses, the remainder of the yard, a second access driveway and construction of a second outbuilding and office-shop will be developed. The county is also proposing to deliver the project using the Construction Manager at Risk (CMAR) method, a newly coded program in the state.

Like the previously approved architectural-engineering service agreement, the earthwork will be paid for using ARPA funds.

Contact Jamee A. Pierson at 641-792-3121 ext. 6534 or jpierson@newtondailynews.com