Council awards water, bridge repair contracts

A pair of previously postponed infrastructure projects were launched when the Fort Dodge City Council awarded contracts on Monday.

New water and sewer lines will be installed under part of South 19th Street and the Bridge of Fallen Heroes on North Third Street will be repaired.

The council hired Wicks Construction, of Decorah, to do the water and sewer line work at a cost of $2,463,909.

The project will consist of these steps:

– Installing a new 30-inch diameter sanitary sewer line under Sixth Avenue South between 17th and 19th streets.

– Installing a new 15-inch diameter sanitary sewer line under 19th Street between First and Sixth avenues south.

– Placing a new 8-inch diameter water line under both streets.

The current sanitary sewer line under South 19th Street is prone to overflowing during rainstorms, prompting city crews to place pumps at manholes to remove the excess water.

The project is the first one to result from a major sanitary sewer evaluation study that began in late 2010.

Work on the project will begin this spring and be completed in mid-October, according to Chad Schaeffer, the director of engineering, business affairs and community growth.

The contractor will be using pipes made of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) for the water main. The city staff had recommended that ductile iron pipe be used even though the project cost would be about $30,500 more.

In a report to the elected officials, Tony Trotter, a project manager for the city, wrote that ductile iron pipe is the standard for the city.

Mayor Matt Bemrich asked the council to award the contract using PVC pipe. He said that a $30,500 savings can’t be ignored, and added that consistently using PVC could save the city hundreds of thousands of dollars in the future.

Councilman Dean Hill said the city will have to buy equipment to maintain the PVC pipes.

”I think it’s worthwhile,” Bemrich said.

The water and sewer project was postponed from last year.

Other bidders for the work were K. Cunningham Construction of Cedar Falls, ($2,488,146.04) and Geislinger & Sons, Watkins, Minn. ($2,603,563).

The bridge project will include patching the concrete driving surface, installing new street lights and replacing the chain link fence and railing on the sides.

Cramer and Associates Inc., of Grimes, was hired to do the work at a cost of $246,578.25.

Christensen Brothers Inc., of Cherokee, offered the only other bid of $544,287.75.

Schaeffer said the bridge work will be scheduled to coincide with the reconstruction of a portion of First Avenue North so that the intersection of First Avenue North and Third Street only has to be closed once.

The bridge was built in 1961. It was renamed by the City Council in 2010 to honor all those who died fighting for the United States.

The repair project has been discussed since 2009, according to Schaeffer.

Councilman Andy Fritz was absent from the otherwise unanimous vote to award both contracts.