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Pine Street Costs Increase, ER Council Concerned But Approves

Wikimedia Commons Royal Broil

Bids for the state Pine Street project in Eagle River from Highway 70 west to Bridge Street including sidewalk along the north side came in higher than expected, especially for concrete, according to a report by the Wisconsin Dept. of Transportation (DOT) to the city council last week.

Jed Peters of the DOT's Rhinelander office said the bids received three weeks ago came in as a whole 27% over the estimate. The Pine Street plan is to modify the present four lanes to three lanes; one in each direction and a center turn lane.

“Concrete came in 40% above the estimate and the 2017 agreement with the city came in at $22,000 more than the extimated cost,” Peters said. “Real estate acquisition for the sidewalk on the north side was slightly less, about $5,000 lower than the estimate.”

The bottom line Peters told the council is the city cost will increase between $16,000 to $17,000. The information provided showed the low bid for the new sidewalk was $319,187 when the DOT's engineer estimate was $217,152, for an increase of $102,033 or plus 47%. The low bid for removing existing sidewalk was $4,014 when the DOT engineer estimate was $2,565 with the city paying 100% cost of this item. Peters said total city participation for all items with the low bid is $29,432. The estimate had the city participation at $6,698 or an increase of 340%. 

Alderman Jerry Burkett, noting the city levy limits, asked about billing next year with Peters saying he felt the final bill will be in 2020 after an audit. Asked if the city could just say “no” Peters indicated they have never had someone back out. The city council approved absorbing the $16,000 to $17,000 increase subject to audit.

Pitlik & Wick was the successful bidder and has 40 working days to finish the work starting after July 4 and finishing prior to Cranberry Fest. That prompted council member Kim Schaffer to suggest to Peters “don't be driving through town in a DOT vehicle during Cranberry Fest.”

Asked what would happen if the three lane proposal doesn't work out, Peters said the road width isn't changing so they would simply repaint the travel lanes to what they were.

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