Bridgewater awards King Street culvert project on third try


  • <p>KEITH CORCORAN, PHOTO</p><p>The culvert here, along the north end of King Street, is being replaced this summer.</p>

BRIDGEWATER - Third time is the charm for trying to award the work of replacing a troublesome culvert on north King Street on Bridgewater's west side.

Dexter Construction of Bedford submitted the successful bid and, although the amount was over the $600,000 budget, civic politicians recently authorized the job that will ring up to $662,400. The extra money needed for the project will be funded through operational reserves.

"This will be good to get done," the town's mayor, David Mitchell, commented to council during a meeting when the matter was discussed.

Broadcasts of town council meetings are available online.

Bridgewater's engineering services manager, Matthew Davidson, told elected representatives he anticipates the project will be completed between July and August. Officials reapplied for the necessary environmental approvals; all work within the watercourse must be finished by October.

Dexter Construction is tasked with supplying and installing a 20-metre-long precast box culvert along a section of King Street, between the intersections of Brown Street and Eisenhauer Lane, in addition to work re-routing service infrastructure and a re-building the road.

In January, council declined to award a "supply only" procurement to Annapolis County-based VJ Rice Concrete when the price came in at $84,951, above the $36,500 engineering officials were expecting to spend after being told previously, by another supplier, the structure was considered a "stock item" and potentially could ship quickly.

Bridgewater originally budgeted $208,000 toward the project but had to re-tool its approach after Dexter Construction presented a $551,162 bid last year in response to a tender, more than double the budget. After council declined the procurement, Davidson's analysis pointed to an ongoing pandemic-related pattern of bids eclipsing estimates and little appetite for companies to bid on projects of less than $500,000.

"I feel like this one keeps coming back," Mitchell remarked, with a grin, as the proposal went before council again in late April.

The Groundhog Day feel to the matter wasn't lost on Davidson, who replied to the mayor, "You took the words right out of my mouth."

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