“By all accounts I call it a successful letting,” said Crawford County Engineer Paul Assman.
The letting, which took place on Wednesday, was for a major resurfacing project for roads around the county.
“The low bid was about 2% above our estimate, which is pretty good,” Assman said.
OMG Midwest, Inc., doing business as Des Moines Asphalt & Paving, was the low bidder with a bid of $9,335,304.84.
“While it may be a big number, it’s a big project,” Assman said.
The county’s estimate was $9,143,975.
The project, which is slated to take place this summer, consists of resurfacing 32 miles of pavement in sections around the county: County Road E16 from Highway 59 east to the Carrol County line; County Road E59 from Dow City east to Highway 59; County Road M56 from the Highway 141 intersection south to the county line; and county road L51 from the intersection with E16 north to the county line.
The project funds come from a variety of sources: $2 million from Surface Transportation Program funds, which are federal funds that are swapped for state dollars and administered by the state; $500,000 from the Iowa Transportation Safety Improvement Program; approximately $200,000 from the City of Schleswig for the portion of the project within the Schleswig city limits; the balance will come from the county Farm to Market funds.
“It’s a large project,” Assman said. “I don’t believe there has been a larger project on the secondary road system in its history in terms of dollar amount.”
The next step will be for the Crawford County Board of Supervisors to review the bids and decide whether or not to accept the low bid and award the project.
The Iowa DOT would then also award the project.
“I have every reason to believe that will take place because it (the bid) wasn’t that much higher than our estimate,” he said.
“Once we get the contract signed by everybody, then we can set up a time to meet and talk to them (the contractor) and get a tentative schedule with them. If they want to get going right away, we can maybe even have a pre-construction conference. There are a lot of unknowns at this point.”
Assman said the county does not have any previous experience with OMG Midwest.
“That particular company we haven’t worked directly with in Crawford County before, but they’re a large company and I have no reason to believe we wouldn’t have a good performance out here,” he said.
In the past, from letting to contract-signing would take from four to five weeks; because it will be handled electronically, it may take somewhat less time for this project, Assman said.
The resurfacing will involve laying down hot mix asphalt.
“The exact structure and thickness will vary depending on the surface we’re starting with on the original concrete pavements that have never had a surface on them,” he said.
An inch of the existing surfaces will be milled off prior to laying the asphalt.
The portion of the project on E59 will also include paving the current shoulders of the road.
“We’ll be widening the pavement,” Assman said. “It’s currently a 20 foot wide pavement; the final cross section will be 28 feet of paved surface, similar to Donna Reed Road that we did in 2017.”
E16 west of Schleswig was similarly widened in 2014, he noted.
Assman said he will be soon sending letters to the smaller communities to make them aware of the project, and that opportunities might exist for those communities to take advantage of the mix plant that will be set up for the project.
He said he looks forward to the project getting underway.