GOSHEN — The Elkhart County Commissioners opened bids for an estimated $770,000 bridge replacement project Monday.
The board opened quotes from five companies for the project, which involves the replacement of Bridge No. 269. The bridge is on C.R. 1 between C.R. 144 and C.R. 46, and takes the road over the Fisher-Gordon Ditch.
The full replacement includes the removal of the existing structure, installing new supports and building new approaches and bridge deck. The bridge was originally built in 1960 and last updated in 1980, according to information from the National Bridge Inventory.
Inspections have rated it poorly and recommended replacement.
The project should be completed before the end of the year, according to county Transportation Manager Charlie McKenzie.
He said the engineer’s estimate for the work is $770,000, which he noted is roughly in the middle range of where bids came in.
Those bids were:
R.G. Zachrich Construction Inc. – $897,566
Rieth-Riley Construction Co. – $859,948
JCI Bridge Group Inc. – $685,210
LaPorte Construction Co. Inc. – $640,931
Northern Indiana Construction Co. Inc. – $526,525
McKenzie remarked that it’s hard to tell why the bids ranged so widely, but guessed it might have to do with the workload companies are seeing.
“I am speculating, but we have heard in recent months from some contractors that their workload is light,” he said after the meeting. “Slow construction seasons typically lead to lower and more competitive bids. Perhaps we are seeing a transition between contractors with busy schedules and contractors with capacity this season. Again, just speculative.”
He added that they haven’t reviewed the bids in detail yet to check for errors.