Brent Martin from BA Martin Architects presented the two low bids. Michiana Contracting had the low base bid at $759,116.65 which includes the installation of a 2 inch conduit and two 1 ¼ inch conduits. CSU Inc. from Plainfield had the low bid for alternate A which is installation of only the one main conduit.
Commissioner Jack Roose asked what the two extra conduits would lease for? Martin said with roughly 18 miles of conduit from South Bend to the Plymouth City limits, with two separate companies leasing space in the conduits, “over a 10 to 12 year period you could recoup your costs.”
Commissioner Deb Grewank said she had some concerns and contacted Don Wendal from Michiana and asked if they had the equipment and manpower to get the project completed on time and if there was enough cushion in their bid so they wouldn’t have to go back to the County Council for additional funds. Wendal said they had the necessary equipment and manpower to complete the project on time and with the contingency he wouldn’t anticipate additional funding.
Commissioner Kevin Overmyer said Saint Joseph Regional Medical Center had pledged $325,000 to the project for the dark fiber but when there was a shortfall of funding for the conduit installation the hospital stepped up to insure the Metronet project would be completed. Overmyer said, “I don’t think it is right for use to have the hospital pay additional money for an option that may or may not bring funds back to the county.” He continued, “It’s unknown if we would ever be able to find someone to lease the conduits.”
The Commissioners unanimously motioned to award the bid to CSU Inc. for alternate A at a bid amount of $598, 221.99.
The county will pay 50% of the cost to install conduit and hand holes from Lincolnway to State Road 17 on Pioneer Drive and from Pioneer Drive to Overmyer Drive on State Road 17. The county will also be responsible to pay for three laterals to three county buildings in the city limits. Adding these alternates on brings the construction costs to $635,737.75. Martin noted that additional project costs including final engineering, construction engineering, railroad permits and a contingency will bring the county’s final cost to $961,112.41.
Members of the Plymouth Redevelopment Commission award their portion of the Metronet conduit project to Michiana Contracting. Michiana did not have the low base bid but when you added the alternates to install the conduit from Lincolnway to State Road 17 on Pioneer Drive and from Pioneer Drive to Overmyer Drive on State Road 17 plus the laterals to 8 city buildings and two water towers, their bid was lower at $615,906.55 than the next bidder, Earthcom at $616,100.80. Several other items are not included in the bid including final engineering, construction engineering, railroad permits and a contingency will bring the city’s total cost to $965,114.31.
Brent Martin said both projects were well below the engineer’s estimates.